Star Wars, Strong Female Characters, and GeekGirlCon

Summer is convention high season. While last year’s trip to San Diego Comic Con ranked in the awesome category, I have to admit that being a part of the first GeekGirlCon was the experience of a lifetime. So when my panel application for the 2012 convention was accepted earlier this month, I acted a bit more like a squealing fangirl faced with the prospect of meeting Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, or Harrison Ford than the calmer demeanor that would be befitting a panel moderator.

From Jedi Princess to Sith Witch – An Exploration of Female Characters in Star Wars

Since their appearances in the Star Wars movies, the iconic female heroines Padmé Amidala and Leia Organa have proven to be touchstones in discussions among the feminist movement. This panel will push past the two main movie characters and delve into the ways female characters have been presented in the books, comics, videogames, and The Clone Wars animated television series. Panelists will discuss the recurring theme of the Jedi Princess in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and how being depicted as Force users and/or royalty helps and hinders the characters and their perception in the fandom. Counterbalancing the heroines, we will consider how Sith witches and other villainesses have moved beyond stereotypical caricatures often found in fairy tales to reveal powerful, determined women. The panel also will discuss “ordinary” female characters such as bounty hunters, intelligence agents, smugglers, and fighter pilots and how they can capture the fans imagination with the “extraordinary” things they do without mystical powers. Throughout the conversation, strong female portrayals will be highlighted as well as exploring areas where those portrayals can be improved. The last fifteen minutes would be open for questions from the audience.

In the next month I’ll introduce the panelists, each of whom are fangirls of the extraordinary caliber. In a day or two I’ll post a guest blog from a Seattle resident Sabina Cao sharing the perspective of the GeekGirlCon team. In the meantime, here are some of my posts related to last year’s GeekGirlCon:

Click here to read the recap of the panel.

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