The casting in Star Wars now has everyone thinking, thanks to Colin Hanks and his 4-year-old daughter. Tom Hanks’ son shared a photo on his Instagram account, recalling the time he introduced his daughter to the Star Wars characters.
Hanks is a huge fan of the Star Wars franchise and wanted to teach his daughter about it. But there’s a huge problem. There aren’t enough female characters in the popular movies.
“So, the other night, on May the 4th to be exact, I sat down with my 4 year old daughter and showed her Star Wars: A New Hope. It was her first time watching it. She loved it. Her favorite character was Princess Leia. She kept asking ‘Where is Princess Leia?’ A few nights later, I show her Empire Strikes Back (or as she called it ‘The Emperor stripes back) and within four minutes of watching the movie she says, ‘It’s so tiring watching these movies. It’s always boys, boys, boys and there’s only one girl.’
I could not of been more proud of her. So today I take her to Toys ‘R’ Us to buy her a light saber and a Princess Leia toy. After being told that the light sabers were ‘in the boys section’, she picks out the light saber of her choosing and asks about the Princess Leia toy. One problem: they only had the ‘slave Leia’. As you can see, sad depressing, ‘slave Leia’. So wrong.”
Hanks, 37, ended his story by thanking his daughter for teaching him an important lesson, especially when it comes to casting in sci-fi and action movies.
“The only good to come from this is that, once again, my daughter makes me look at the world in a whole new light.”
Unfortunately, Hanks and his daughter aren’t wrong. Up until the prequels, the only other female character in the Star Wars universe is Princess Leia. If you watch the prequels, then you have Queen Padme Amidala in The Phanton Menance. Other than that, there are not many female characters that little girls can look up to or even relate to.
This gives people a realistic view of how little girls feel about the lack of strong female heroes in popular action, science fiction, and superhero movies. There’s not even many female characters when it comes to the toy merchandise. Society has led girls (and parents) to think that they don’t want to play with action figures when that’s not always the case.
This comes after the news when Avengers star Mark Ruffalo noted that the merchandise lacked when it came to the female Avenger, The Black Widow. The actor asked for more “superhero women” not only in merchandise, but in movies as well.
All eyes will be on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when it hits theaters this December. Carrie Fisher was announced to reprise her role as Leia. Daisy Ridley was casted as Rey, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, and Lupita Nyong’o is Kanata. Maybe J.J. Abrams will finally take notice and add more strong females to the Star Wars franchise.
What are your thoughts on Colin Hanks’ Instagram post?
[Image: Mike Windle/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival]