Star Wars heroines to be celebrated with a short animated series
A year and a half ago, the hashtag #WheresRey was making the rounds on social media, as fans awaiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens began to question the lack of merchandise featuring the movie’s main character. Disney has taken note since then and started to commit to female representation that has led to the announcement of Star Wars Forces of Destiny, an initiative that encompasses an animated microseries and a new line of dolls, books and other merchandise, all dedicated to fan-favourite – especially female – characters, according to Slate.
Dave Filoni, executive producer, calls the short animated series „bite-sized, self-contained adventures that take place in different time periods”. A number of Star Wars actors reprising their roles behind the microphone can be found in the cast: Daisy Ridley (Rey), Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren), Vanessa Marsall (Hera Sydulla), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano) and Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata). The voice of young Princess Leia will be done by Shelby Young and Clone Wars actress Catherine Taber will be the voice of Padmé Amidala.
The animated series will be launched on Youtube. A two-part television special with additional shorts will air on Disney Channel this fall. Animation has been a home for diverse, intriguing female Star Wars characters in a way that has not translated well into live-action films, in which one woman seems to be at the center of action. Rogue One is the first film in the Star Wars franchise that offers top billing to a woman.
A new line of dolls, re-branded „adventure figures” by Disney, is set for launching. The dolls will include mostly female characters, but some male characters as well, such as Luke Skywalker and Yoda. The new figures come as a clear sign that the will of fans has been heard.