In the past decade there has been a steady positive increase in the way women are portrayed through movies and television and last year the three highest grossing films were all led by women; Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That’s a powerful realization when just a few years ago men still highly dominated the blockbuster realm. Movies, and television shows, today are showing women not as damsels in distress but instead as complicated, strong women who don’t need men to dictate their every action or sway their minds. That’s pretty great. And the trend is only continuing. Next year we’re getting an all-female Ocean’s film (awesome) among many other movies undoubtedly helmed by incredible women.
So today, in honor of all of the powerful ladies of cinema, I’m going to compare five magnificent female superheroes against Star Wars’ five greatest heroines. Enjoy!
Scarlet Witch vs. Jyn Erso
I like Scarlet Witch a lot. I’ve liked her since Avengers: Age of Ultron. She’s extraordianarily powerful, she has a cool outfit, and she is a strong character. Unfortunately she’s surrounded by so many more important characters that her story usually is more of an afterthought than the main focus of the movies and so she hasn’t been given the chance to shine yet. Hopefully, in Avengers: Infinity War, she’ll have an actual story in the movie and won’t be used as only a vessel for romance in the film.
Jyn is feisty, strong, she says whatever is on her mind, and she is not afraid of anything. I would say she’s an impeccable heroine. Her role in Rogue One was also fantastic because it never felt obvious that she was the only woman in the movie, besides Mon Mothma and the Leia cameo, because she was such a leader. She helped orchestrate one of the greatest victories the Rebellion ever had and that’s very impressive. She’s also awesome because she has such a rough look.
She never once tries to make herself look good. Her hair is messily tied, her skin is dirty, and her clothes aren’t worn to flatter. I think that’s my favorite thing about Jyn and it’s important for little girls to see a heroine who’s just as tough, or tougher, than the men she’s around.
I love Scarlet Witch but because she hasn’t really been given a story yet Jyn obviously wins this round.
Star Wars Women: 1 point
Gamora vs. Captain Phasma
I remember when I saw Gamora for the first time in the teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy. At the time it was so incredibly bizarre seeing this new world portrayed in the MCU that had these differently colored aliens and a talking tree and a talking raccoon. She looked so amazing in the teaser with her green skin and her drawn sword and I remember being so excited to see the movie. And then I watched the film and I liked her even more.
She was beautiful yet strong, kind yet deadly, and even though she had been a minion of Thanos she had obtained a conscience and became a galactic hero. But her role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 didn’t make her greater. It actually turned her from being the incredible assassin that she was in the first movie into a woman who couldn’t stop thinking about her infatuation for Peter Quill. Ugh. How could you turn such a strong character into someone whose only purpose in the movie is to make Peter cooler?
It was an upsetting development in her story and I’m hoping that this next Avengers movie will change her narrative for the better.
Captain Phasma was an amazing character for so many different reasons. She was one of the tallest women I’ve ever seen in a movie, she held herself with such an imposing countenance, and she was simply awesome. And even though her role in both Star Wars movies was surprisingly minimal she left a permanent stamp on the films because she really was that great.
Yes Gamora has had much more screen time than her but because she wasn’t that great in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 this category has another obvious win.
Star Wars Women: 2 points
Valkyrie vs. Rose Tico
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I love Valkyrie!!!! She is so ridiculously cool that I’m still losing my mind over her. When I saw her in the trailers and commercials I had no idea that she was going to be as awesome as she was but that left the surprise of seeing her in the actual movie. I instantly loved her character since her first appearance in the film because she was so different than all of the other women I’d seen in Marvel films before her.
She was spunky, she didn’t have a care in the world, she wasn’t very nice at times, and she could fight. It was also nice having her be a woman of color. They could’ve easily made her like her comic book version, blond and Caucasian, but what’s the fun in that? Tessa Thompson did an incredible job playing the Asgardian superhero and I’m so excited that she’s part of the MCU.
Rose tore down boundaries by becoming the first major Asian female character in a Star Wars movie and not only was that an incredible feat but she’s also a very magnificent heroine too. She’s smart, independent, strong-willed, resourceful, and she’s such a sweet character. I can’t imagine The Last Jedi without her in it and I’m so glad she’ll probably be in the ninth one as well.
Despite Rose’s awesomeness I’m just a very big fan of Valkyrie’s.
Star Wars Women: 2 points Superhero Women: 1 point
Black Widow vs. General Leia Organa
I didn’t become a big fan of Black Widow until Captain America: The Winter Soldier because up until that point I just thought of her as the flirty assassin who just so happened to be an Avenger. And then I realized how incredible of a character she really was and that she was a lot more complex than she was made out to be in her first two films. And then in Captain America: Civil War she was given more of a leadership role and it made her so much cooler. And not only that but the fact that she’s only an assassin and yet she’s an Avenger is downright astonishing. She has fought aliens and deadly robots and came away from those battles with barely a scratch. That’s pretty impressive.
Now she’s returning in Avengers: Infinity War and I know for a fact that she’s only going to get cooler and I can’t wait to see it.
She was already an incredible heroine when she used to be a princess but now that she’s a general she’s even greater than she used to be. She’s such a strong-willed woman who doesn’t take any mess and that’s why I love her.
Even though I love Black Widow she has nothing on the magnificent Leia and that’s why this is yet another easy win for the Star Wars ladies. (Sorry super heroines.)
Star Wars Women: 3 points Superhero Women: 1 point
Wonder Woman vs. Rey
Wonder Woman is the queen of female super heroes. In fact, I believe she was the first ever female superhero and now, decades later, she’s still taking the world by storm with the help of her beautiful golden lasso.
Last year she got her first stand-alone film and while I mostly enjoyed the movie I felt that they undermined her growth by having Steve Trevor sacrifice himself and ultimately become the hero of the day. That’s not cool. I went to watch Wonder Woman kick butt and take names, not become this Amazonian lass who had never had a boyfriend before and let herself falling in love for the first time dictate her victory over Ares.
It completely transformed my view of her and while I did love seeing her take the leadership position in Justice League I can’t still can’t get over the fact that the reason why she is so powerful and amazing is because of some man who she knew for a few days. I still love Wonder Woman but they messed up royally with her movie.
Rey has not had a weak moment yet. Her story throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi is one of strength, destiny, and finding her place in the galaxy and it has been an incredible journey to follow.
And not only is she a remarkable heroine but she’s the perfect role model for so many girls. She never shrinks from a challenge, she’s always ready to do what’s right, and she shows that vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. I can’t wait to see the last leg of her story and I’m so glad that she is in the Star Wars universe.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I love Rey way more than Wonder Woman any day and this is why. When Rey fought Kylo Ren in StarKiller Base she defeated him by herself. When Kylo Ren pleaded for her to join him she wasn’t blinded by her feelings for him and was able to see that he was still evil. And even when they saw each other in their final Force connection she literally shut the door on him. Ha-ha, yes! I love Rey.
Rey is awesome, pure and simple, and Wonder Woman is just, *shrug*, Wonder Woman.
Star Wars Women: 4 points Superhero Women: 1 point
I wasn’t expecting this little competition to end in a landslide but the women of Star Wars are just so much more developed than these female superheroes. They aren’t treated as second to the men but instead stand alongside their male counterparts as leaders of their own and that’s very important. With Thor: Ragnarok they made Valkyrie as important a character as Thor and The Hulk and that’s why she ended up being the only female superhero who I gave a point. She was given a story and an actual role in the film that was relevant and didn’t reduce her to only being the love interest of the movie and that was refreshing.
All in all, until there are more characters like Valkyrie Star Wars will always win in this category.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.