While little is known about the upcoming "Star Wars" sequel "The Force Awakens," it is already getting buzz for being more female-friendly than its predecessors.
Actress Daisy Ridley has a prominent leading role as Rey, which has been highlighted in all of the film's early promotional materials. Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the original trilogy, is returning for a reportedly more authoritative role as a "general" this time around. And Kathleen Kennedy, one of the film's producers, has assured fans that the new "Star Wars" films will feature "really strong women."
Director J.J. Abrams echoed this sentiment in an interview Monday on "Good Morning America." “'Star Wars' was always a boy’s thing, and a movie that dad's could take their sons to. And although that is still very much the case. I was really hoping this could be a movie that mothers could take their daughters to as well,” Abrams said.
Abrams' sentiments reflect a "Star Wars" sensibility light years away from the original trilogy — where Leia was saddled with a sexually suggestive "slave girl" costume — and even the more recent prequels, where Natalie Portman's Padme Amidala character largely stayed on the sidelines during most of the action.
Fisher, who has expressed ambiguity over the way her character was costumed in the past, recently spoke candidly about playing the Leia role as a realistically older woman.
“I tried to stop her [from getting older], but apparently that includes death so that didn’t seem like a good solution,” the 59-year-old told TIME magazine. “I wear less make-up ... I’ve seen pictures of myself with make-up on and I look like those women who look like they’re wearing make-up so they can look young, and I don’t think that’s good.”
Meanwhile, Ridley is already reeling from her newfound stardom. She told Glamour UK: "People are getting tattoos! Of my face! Already! And I'm like; you don't even know what Rey is in the story. It seems insane to me."
"The Force Awakens," which has already broken records for ticket pre-sales, hits theaters nationwide on Dec. 18.