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.
My amazing panelists include Ashley Eckstein, Linda Hansen-Raj, Joao Stinson, Joanne Perrault, and Mary Sheridan. Be sure to check Twitter – at both my feed and GeekGirlCon‘s – for live updates. I’ll post a recap here soon, too.
If you’re at the convention, I have some great giveaways for panel attendees courtesy of Random House. They include some of the Mercy Kill iron-ons that first debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, as well as the Scoundrels bookmarks featuring Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and Winter. (I have more Winters than the others because, well, she’s just cooler.) Keep your eye on Twitter for the secret code words to give me to get your hands on one.
Those at the convention also should be sure not to miss the closing celebration on Sunday, which includes a screening of the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold History of American Superheroines, which was previewed at last year’s convention.
Finally, it’s great to see GeekGirlCon getting coverage all around the media. On Thursday, the Digital Life feature on TODAY, Geek girls unite around games, comics and a ‘Buffy’ sing-along, had a very favorable report on the convention. Let’s hope we see even more great coverage afterward.
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 strong female characters. She also writes about Star Wars for Random House’s science fiction and fantasy blog Suvudu.com. Her interview with X-Wing: Mercy Kill author Aaron Allston can be found in this month’s Star Wars Insider Issue 135.
In her spare time, Tricia puts the finishing touches on her first novel, Wynde. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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