I was thrilled to contribute a short essay to The Establishment’s roundtable feature, “The Significance of (Finally) Seeing Yourself in Star Wars.” Here’s a snippet:
At first I was just pleasantly surprised to see plenty of white women and POC among the First Order, the doomed Hosnian Prime inhabitants, and at the Resistance base. By the time we got to Ken Leung’s appearance as Resistance Admiral Statura, I was ready to pump my fist in the air. When I saw Jessica Henwick’s X-wing pilot Jessika “Testor” Pava (the first Asian woman with a visible role in the Star Wars movies) as part of the squadron attacking the First Order’s Starkiller base—and then saw her live—I almost cried. I’d had no idea how desperately I craved visual proof that there was, in fact, a place for people other than white people (and Lando Calrissian) to be heroes, to be allowed to exist in the Star Wars universe.
The roundtable features four other women and myself talking about the different ways Star Wars has impacted our identities and relationships with pop culture. It’s an excellent collection of perspectives and I’m very happy to be a part of it.
I still intend to write a longer piece looking critically at The Force Awakens‘s use of narrative structure and character development, and how it relates to the push-and-pull appeal of nerd nostalgia. But thanks to The Establishment for inviting me to take part in this excellent roundtable!