The new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out, and the Internet is not sparing any chills whilst fangirling about it. Sure there was much hype surrounding the first look at the trailer (the studio went so far as to release a trailer for the trailer) and that did sound off some warning bells with the skeptics. But just one look into it and all the feels about Star Wars (and the very, very extended universe) are back. If you haven’t watched it just yet, take a look (at the video posted above) before you proceed.
To set the premise, what we know so far is that the plot will revolve around a band of Rebel fighters on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The story is set in that time between the formation of the Galactic Empire, but before the events that transpire in Episode IV: A New Hope. The trailer features Jyn Esro (Felicity Jones), who is described as “impetuous, defiant and eager to bring the battle to the Empire” (not by us, of course). She and her gang are seen trying to intervene in an ‘imminent weapons test’—yes, it involves the Death Star—so the Rebel forces know how to destroy it. We know very little about Jyn from the trailer, except that she might have a dodgy past that has been alluded to in the trailer. But from the looks of this two minute-long trailer, she kicks all sorts of ass.
Now, Star Wars has been one of those franchises, which is far from being accused of being patriarchal or sexist (and there are so few franchises we can add to this list). From Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and her #BossLady style of leadership, and Padmé Amidalla (Natalie Portman) with her no-nonsense approach as the ruler of Naboo, to Rey (Daisy Ridley), the latest in the league of extraordinary women who took down Kylo Ren in spectacular style, the female characters of Star Wars do not come across as cinematic tropes.
To say they have always been strong and exemplary would be wrong; case in point: the infamous slave outfit Leia donned while serving the damsel-in-distress plot point in The Return of the Jedi. There has also been much discussion about Rey and the Mary Sue problem in The Force Awakens, last year. But that should in no way cloud judgment when taking the whole series into consideration. Star Wars is and has been through its inception in 1977, a WIP universe with gender equality at its fore.
In all honesty, this equality has not come easily to the female characters—might we remind you of the train-wreck Padmé’s character was reduced to in Episode 3, where all she did was serve her wifely duties of keeping Anakin’s temper in check? But over the four decades (yes, it has been THAT long), the characters have evolved—faltering, stumbling, and growing stronger by the day; just like gender roles in our society have. They are not all princesses (like Leia) and queens (like Padme), they are also scavengers who are Jedi knights-in-the-making and fugitives who use their skills for nobler causes.
So with Rogue One‘s arrival, let’s take this moment to celebrate the women of the Galaxy Far, Far Away. Can’t hardly wait to see what’s in store for Jyn Esro in December.