Actress Jodie Turner-Smith, who plays a character who is some kind of leader in the upcoming The Acolyte series, recently made the outlandish claim that “Star Wars is very like patriarchal.”
At Star Wars Celebration 2023 in London, England, Jodie Turner-Smith took to the main stage with her co-star Rebecca Henderson to discuss her role in the show.
Turner-Smith began by saying, “My character, you know, she’s a powerful leader. She’s a powerful leader in a very woman-centered world, which I was very excited to kind of be in that because I feel like Star Wars is very patriarchal.”
She continued, “So it was kind of cool to have this sort of woman-centered figure.”
“And you know she’s really sort of going through a struggle because I mean that’s Star Wars, right? She’s really kind of like in this sort of quandary and that’s sort of her journey is to to kind of go through this struggle between two ideas,” Turner-Smith added.
While the idea of the show being female-centered is not new, it was the main thrust of the series when it was first rumored back in April 2020.
Variety’s Joe Otterson reported at the time, “Details of the exact plot of the series are being kept under wraps, but sources say it will be a female-centric series that takes place in a different part of the “Star Wars” timeline than other projects.”
Headland would confirm the series was female-centric in November 2020 telling YouTuber Fantastic Frankey, “Just because my show is technically yes, ‘female centric,’ meaning it centers around a female protagonist. I don’t think that necessarily excludes men from that space.”
She explained, “Listen, I relate to male characters all the time. Like I root for Mando. Like I root for Luke. I like deeply, deeply… Well, not sure how much I care about Han Solo anymore. When I was little I really liked him. When I watch him now, I’m kind of like, ‘Gosh a lot of my psyche makes sense now. Hmm. Ok.”
“All joking aside, I think that truly, I think that an inclusive space means an inclusive space. But at the same time I think that just because something has a female protagonist doesn’t mean it’s only meant for women,” she added.
Headland would later reveal to AV Club that all of the people working on the show were ideologically aligned, “First of all, I really wanted people that were different than me. I certainly didn’t want a room full people that were just agreeing with me vehemently.”
She then added, “Not ideologically, but artistically—people that kind of had different writing styles or were interested in different things, all that kind of stuff.”
This ideology is almost certainly some kind of radical feminism as its mark is all over Disney Star Wars products and was one of the main things Kathleen Kennedy made clear on how she had and would continue to change the company.
During an appearance at Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit in 2015, Kennedy made clear she had not only set about making sure women were put in positions of influence at the company, but they would also be making films, TV shows, and consumer products targeted at women.
Kennedy explained, “I think the interesting path we’ve had is the conversation that took place around consumer products. Because there were a lot of companies that were in palce who frankly didn’t initially feel that Star Wars was for girls.”
She elaborated, “And when you have a company situation where between Lucasfilm and Disney, we were all looking at this situation saying, ‘No, with Star Wars we have to change this. We have to make sure that we create products that are in a sense appealing to both boys and girls.’ What’s wrong with that?”
She would also detail, “The fact that the company was bought by The Walt Disney Company has been amazing because they very much support the fact that we are trying to grow in the work force a number of women in executive positions and in all positions inside the company.”
“And with the movies that we are making and with the protagonists that we are putting in the stories. So I get a huge amount of support with that,” she continued.
She then touted, “But we have 50% of our executive team are women. And six out of eight of the people in my story group are women. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people that would be surprised that we’re making Star Wars movies and the majority of the people involved in the development of those stories are women. And I think it’s making a huge difference in the stories that we’re trying to tell.”
So the idea that this show would be female-centric or woman-centered is not a surprise. It’s also not a surprise that Turner-Smith would try and claim that Star Wars is patriarchal, this fits perfectly into the feminist ideology the company is rampant with.
Regardless, the claim is completely false. One need only to have watched any of the original films that George Lucas created. Not to mention the aforementioned shows and films that Disney created after they purchased the company and decided to completely reform it in their terrible image.
The prominent political leaders especially of the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars are females and they include Princess Leia and Mon Mothma. When we look at the prequels, Padme or Queen Amidala is the ruler of Naboo and a strong political force within the Galactic Senate.
There are also numerous female Jedi leaders that fell to Darth Sidious Order 66 including Yaddle, Adi Gallia, Depa Billaba, Shaak Ti, and Stass Allie.
Under Disney’s tenure they did a soft reboot of Star Wars with The Force Awakens and sold it as a continuation and replaced Luke Skywalker with Daisy Ridley’s Rey. The Resistance is led by a pale imitation of Leia Organa as well as Admiral Holdo during The Last Jedi.
They introduced numerous other female characters such as Jyn Erso, who takes it upon herself to lead an attack on Scarif in order to obtain the plans for the Death Star. There is also Q’ira who cunningly maneuvered up the ranks of Maul’s Shadow Collective
What do you make of Jodie Turner-Smith’s comments about Star Wars?