The Internet has been buzzing for the past 48 hours over the brand new teaser for "The Force Awakens," this December's highly hyped and anticipated new "Star Wars" film helmed by director J.J. Abrams.
Yet despite the return of beloved familiar faces like Harrison Ford as Han Solo, some fans of the sci-fi blockbusters have been curious: Where are the ladies at? According to Entertainment Weekly, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has promised that the new "Star Wars" films going into production will mark a change of pace in terms of gender diversity.
At a "Star Wars Celebration" event held this week in Anaheim, California, Kennedy assured fans that the new films and their spin-offs will feature several "really strong women."
The first two teaser trailers, while short on plot and character details, have prominently featured a new character called Rey played by actress Daisy Ridley. In prior "Star Wars" films actresses Carrie Fisher and Natalie Portman were the lone heroines in their respective universes.
Fisher, who appeared alongside castmates Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels at the same Anaheim panel discussion, remarked on the new female additions to the franchise. “It’s good to have a little help,” she says. “But I liked being the only one when I was 19 … Now I need a little help.”
Meanwhile, with the casting of non-white actors John Boyega, Oscar Isaac and Lupita N'yongo, the world of "Star Wars" is about to get more ethnically diverse as well. In previous installments, Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L. Jackson were the lone actors of color in prominent speaking roles, although the legendary James Earl Jones did voice the iconic Darth Vader.
"The Force Awakens" will hit U.S. theaters on Dec. 18.