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.



Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to

8 thoughts on “Star Wars, Strong Female Characters, and GeekGirlCon

  • April 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Wow – I can’t watch to catch your panel at GeekGirlCon. It sounds amazing!

    • April 20, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      My typing = fail. I can’t WAIT to catch your panel. :)

  • April 20, 2012 at 1:12 am

    This sounds so cool! I admit, this is the first time I’ve heard of Geek Girl Con, and it sounds awesome! I will make plans for next year (unfortunately it is at the same time as the Star Trek Con in Vegas which I go to!) Have fun with your panel!

  • April 20, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Thanks, Susie and Lindsay! GeekGirlCon was pretty close to the Star Wars convention too. Luckily the timing worked out.

  • May 10, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Looks like I may have to go again this year!

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