Why The Female Characters are the Best Part of “The Last Jedi”

Matthew Loffhagen
Lucasfilm
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new “Star Wars” movie out. It has all the characters you’ve come to love, plus a bunch of new ones.

While delving into spoilers at this point, when most people still haven’t seen the movie, feels a little unfair, there is one thing that fans should know before going in.

This movie is one which, more so than any other in the history of “Star Wars”, is defined by powerful performances from women in key roles.

Many moviegoers have noted that Disney’s “Star Wars” movies have centered around female leads in a way that earlier movies did not. There are only a handful of noteworthy female characters in the first six movies in this series, but from “The Force Awakens” onwards, the focus has been on creating strong, enjoyable female role models that are likely to be just as influential to a generation of children as Luke Skywalker has been for decades now.

“The Last Jedi” takes the seeds created in “The Force Awakens”, and rolls with it, giving Rey a more nuanced story of personal discovery and development that serves for much of the emotional crux of a very long film.

Rey
Source: Lucasfilm

That said, Rey isn’t the only female character who steals the show. Laura Dern’s Admiral Holdo is a genuinely interesting character who has been introduced to the mythos for a very specific purpose, and she’s crucial to providing an interesting miniature story arc within the movie.

Without going too far into spoilers, it’s hard to say too much, but be aware: you should be paying attention to Admiral Holdo. She definitely deserves to become a fan favorite character, and will no doubt inspire an awful lot of cosplayers for the next few years.

Rose
Source: Lucasfilm

Then there’s Rose, played by Kelly Marie Tran. She is wonderful. She’s basically you, if you were a “Star Wars” character – just pleased as punch to get the chance to participate.

She also has one of the more fulfilling narrative arcs for any of the movie’s side characters, bringing a lot of charm to this movie and helping to make the lengthy runtime feel like it might actually be worthwhile.

You will fall in love with her very easily, and for good reason – she’s pretty much the coolest.

Leia Organa
Source: Lucasfilm

Then, there’s the queen of this movie.

Of course, Carrie Fisher was always going to steal the show. Her mere presence in this, her final cinematic appearance before the death, was inevitably going to make audiences tear up.

What makes this all the more enjoyable is that Fisher really brings the story together, delivering what might well be her greatest performance in any movie in her entire career.

If you’re a hardcore “Star Wars” fan, or just one of Carrie Fisher’s many, many disciples, this movie will make you sit up, teary-eyed, as you watch genuine Hollywood Royalty ending her career in style.

This movie will bring the feels in a way that you might not expect, both in big, grand moments of excitement, but also, perhaps more importantly, in small, subtle character interactions that carry so much power that you might well burst.

Admiral Holdo
Source: Lucasfilm

This is all achieved thanks to some truly spectacular performances from a group of incredible female actors. Seriously, if you like what was done with Rey and General Organa in “The Force Awakens”, this might just be your new favorite movie.

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