Recently, the Star Wars Kids Youtube page has been incrementally releasing lots of animated shorts that are absolutely fantastic. This series, Galaxy of Adventures, adapts moments from the films and turns them into animation.
These have been incredibly well-received… until recently. And the reasoning for that is so blatantly horrifying and sexist that it’s disappointing but not surprising.
First, let me illustrate what I’m talking about: here are the Galaxy of Adventures videos that have been released so far, along with how many likes and dislikes they have on the Star Wars Kids Youtube page (as of Saturday afternoon). See if you notice something quite striking…
Luke Skywaker – The Journey Begins – 4.1K likes, 219 dislikes
Darth Vader – Power of the Dark Side – 6.5K likes, 327 dislikes
Luke Skywalker vs. the Wampa – Cavern Escape – 3.8K likes, 486 dislikes
R2-D2 – A Loyal Droid – 2.5K likes, 75 dislikes
Chewbacca – The Trusty Co-Pilot – 2.7K likes, 136 dislikes
Darth Vader – Might of the Empire – 3.6K likes, 102 dislikes
Luke vs. the Death Star – X-Wing Assault – 5.4K likes, 317 dislikes
Han Solo – Galaxy’s Best Smuggler – 3.7K likes, 238 dislikes
Chewie vs. Holochess – Let the Wookiee Win – 3.1K likes, 257 dislikes
Luke vs. Emperor Palpatine – Rise to Evil – 13K likes, 626 dislikes
Luke Skywalker vs. Darth Vader – Join Me – 13K likes, 533 dislikes
Yoda vs. Count Dooku – Size Matters Not – 11K likes, 261 dislikes
Princess Leia – The Rescue – 5.8K likes, 6.9K dislikes
Stormtroopers vs. Rebels – Soldiers of the Galactic Empire – 5.5K likes, 82 dislikes
Did you notice it? Of the fourteen videos, the second-most dislikes are 627 (and that’s compared to over 13K likes). But the most dislikes? Over 6.9K (compared to 5.8K likes). There is nothing fundamentally different about the style of that video than the others. The only difference? Leia gets to be the hero.
Seriously. If you’ve read comments from Star Wars fans on social media over the last week or so, you’ll see that the primary problem some fans have with this short is that Leia is made to look like the badass and Luke looks incompetent. Now, I will grant this point: those things are exaggerated a bit in this short. But of course they are! That’s the way this entire series has been, so that line of disagreement doesn’t hold up at all. Nobody had a problem with Darth Vader levitating off the ground and throwing things at Luke. Nobody had a problem with Luke Skywalker swinging around the lightsaber like crazy after receiving it in A New Hope. Nobody had a problem with Han Solo standing on the Falcon’s ramp as it was taking off firing back at stormtroopers. Nobody had a problem with Count Dooku using both his lightsaber and Force lightning at the same time in his duel against Yoda. But do you know what’s common amongst all of those things? They didn’t happen the same way as in the films. That’s kind of the point of adapting these things into animated shorts, and that’s one of the things people have praised it for.
But now that a woman takes center stage, some of these Star Wars fanboys can’t handle that! Surely a woman couldn’t be that awesome, right? Seriously, any argument about this short exaggerating the events of the films should immediately be levied against the others as well. The fact that only one of these has been faced with this level of criticism proves that it’s not actually these adaptations that are the problem but rather the content of this one. Now, I’m not one to typically resort straight to accusations of sexism, but this seems pretty clear to me: it’s blatantly sexist, coming from a bunch of men who are too insecure in their masculinity to see a woman doing something cool and great; from men who can’t seem to view Leia as anything more than a hot young (soon-to-be bikini-clad) heroine.
There’s another factor at play here too, though: those ‘fanboys’ don’t actually understand that scene from A New Hope at all either. Because let’s recap real quick: it was Leia who took the gun and began firing at the stormtroopers in the detention cell hallway; it was Leia who grew frustrated with the lack of a plan from Luke and Han and thus took matters into her own hands; it was Leia who fired back at the stormtroopers as Luke struggled to get the grappling rope ready. And furthermore, Luke Skywalker was actually quite a dork in A New Hope… which is why the growth we see both within the film and within the original trilogy is so great. Sure, Luke is a hero in ANH, but he’s not a perfectly competent one. My point is just that he’s a lot closer to the figure we see in this exaggerated clip than many fanboys remember. So this short truly shows nothing that the movie didn’t, but it simply does so in an exaggerated way to make it highlight the hero and fit within a minute (and I’ll add that this isn’t even close to being the most exaggerated of these clips). Leia was without a doubt the most competent and heroic of the main trio, and there was no scene that displayed that better than when the attempted rescue of the princess turned into the princess rescuing herself.
It is honestly shameful how a small yet vocal segment of Star Wars fans has decided that any female presence in the films must be Lucasfilm trying to push a SJW feminist agenda, because not only is it entirely horrible and disrespectful and sexist, it also misunderstands fundamental aspects about these movies.
The strongest character in Star Wars has always been Leia Organa, a woman… But if you listen to sexist idiots on the internet, you’d think it’s something that was a recent addition in this film franchise they claim to know and love so well. And that’s certainly a foul stench.