On Episode 28 of Fangirls Going Rogue we discussed #WheresRey and the shortfall of merchandise for The Force Awakens’ lead character. Using the hashtag #HeresRey as a way to promote merchandise came up in the conversation, so it was exciting to see Ghostbusters director Paul Feig tweet yesterday with that hashtag. Feig is directing an all-female reboot of the franchise. While Rey is the main character in Episode VII, the interactions between two male character far outweigh the number of interactions between female characters. Creating female leads like Ilsa Faust in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Rey in The Force Awakens is a good first step into reflecting real life on screen. The problem in diversity isn’t in flipping one character, though, but creating a cast of characters that reflect diversity. In Rogue Nation, for instance, CIA Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) and IMF Field Operations Director William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) testify before a Senate Intelligence Committee that is starkly white and male, while the actual equivalent in real life is in fact much more diverse. The Force Awakens, also a Bad Robot production, is better than Star Wars has been about diversity, but in many places it could have been better at creating a diverse canvas. Feig has found success telling stories with female leads, from Nurse Jackie to Bridemaids and Spy. Ghostbusters offers a chance to showcase women interacting women in a fantastical adventure that is funny. For a girl who grew up throwing out the line “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts,” I will be handing this movie my money, for theater tickets and merchandise.
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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 TriciaBarr.com.
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