Rin: Greetings, fellow travelers of the Star Wars universe! Although this isn’t quite going up on the correct day, Ace and I wanted to do a little something special for the Fourth. And what better way to celebrate this expansive franchise than to laud some of the ladies that put the awe in awesome! Now more than ever, given the newest reveal of Episode VII’s cast, we need to show the ladies of that galaxy far far away the love that certain Hollywood directors named J.J. Abrams aren’t willing to.
Obviously, there are more than five amazing women in the Star Wars universe, and there are certainly aspects of canon that Ace and I haven’t read up on; no matter how painful it is to admit, we are not actually perfect. With that in mind, if there’s someone who didn’t make the list who you think should be brought to our attention, drop us a line in the comments! Compared to Ace, my knowledge of the Star Wars canon is passable at best, so I’d love to see more reasons to delve further into the extended universe.
Keep in mind that since the both of us are involved with different parts of the SW universe, this list isn’t ranked from not-as-awesome to most awesome. It’s completely arbitrary.
Spoilers for SWTOR and The Clone Wars below the cut.
Ace: Asajj Ventress from The Clone Wars is one of my favorite characters ever. In fact, she might be my role model. Someday, I want to be just as semi-evil and morally confused as she is. I also want her lightsabers.
Originally trained as a Jedi, then later on as a Sith apprentice, Ventress sure as hell has a colorful history. Despite her moral ambiguity, she is fiercely loyal to her master—at least until he betrays her—and she doesn’t stand for that shit! No, she goes and gets her own apprentice and actually attempts to assassinate Count Dooku. For better or worse, she ultimately failed in this, and finally experienced for herself the grief she had caused others. Though the loss of her Jedi Master had caused her to spiral into the dark side, the betrayal she suffered at Count Dooku’s hands did the exact opposite and sent her on the long road to redemption. Along the way, she saved Obi-Wan’s life from Maul and Savage, and she even teamed up with Ahsoka, who had just been betrayed herself by the Jedi. The fact that Ventress was the only one to recognize Ahsoka’s pain and do the right thing by helping her during this time speaks volumes about Ventress’s character. Through her interactions with both Ahsoka and Obi-Wan, we can see that Ventress has enough character to let go of past grudges and do the right thing—even when no one else will—all while being a bounty hunter and robbing people of their money on the side.
Rin: I like to fancy myself a lady who can dish out the sass, but I have nothing compared to petty criminal and woman of many means, Risha. Playing as a smuggler in Star Wars: The Old Republic (aka: the MMO I was, and still am, obsessed with), you’re already full up on sass from every corner of the universe, but instantly Risha manages to find a special way into the smuggler’s heart. Why’s that? Because she’s committed to fucking over your enemy and the thief of your beloved ship just as much as you are. If you don’t find that a huge point in her favor, I don’t know what to tell you.
Although you come across her while attempting to find the lost treasure of legendary criminal Nok Drayen, she never tries to pull something on you. Sure, she’s selfish, haughty, and a little bitter, but she’s got a loyal streak that’s longer than the goose chase you’re put on to actually find the treasure. Risha displays her heart of gold after finding the last piece to the treasure’s puzzle: the cryogenically frozen body of Nok Drayen. Who also happens to be her father. And a king. Which makes Risha a princess (soon-to-be queen, to be exact). Her father orders her to kill you, but she refuses—truly the start of a beautiful friendship. After her royal roots are revealed, she doesn’t expect to be treated any differently, nor does she stop being a complex character. She worries about how to rule her inherited kingdom, and how to take it back from Drayen’s usurpers. Not only that, she’s not sure if she wants to rule at all. Her kingdom is far away, however, and right now she’s enjoying using her skills in sharpshooting and her, ahem, “diplomacy” to get her everything she can. She might not have a throne, but the universe is going to bow at her feet one way or another.
Ace: We can always count on Mandalore to introduce us to some sweet characters. Bo-Katan Kyrze is a Death Watch lieutenant introduced in The Clone Wars and the sister to the Mandolorian Duchess Satine. At first, Bo-Katan seems like an uninteresting Death Watch villain trying to usurp Satine, but as the seasons went on, she really grew as a character. Though she and her sister are at odds with each other, we can see that they still care and love for one another, and that love is so strong that Bo-Katan eventually takes up arms with the Jedi—people she despises—to fight back against the Sith upon her sister’s murder.
Like other Death Watch members, Bo-Katan wants Mandalore to return to its ancient roots—a militaristic, warrior state. This heritage is something she takes pride in and continues to take pride in. When the Death Watch is taken over by Darth Maul, who kills their original leader, Bo-Katan refuses to serve under him, since he is an outsider and chances are he doesn’t care about Mandalore. Under Maul’s reign, Mandalore ends up in a state of anarchy and chaos. Though Bo-Katan wants Mandalore to return to its roots, she recognizes that it cannot happen under Maul, who is only a danger to her people. Despite being exiled from Mandalore for joining the Death Watch, Bo-Katan still loves her world, and fights to protect it. When we last see her, she tells Obi-Wan, “Mandalore will survive. We always survive.”
Rin: If there’s something that SWTOR does better than anything else, it’s making the Jedi well-rounded, likable people (emphasis on likable). They aren’t only paragons of everything supposedly good in the universe; they’re complex people with problems, moral ambiguity, and just a little bit of spunk. No one better embodies this than the feisty padawan Kira Carsen.
Granted, when I found out my Jedi Knight character was getting a tag-along, at first I was worried. Honestly, I was expecting some useless kid who would spout off words about the force and how maybe telling off that one dude—those many dudes—was a bad idea. But lo and behold, if anyone deserved to be told off, Kira would be the first one to say so and would probably also be the first one to start telling them off. Even though she’s a devout Jedi, Kira has some issues pertaining to the Jedi’s typical hands-off approach to galactic affairs as well as her distaste with how the Republic is handling the war. She wants a Jedi to be at the head of the Republic, yet at the same time she knows all too well that sometimes the light-sided warriors twiddle their thumbs a little too often
. Although she has a unique set of morals for a Jedi—probably stemming from the fact she was born in the Empire and trained as a Sith—she’s still one of the strongest and most devout followers of the light side. But let’s just say there’s a reason why her sabers are green instead of blue.
As an aside, as the only character who seems to realize that the Sith have better fashion than the Jedi, I feel like I can connect with her on a personal level. I understand it’s probably dark sided to worry about that, but come on! Is it really so bad to not want to wear potato sacks with hoods? (I also promise that I haven’t just been playing light sided characters in SWTOR. Seriously!)
Ace: Ahsoka Tano, because seriously. How could we even think of making a list like this without including her? Ahsoka is first introduced as a young Padawan in The Clone Wars. Despite her age, Ahsoka is a skilled Jedi warrior and highly Force-sensitive, capable of performing feats that even her master would find difficult. She’s dedicated, outspoken, and not afraid to take initiative to get things done—sometimes she even goes directly against orders to do it. Despite being a Jedi, she hardly gives into their dogmatic code and instead displays many aggressive tendencies. She’s always determined to get her way and has gone so far as to threaten prisoners with violence for information, even if she didn’t intend to follow through on said violence. (War crimes? What war crimes?)
However, Ahsoka truly became my hero when she left the Jedi Order. The Jedi Order is something she gave her whole life to—she went to war for the Jedi, risked her life numerous times for them, at one point was killed—but despite that, the Order still betrayed her in her time of need. After being exonerated for murder, the Order accepted her back, but Ahsoka refused their offer and left the Jedi Temple with absolutely nothing. Not even her lightsabers. Her denial of the Order after this betrayal, at a time when she relied on the Order for everything, is not something I think I could have done. It was one of the most courageous things I had ever seen a Star Wars character do, and also one of the most emotional. Ahsoka will always have a place in my heart for that. I mean, let’s face it, the other Jedi are kind of assholes.
Rin: Needless to say, this is only a small fraction of incredible women within Star Wars. Hopefully you can see where we’re coming from—if we had made the list a bit longer Leia totally would have been on it, so you can put those torches and pitchforks down. Disagree with our choices? Agree? Let us know in the comments. Until next year, may the Force be with you.