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In my last post, I covered some of the options for Princess Leia toys that are available. As of this writing, Princess Leia has been no less than a cultural icon for 38 years. She is truly a strong female character, who is a princess- now Disney Princess actually, and is a woman who can stand up to evil and fire a blaster with precision while wearing dresses and keeping her hair immaculately coiffed. It is certainly not necessary for a woman to have a put together appearance while being strong, but for my kid that who wants to wear only dresses, pink and purple and loves all things glitter, Leia is a hero she can identify with.
Even though Star Wars brought us an enduring image of female strength, the original movies themselves did not have a great many other women in them. With the release of Episodes I-III, Queen Amidala was introduced. Amidala was a woman who knew how to dress and was certainly brave, but she does not seem to have the same resonance with people as Leia. While there are some toys of Amidala still available, such as the Fashion Play Set discussed in the Leia edition, a quick search for Amidala or Padme on Amazon reveals mostly costumes.
I do particularly like the below pose of the 4th figure from above. She was not a sex slave like Gold Bikini Leia was in her chained movie scene- but that doesn’t stop her from being marketed sexily. Note in the pose below how the chain is wrapped around her neck, not secured to her- but she holds it in her hands like a feather boa- rather than taking it off and kicking some butt. ALSO- during this scene in the movie, Anakin and Obi Wan are actually chained and in the arena with her. In my cursory internet search, I could find action figures of Anakin and Obi Wan from this scene but neither had chains. I am not saying they don’t exist- I am just saying if they do, they are so buried amidst their other action figure likenesses that I could not easily find them. Amidala has very little toys available and one of them might as well be called “sexy Padme with chain.” Super.
In a little over a month, the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters and already there is a huge marketing push for toys, clothes, anything. It does appear that Disney and LucasFilms are considering girls this time. A woman, Rey, is featured prominently in all advertising and already has so many toys available- and we don’t even yet know who the heck she is or what she is like! Though recently released footage shows her piloting the Millennium Falcon like a boss.
One of the things my husband has always says, is that the bad guys really look cooler than the good guys in Star Wars. It is true and my kid and husband are both drawn to the bad guy toys over the toys of the good guys- I mean Darth Vader is the ultimate image of movie villain. This Halloween, two of the most popular Halloween costumes I saw were the girl versions of Vader and a Stormtrooper. A couple of years ago, Newt was Vader for Halloween- though a slightly more “Newt” version- as she insisted her costume be pink and have glitter “all over it.”
One of the coolest looking characters from any of the Star Wars movies in my opinion is Captain Phasma.
Yes, Captain Phasma is a villain, but guess what? Phasma is also a woman!! None other than Brienne of Tarth herself, Gwendoline Christie.
And of course….TOYS!! Readily available TOYS!!!
Cool looking (and non-villainous), strong, female characters. Far under-represented in the toy lines. This article discusses the issue well, especially the lack of Hera merchandise- which is crazy because Hera is the coolest of the bunch- ask my kid and her friend. The article also has a breakdown of some of the actual numbers of merchandise produced by character. There are a few figures, though, of course packaged with a male toy.
It is not a toy, but last weekend I did make a dress for my daughter and one for her friend with Star Wars Rebels fabric because you just can’t find apparel with Hera and Sabine’s likenesses on it. Nothing fancy- but since I don’t really know how to sew- not too bad, if I do say so myself. I actually used this tutorial to figure out how to make it, and if I could do it- really anyone could. Easy solution to the Geek Mom problem of not finding enough geeky clothes for their Geek Girls!! You can find this particular fabric on Amazon, Hancock Fabric or Jo Ann Fabric.