Star Wars: A New Hope

The most effective lens to view the film Star Wars: A New Hope from is the gender lens because of the many discrepancies between the male and the female characters. In this movie, there were only three female characters: Princess Leia, Luke’s aunt, and a girl at the bar in the cantina. The girl at the bar was only on the screen for a second or two before the scene changed, and she had no speaking lines. Luke’s aunt died within the first 30 minutes, and she was only shown making food and giving food before she died. Princess Leia was often involved in fights, but she was usually captured immediately and only fought back a couple of times. She was referred to as ‘Princess’ more than ‘Leia’, and she was labeled ‘too trusting’ by a group of men. She was portrayed as helpless, in a sense, and she needed to be saved by a male protagonist. She was looked down upon by everyone else, as shown when Hans said that the group should “avoid female advice” to get out of the Death Star sooner. Watching this film through the gender lens helped me see three prominent things I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. The first was how the word ‘Jedi’ was labeled as ‘his’. This implies that only men can be Jedi, or that there are very few, if any, female Jedi. The next thing I noticed was that the few women in the film usually only spoke after being spoken to first. Leia had a couple of moments where she was the one to talk before any of the men, but most of her lines were preceded by Luke or Hans. The third thing that stood out to me was how after Leia, Luke and Hans were rescued from the garbage compacter, Leia immediately fixed her hair and her dress. This perpetuates the stereotype that all women care about is their physical appearance, especially while surrounded by men. After viewing this film through the gender lens, I can see that it might be about how women are often portrayed as damsels in distress who need to be saved by a strong male character. The whole reason why Leia was rescued in the first place was because Luke thought she was pretty. Two of Hans Solo’s lines in the film were “I don’t know if I like her or if I want to kill her”, and “I’m not in it for you, Princess”. This implies that he wasn’t rescuing her to do the right thing, but rather because she was pretty and rich. This film could also be about how men are often viewed as the ‘stronger sex’ and are stereotypically stronger, tougher, more courageous, etc. In the film, after Luke’s aunt and uncle died, Luke didn’t cry. Instead, he went straight to Obi-Wan and told him he wanted to fight against the people who killed his aunt and uncle. This perpetuates the stereotype that men don’t cry, and instead should turn their sadness into anger. In conclusion, certain films viewed universally today perpetuate stereotypes typically associated with men and women, and therefore can be considered sexist films.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *