This week, Disney has finally released the hotly-anticipated Forces of Destiny, a series of animated shorts which focuses on the women in Star Wars and some of their small acts of heroism. So far, we know that Rey, Ahsoka, Padme, Leia, Jyn, Sabine and Hera are going to be appearing in Forces of Destiny and I cannot be more excited to see our leading ladies in action!
However, Forces of Destiny has got me thinking a lot about all the women in Star Wars and their little moments of triumph. So I've put together a list of some of my favourite, more minor ladies and how their acts of everyday heroism have influenced the Galaxy Far Far Away...
Whether it’s Sabe or Corde, the handmaidens’ quiet dedication to their beloved Queen is truly admirable. Their role as decoys is subtle and dangerous, whether it’s drawing attention away so Amidala can move freely, or deliberately placing themselves in harm's way when the Queen and later Senator is at risk of assassination. Corde gave her life for Padme without question or hesitation, sacrificing herself for her duty. These are extremely brave women whose importance to the Queen and to Naboo itself cannot be understated.
When Mandalore was torn apart by civil war, Satine Kryze inevitably developed a strong aversion to violence. A devout pacifist, she was tasked with the mission of rebuilding Mandalore as peacefully as possible. She strongly opposed the planet entering the Clone Wars and argued time and time again to prevent it.
Satine’s pacifistic ideals caused her to clash with both Senator Padme Amidala and her old flame Obi-Wan Kenobi. I am always struck by Satine’s determination to stand her ground and stick to her ideals, even if that means disagreeing with people whom she considers friends. It’s one thing to stand up to your enemies and rivals, but I think there is another level of bravery required to stand up to your friends. Due to her principles she managed to maintain Mandalore’s neutrality in the Clone Wars and held true to her beliefs in the most testing times.
Clever and willful, Lyra worked tirelessly against the machinations of Director Krennic for years, sensing the trap closing in around her and her family. She had the tenacity and wits to uncover Krennic’s deceptions, finally uncovering his horrific plans for Galen and the construction of the Death Star. By taking matters into her own hands and arranging for the family to flee Coruscant, she actually delayed the construction of the Death Star for a number of years. Those years were crucial - can you imagine if the Death Star had been built two years sooner, how many more Alderaans could there have been?
She’s not a warrior like Rey or a diplomat like Padme; she’s a normal person trying to get by in the extraordinary circumstances that her family have been put in. Lyra triggered the spark of rebellion in Galen which finally made him see Krennic for the true monster that he was. Lyra’s presence can be felt throughout Rogue One, whether it’s the rebellion in Galen or the faith in the force that ultimately guides Jyn to victory. Lyra is truly the catalyst for victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that without Winter the Solo children from Legends (Jacen, Jaina and Anakin) would be dead ten times over. Yet Winter’s role wasn’t one of public glory and limelight. With her near perfect memory she was an agent for the Rebel Alliance known as Targeter and worked tirelessly behind the scenes first for the Rebellion and then for the Solo family. She was a study in fastidiousness and competence and a quiet hero of the Legends universe.
Her stoicism and quick-thinking enabled her to protect Jacen, Jaina and Anakin from constant threat and abduction abduction. I do believe that without the small, everyday moments of heroism Winter constantly displayed, not only would the Solo family have fallen apart but so too would the New Republic!
A tragic and lonely figure, Shmi’s kindness and quiet bravery are her defining traits. She says to Qui-Gon that Anakin knows nothing of greed, yet neither does Shmi. She has the selflessness to allow Anakin to leave with the Jedi, freeing him to his destiny amongst the stars whilst she remains behind, alone and a slave in the dusty wasteland of Tatooine.
Despite the horrors and atrocities that befall her, Shmi constantly finds love in her life. She marries Cliegg Lars and finds happiness with him. Her final words are filled with love and she goes fearlessly to her death, content that she has seen her son, grown up and handsome - the Jedi he was destined to be. I can’t imagine such bravery and to retain the ability to love after so much suffering is, to me, the greatest strength I have ever seen in the saga.
As I was writing this article and, indeed, as I was watching Rey rescue BB-8 from the Nightwatcher worm, I keep having the same quote of Gandhi’s running through my mind…
“In a gentle way you can shake the world”
And, in their own way, all of these ladies did.
So what did you think of Forces of Destiny? What’s your favourite moment of everyday heroism in Star Wars? Let us know!