In a place as fraught with tragedy and adventure as the Star Wars galaxy, there is no shortage of heroes making their mark. But what about heroines? Or anti-heroines?
Women have always played a huge part in Star Wars stories, and the recent Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ has been no exception.
There’s Tala Durith, the Rebel spy with a dark past. Or Reva Sevander, a Grand Inquisitor and survivor of the Jedi Temple massacre. Even old favorites got new life as we saw a young Leia Organa face off against Imperial villainy.
In celebration of these wonderful women, here are ten of our favorite female characters in the Star Wars universe:
10. Enfys Nest
Enfys Nest is one of the more obscure women of Star Wars, but no less important. She is the terrifying leader of the Cloud-Riders – a group of pirates who set out to disrupt and raid Imperial transports while also seeking revenge on Darth Maul’s crime syndicate, Crimson Dawn.
Orphaned at sixteen, Enfys adopted the armor and helm of her mother. This disguised her age and gender and gave her a truly terrifying appearance. And once she looked the part of a pirate leader, people treated her like one.
Enfys’ sheer determination and audacity are both a thrilling part of her character and something to be admired. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply fake it til you make it!
9. Lina Soh
As Supreme Chancellor of the Senate during the High Republic age, Lina Soh is responsible for much of the galaxy’s growth. Advocating strongly for peace and cooperative coexistence, Lina works hard to extend the reach of the Republic and invite Outer Rim territories into its fold.
Her courage in the face of the Nihil attack is a testament to her character. Despite being gravely injured, she continues to perform her duties and never balks at a challenge. Though not all of us are brave enough for politics, the socially-minded Chancellor Soh is exactly the kind of leader to be admired and held up as a standard of integrity.
8. Rey Skywalker
A hero of the Resistance, Rey Skywalker is a skilled pirate, a formidable swordsman, and immensely strong in the Force. But her strength of spirit is her true weapon against despair. She comes from nothing and eventually rises to become the legacy of all the Jedi.
In her final confrontation with Palpatine, he offers her the same choice he offered Anakin – power. Unlimited power. But Rey has come so far, and she knows the dark side is not what it claims to be. So instead, she reaches for love.
She defeats the Emperor, redeems Ben Solo, and in the end, she honors Luke and Leia Skywalker by putting their blades to rest and taking up their mantle for her own.
7. Fennec Shand
Fennec Shand is an icon. A pragmatist, and stone-cold professional, Fennec was a mercenary and assassin during the height of the Galactic Empire. But when that fell, she found herself on the other side of the bounty. Using all the cunning she had learned, Fennec kept out of the eye of the Republic by hiding on Tatooine. Eventually, her tracking fob caught up to her, and she nearly died at the hands of Din Djarin and his trigger-happy associate.
But she isn’t so easily beaten. We find her alive and kicking in The Book of Boba Fett. Here she acts as Fett’s right hand in bringing down the corrupt criminal syndicates of Mos Espa and installing a new order. Fennec is calculating, clever, and deliciously competent. Definitely, a woman not to be messed with!
6. Reva Sevander
A youngling betrayed by her hero. A girl from the gutter. A Grand Inquisitor. A Jedi. Reva Sevander’s tragic story brings her face to face with the darkest parts of herself. But ultimately, she emerges triumphant.
Though, as a child, she was grievously injured in the attack on the Jedi Temple led by a newly knighted Darth Vader, Reva survived. For years afterward, she trained and worked to rise through the Inquisitors’ ranks to get close to the dark lord himself. But not to help him. No, she wants to kill him. She wants to hunt Vader.
But in the end, she recognizes the futility of her quest. She sees that in hunting the monster, she is becoming one, and she can’t live with that. So she chooses a new path, sparing Luke Skywalker’s life and returning to the light. We are what we choose to be, and Reva’s journey is proof of that.
5. Satine Kryze
One of the more fascinating and fleshed-out cultures we see in Star Wars is that of the Mandalorians. Boba Fett’s appearance in the Star Wars: Original Trilogy gave the impression of a cold and cruel bounty hunter. A ruthless killer. Jango Fett in the Prequel Trilogy seemed to bear this out. But Satine Kryze is different.
The Duchess of Mandalore is a pacifist. After centuries of violence and, in Obi-Wan’s words, “a civil war killed most of [her] people,” Satine brought peace to her nation. But perhaps more impressive than her success is her integrity and devotion to duty. She holds herself to the same standard that she holds her government and stands up to tyranny.
Satine is the one person in Star Wars who says “no” to war, and in doing so, she challenges us to examine the quality of our own morality.
4. Padme Amidala
Crowned the Queen of Naboo, before she could legally drive, Padme Amidala is one of the most influential women in the Galaxy Far Far Away.
Though he manipulates her as a girl, Padme eventually grows suspicious and mistrustful of Chancellor Palpatine.
During the Clone Wars, she and Bail Organa and Mon Mothma organized the Delegation of 2000. This group of Loyalist Senators grow concerned over Palpatine’s accumulation of power and seek to strip him of it before it is too late.
Padme sees through his lies before anyone else – even the Jedi. Perhaps she dies young, but she leaves a legacy far greater than many who lived to be one hundred.
3. Ahsoka Tano
Truly, there can be no greater testament to Anakin’s legacy than that of his padawan, Ahsoka Tano. Born on Shili, Ahsoka was brought to the Order as a baby by the Jedi Master Plo Koon (in the upcoming animated series, Tales of the Jedi, teased at Star Wars Celebration).
Assigned as Anakin Skywalker’s padawan learner at fourteen, Ahsoka is, at first, brash, headstrong, and naive. But throughout The Clone Wars animated show, we watch her transform into a compassionate and skillful commander.
Eventually, she becomes an operative for Bail Organa, going by the codename “Fulcrum,” and renounces the title of Jedi. Though her path diverges from that of the Order, Ahsoka Tano remains a beacon of light and proves that we can all choose our own way forward.
2. Leia Organa Solo
Princess, politician, war leader. General Leia Organa Solo is the face of the Rebellion against the Empire. From a young age, Leia demonstrates intense wisdom, a ferocious spirit, and a relentless passion for justice and the restoration of the Republic.
Like her brother, she is strong in the Force. But where Luke put that strength into rebuilding the Jedi Order, Leia focuses on uniting a fractured society and bringing about the downfall of the Emperor’s evil state.
Leia is the heart of Star Wars. She teaches us that resistance in the face of tyranny is not just a right but also a responsibility. She inspires us to take up space, lift our voices, do the work, get our hands dirty, and love fully. Leia is the star we look for to guide our way through the midnight darkness of a galaxy in turmoil.
1. Sy Snootles
Sy Snootles is a woman who takes everything the galaxy throws at her – except the word “no.” Originally from the planet Lowick, Sy is a talented vocalist whose appeal gets her all the way to Coruscant. There, she falls madly in love with Ziro, a Hutt crime lord. Tragically, they are forced to separate. Ziro promises to come back for her, but he never does.
Sy doesn’t take kindly to being jilted, but opportunity comes knocking when Jabba the Hutt approaches her with a job: kill Ziro. Well, that two-timing, no-good, hoodwinking cad has it coming, and she executes her commission without regret.
After that, she becomes a singer in the Max Rebo band, performing regularly in Jabba’s palace. It’s a good gig (even if it only pays in free meals), but Jabba’s group is ever appreciative of her unique style, and it’s only a shame it ends the way it does.
Still, you can’t keep a good woman down. So perhaps soon, we will witness the rise and return of pop-sensation Sy Snootles!
The Future is Bright!
More than ever, Star Wars is looking to tell stories with women as main characters. These characters are complicated, well-rounded, and have deeply rooted motivations making them feel truly human. These are just ten of our favorites, but more are on the way!
The original series Ahsoka is set to be released next year, while Mon Mothma is likely to feature prominently in Andor. Leslye Headland’s The Acolyte is also a new female lead series (with rumors of Amandla Stenberg leading), and Bo-Katan is all set to play a big part in the Mandalorian’s third season.
It’s clear now, more than ever before, that the future of Star Wars is female, even if it happened a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
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This post was produced by and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Courtesy of Lucasfilm LTD.
Hannah is a fangirl born of fangirls. As a child, she lived vicariously through her favorite stories, but as an adult, she became an actor so she could live them directly. A graduate of the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, Hannah has a deep love of storytelling and analysis. Having gotten her start in writing as a young book critic, she is excited to be expanding into the world of freelancing and fandom content.