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What the new 'Star Wars' cast doesn't have

The cast for "Star Wars: Episode VII" was announced Wednesday. But is something missing?
Herb Scribner, Deseret News Modified: April 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm •  Published: May 1, 2014
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The Force doesn’t really seem to be with women when it comes to “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

When the cast of the new “Star Wars” films blasted out from hyperspace on Tuesday, critics and fans alike were left baffled as only two women made the cast list, one of whom is Carrie Fisher, who will reprise her role as Princess Leia.

The other? Daisy Ridley, a relatively unknown actress.

“Ridley does have the distinction of being the one woman on the cast who isn't Carrie Fisher,” wrote Spencer Kornhaber for The Atlantic. “In other words, Abrams's 'Star Wars' sounds like it may keep with the franchise's tradition of spectacularly failing the Bechdel Test.”

Even though the prequels did feature more female characters — like Natalie Portman as Padme Amidala — the recent film doesn’t seem to be going in that direction, Kornhaber. But it’s still possible for women to be cast.

“It's not out of the question, though,” Kornhaber wrote. More actresses could be announced later, though today's starwars.com post referred to the published names as 'the' cast.”

Annalee Newitz of io9.com, an online news website, also wondered where all the women are for the new “Star Wars” films. Newitz specifically mentioned her own daughter, who in the past has been inspired by “Star Wars” characters.

“Having Ridley is great, but one new female lead in a cast of men?” Newitz asked. “That's how we launch ourselves into the future of this series, which inspires little girls with pink swords, as well as old girls like myself who graduated to sharper weapons long ago? Are we seriously still pretending that the universe is comprised almost entirely of men (and mostly white men at that)? Mythic tales are supposed to open up possibilities, not shut them down.”

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