Representation of Female Characters in Star Wars

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2018

10 Pages, Grade: 2

Sven Frueh (Author)

Abstract or Introduction

The American science fiction franchise Star Wars was created by George Lucas and presented to the world in 1977 with the release of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. Un-expectedly, the movie became the highest-grossing film of all time until 1982. Five out of the seven consecutive Star Wars movies, excluding all other standalone Star Wars films, are found on the top 100 list of highest grossing films of all time in Canada and the USA. Despite the popularity of the franchise, it is increasingly criticized for its portrayal of women in a stereotypical fashion; critics claim that the story evolves predominantly around male heroes while objectifying women and giving them only a passive role in the plot.

To evaluate these claims, this paper will introduce and compare the most important female characters and their roles throughout the saga. The Star Wars movies are divided into three separate trilogies, each of them having a main female character. The paper will examine if the portrayal of each of those women in their respective trilogy depends on sexist stereotypes or if they are represented negatively in terms of power, sexualization, and characterization. The three female heroines will be discussed in the chronological order of the canonical Star Wars timeline, starting with Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, and ending with Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. Due to the limitations of this paper, the representation of the numerous other female characters throughout the movies will not be analyzed.


Representation of Female Characters in Star Wars
University of Linz  (Department of English)
Drama and Film
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Star Wars, Padme Amidala, Padme, Leia Organa, Leia, Princess Leia, Characterization, Objectification, Sexualization, Power, Sexism, Portrayal of Characters, A New Hope, prequel, sequel, Jedi, Darth Vader, Clothing, Rey, Trilogy, The Portrayal of the Female Main Characters throughout the Eight Star Wars Movies, portrayal of female characters, Star Wars sexism, starwars, star wars female
Quote paper
Sven Frueh (Author), 2018, Representation of Female Characters in Star Wars, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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