Ever since its success in 1975, the world of “Star Wars” has expanded significantly, encompassing 11 feature films and countless television shows. Just recently, Disney announced that they will be releasing a spin-off series featuring Ahsoka Tano, with Rosario Dawson in the lead role. Ahsoka used to be Anakin Skywalker’s Jedi apprentice before his fall to the Dark Side.
Ahsoka’s spin-off is just one way the “Star Wars” franchise is expanding on female characters. Much like how Carmilla of “Castlevania” showcased women can be badass threats by themselves, new entries in the franchise can focus on the exploits of other “Star Wars” girls.
There are now plenty of female “Stars Wars” characters you can fawn over, from the Mandalorian fighter Bo-Katan Kryze to the classic Princess Leia. But what about the “Star Wars” girls that few people are aware about?
Let’s look at the four lesser known female “Star Wars” characters that have changed the galaxy.
Mara Jade Skywalker
Before Disney began to make new movies under the “Star Wars” banner in 2014, the galaxy far, far away was populated by works of dozens of authors, some of which were turned into video games, comic books or fantasy audiobooks. This so-called Expanded Universe was relegated to non-canon status with the release of “The Force Awakens”. Many “Star Wars” girls who had developed significant followings in the Expanded Universe disappeared, and one of the most devastating losses was Mara Jade Skywalker.
Mara Jade Skywalker was an Emperor’s Hand, one of the most feared assassins in the galaxy. She directly reported to the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and enacted acts of sabotage and assassination for him. She was also a formidable Force user, using her powers to further her goals. Mara Jade would become a criminal smuggler after the fall of the Empire and its in this capacity that she would cross paths with Luke Skywalker.
Over the course of many adventures, Mara slowly gained respect for the Jedi Master. Eventually, after solving many crises together, she married him and became a Jedi Master on her own merit. Mara Jade Skywalker became just as important a political figure in the galaxy as Princess Leia.
With her redemption arc and wide range of skills, from sabotage to Force-assisted combat maneuvers, Mara is one of the most powerful female “Star Wars” characters. She also served as an excellent companion to Luke, often displaying cold ruthlessness borne from her time as the Emperor’s Hand. Her loss to the “Star Wars” canon is immeasurable and here’s to hoping that future “Star Wars” girls can live up to her reputation.
Unlike Mara Jade Skywalker, Jedi Master Jocasta Nu was not relegated to non-canon status when Disney acquired the property.
Jocasta Nu’s role in the story was further expanded. She first appeared in the films in “Attack of the Clones”, serving as the Chief Librarian of the Jedi Temple Archives. She is the Jedi Master who told Obi-Wan Kenobi that the planet of Camino did not exist.
Following this brief appearance, Master Nu only appears in fanfiction and non-canon works like the PlayStation video games. However, she has since speared in the animated “Clone Wars” series and the Darth Vader tie-in comic books in 2017.
In the latter work, Jocasta Nu is trapped on Coruscant following the Great Jedi Purge. She knew she could never leave the planet and instead chose to confront Darth Vader personally, protecting an enormous database of Force-sensitive children. She warned Vader that the Emperor would use the information for terrible deeds and, although the Sith Lord killed her, he did prevent the information from being used by his master.
Long after her death, Nu remains and influential “Star Wars” girl. Luke Skywalker managed to successfully restart the fallen Jedi Order thanks to the information she had previously guarded.
Not every female “Star Wars” character worked with the Light Side and Natasi Daala is one of them. She is perhaps most known for being one of the few women in the galaxy to attain the coveted rank of admiral in the Imperial Starfleet. Natasi Daala was ruthless and driven, made even more prickly by her male peer’s disdain. However, she secured her rank through skill and by impressing the infamous Grand Moff Tarkin, the mind behind the Death Star projects.
Natasi Daala was charged with protecting the infamous Maw Installation, a weapons development facility that churned out the Empire’s superweapons. She became a threat to the peace of the New Republic when she emerged from the Installation with a fearsome fleet and hungry to carve herself a piece of the fallen Empire.
Despite numerous setbacks and encounters with the New Republic and even running afoul of Han Solo, Natasi Daala escaped all consequence. She even became the head of state for the Imperial Remnant, eventually working together with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia to ensure peace in the galaxy.
Perhaps one of the most egregious losses to the roster of “Star Wars” girls is Jaina Solo, the only duahgter of Han Solo and Princess Leia. She was originally the twin sister to Jacen Solo, who would eventually fall into darkness and become the Sith Lord Darth Cadeus. Just like her twin brother, Jaina carried the potent power of the Skywalker bloodline and was a formidable Jedi like her uncle.
When Jacen became a Sith Lord and murdered his aunt Mara Jade Skywalker, it fell to Jaina to kill her own brother and bring balance to the Force. The endeavor would take years and require the cooperation of multiple factions, including the Imperial remnants themselves. Jaina eventually defeated and killed her brother, bringing Darth Cadeus’ reign of terror to an end.
Although Jaina’s character was not translated completely to the new movies, she is perhaps most embodied by Rey Skywalker. Just like Jaina, Rey is tasked with defeating the son of Han Solo who had fallen in darkness.
These are just a handful of the “Star Wars” girls whose stories have been all but forgotten thanks to the new movies. Here’s hoping that the likes of Bo-Katan Kryze and Rey Skywalker can carry the torch and the legacy these characters left behind.