On Strong Women

Okay, enough game postings. Let’s talk about something else.
I saw Star Wars 3 last Friday, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Think I need to see it again and maybe sit a bit further from the screen to really enjoy the action to the fullest. But one of the things that really struck me in SW3 was how Padme has become a complete wimp.
In SW1 she was a very strong character, a Queen although she was 14 or whatnot. In SW2 she fell for Anakin, the violins surged, and she got the opportunity to dance around in that “Sound of Music” scene with Anakin riding the giant ticks. Now, in SW3, she basically sits at home pregnant, in the penthouse of a huge tower, sullenly gazing out at the ships travelling by and fretting about when Anakin will return. What happened to the strong Queen? Is George Lucas trying to make a statement about what pregnancy does to women? I don’t think so, I think it’s just entertainment and has little hidden meaning, but I sure missed Strong Padme.
One of the things I enjoy the most about art is how it reflects back at the viewer; art doesn’t exist in a void, it exists as part of a dialogue with those who are observing it. You can see yourself in your own reactions to art. For me, SW3 really highlighted how appreciative I am of strong women. I don’t for a minute believe that one has to surrender their life in order to have children, which seemed to be implied by the movie.
I was pleased to see an article on Alternet today that echoed my thoughts… Star Wars III: The Curse of Pregnancy.
Okay, I have more thoughts on that, but I’ll stop for now. Just a quick jot. 🙂






5 responses to “On Strong Women”

  1. David Avatar

    you are reading way too much into SW3. In fact I would argue against seeing it as art at all. Don’t get me wrong, film can be art. However a picture may be art, but it may also be of me at the Grand Canyon. Lucas saw two roads in the woods and he took the one everyone else does and it did not lead to art. If you want to read into movies go see American Beauty, Whale Rider, Blade Runner or dozens of others I can’t think of now. If I ever see Jar Jar in the MET I will recind my lifetime membership.

  2. markdeloura Avatar

    Hiya DT! I think we have different definitions of art. Mine is a big fat wide-open “everything is art” definition. I’m not making a distinction between good art (to me) or bad art (to me).
    For me, SW3 is definitely art as it’s a film, which is an artform just like music and games. I don’t think Georgey was trying to make a societal reference with the diminishing role of Padme, but he’s certainly not averse to doing that. All the political stuff in SW2, for example. In an interview with Time a few years ago, Lucas commented “All democracies turn into dictatorships

  3. Midichlorian Mike Avatar
    Midichlorian Mike

    I thought that was very odd, too, actually. She had played such a large part until the third film, it was, at least to me, a very noticeable absence.
    During E3, I had the pleasure to sit in on a good old fashioned Hollywood pitch (It was fun!), and it was very interesting to hear that the screenwriter had switched a main character from a strong female lead to a strong male lead. I asked why it happened, and the response was some crazy insight into the Hollywood system. I was told that, currently, strong female characters are turning off audiences. With Catwoman and Elektra cited as examples, studios are cool to the idea of a strong female protagonist.
    Lunacy! BTW- Obi Wan’s Midichlorian count is officially 13,400. Darth Maul’s was 12,000. That makes sense, but Obi Wan smacked down Anakin, who was a 27,700! What’s up with that! Leia is 14,500 – she should have been levitating fruit and utensils all along! AIRWOLF!

  4. David Avatar

    Okay here’s the official H-wood explanation I got in film school. Men will go see strong male characters and women will go see strong male characters. However while women will go see strong female leads, men usually will not. Since the male audience is the key demographic movies shy away from it. If you think I’m wrong think about the rest of the country, not just the coasts.

  5. markdeloura Avatar

    Hey DT…
    I don’t doubt for a second that what you say is true. I think you and I should start a business to create the perfect movie: it’ll be a movie that has been created through polling and focus group testing throughout the world so as to maximize its applicability and interest. Think how much money Hollywood will be able to save once we’ve created it. No longer will they need to worry if they’re going to offend someone or create a character or scene which doesn’t suit people in some area of the world. No longer will people feel the need to argue whether Star Trek or Star Wars is better, or why Close Encounters is a classic but perhaps Jaws isn’t. We’ll make billions!