It’s no wonder Rey and General Leia Organa got along so famously from the moment they met. As great as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Finn are, they get themselves into a lot of trouble in the Star Wars universe — and the ladies cleaned up a lot of their messes.
Now, Rey and Leia’s stories will continue, with both characters, and more, being featured in the upcoming Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, an animated series from Disney XD that’s looking, so far, to be the most blatantly feminist project from Lucasfilm yet. And as much as someone’s definition of feminism might vary from another’s, Forces of Destiny is certainly looking to be, at least, the most female-focused project in Star Wars history.
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, an upcoming animated miniseries from Disney XD and writer Jennifer Muro (Lego DC Super Hero Girls), will delve into the franchise’s female characters and add canon — if short — background stories for them. Among the characters will be Leia Organa (voiced by Shelby Young), Jyn (Felicity Jones), Rey (Daisy Ridley), Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), and Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), all of whom will appear in at least one three-minute episode each.
Of the show, Muro told Den of Geek: “Going into it, I want to represent everyday heroism and the heroic moments that shape these characters in different ways, Leia would handle a situation one way, Ahsoka another way, Jyn another way. That was the goal all along.”
Despite the overwhelming cultural love for the late Carrie Fisher’s Leia (who first kicked ass in a white dress and space buns 40 years ago), the majority of the Star Wars franchise’s female characters have been recent inventions. Leia was the lone lady in a galaxy far, far away for a long time. Natalie Portman’s Padme Amidala was introduced in 1999’s Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, proving that a 14-year-old girl could be both a queen and a military commander.
It wasn’t until 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens that a live-action female character was given both a lightsaber and a speaking part. Ridley’s Rey changed the rules of the Star Wars universe, with Jones’s Jyn following up the next year as the hero of the Rebellion in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Now, these female characters will get a little more backstory, with each of their three-minute episodes focusing on their “everyday heroism,” which may or may not include lightsabers, blasters, and exploding Death Stars. Some of the events of the series might be a little tamer.
Star Wars: Forces of Destiny will premiere on Disney XD and Youtube on July 10.