Gender in the Saga – SWBTF #23

Welcome back to Star Wars Beyond the Films!

This week hosts Mark and Nathan are joined by special guests Kelly of Big Shiny Robot and Nanci of Tosche Station Radio!
The ladies provide a female point of veiw this week as we focus on gender and sexism in the films and in the EU.
They look at the thin line of portrayal of strong and sexy characters.
Personality goes a long way. Sometimes it’s not about the gender, it’s the character’s personality, these characters don’t need to be made “sexy” they just need to allowed more page time.
Is the “catsuit” of Mara Jade’s just a publishing agenda?

Is the Dark Side sexier?
Cue Mother Talzin: “Yes… yes I am…”

One lesson Nathan learned in Star Wars is that the Empire is bad, anti-alien, and very sexist. And yet we have examples of women within the regime. In universe it seems equality is used well.
Mon Mothma was a chief of state. Even Leia, and no one batted an eye. Daala had a chance to show her stuff in the recent Fate of the Jedi series.

In Fate of the Jedi we were shown a very brutal father daughter scene, was it Sithly enough to work? Or was it too far? The hosts look into this hot topic.

Has the EU been gearing readers to the Dark Times of the Empire? As in it gets harder to shock the readers who are as up to date as possible? Humor runs rampant during this week’s episode. As does the name-calling!
One of the things that bothers Nathan is the occasional gratuitous, over-sexed scenes that we get with the strong characters, hailing back to the films with Leia and her slave outfit.
This gets the hosts pondering if it was purposeful?
Was it a “We can sell posters” mentality?
A basic rule: Give Jaina a lightsaber and let her be AWESOME!

Girls love Star Wars too! Merchandising needs to reflect this! It’s time for the Dathomir Nightsister battlepack! Her Universe appeals to not only girls, but fellas too, yet has created a hub for fangirls to gear up.

Kelly explains what any guy dating a fangirl needs to buy her. Yes it’s a 4 letter word: YODA!

Has sexualization been a taboo topic for Fandom? Is it a “Hot potato” topic? Does Fandom need to be ready for certain themes to be explored? Fandom can occasionally suffer from the “powder keg” effect. Twitter recently exploded over EUCantina’s gender themed articles. Sometimes the powder-keg effect gets fans so riled they miss the point of articles. Such is human nature. And everyone has an opinion. They hosts then turn to the different novels/comics that focus on leading ladies.
The ladies both agreed that The Courtship of Princess Leia had the potential to be a Leia-centric novel, but due to poor characterization it failed to capitalize on the potential.

In the end you can’t please 100% of the people, 100% of the time.

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