My 6 Favorite Female Star Wars Characters
Star Wars is currently producing a mini cartoon series called Forces of Destiny to highlight their female characters, and I think that’s great! Star Wars has always been a little lacking in the female character department. Aside from Princess Leia, there were maybe two other women in the entire original trilogy? And does Aunt Beru even count? Suffice to say, making some original cartoon shorts highlighting Leia, Ahsoka, Rey and others is a great idea!
And it got me thinking about my favorite female Star Wars characters. I used to be a huge fan of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, so I know my fair share of cool, cosmic ladies. I also love how Star Wars is now putting women first, with female leads to both of the new Star Wars movies so far. I think they’re doing a great job and the Forces of Destiny shorts are really neat.
Join me after the jump for my favorite female characters in all of Star Wars, even if some of them aren’t canon anymore. And please share your own favorites in the comments!
6. Doctor Aphra
Doctor Aphra is a pretty new character, created by writer Kieron Gillen for his Darth Vader comic at Marvel. Aphra is a rogue archeologist, a tomb raider crossed with a scoundrel who is just clever enough to outplay Darth Vader. She’s one of the best new additions to Star Wars lore that Marvel Comics has introduced (Black Krrsantan, the evil wookiee, is probably still the best). Aphra is witty, smart and served pretty well as Darth Vader’s sidekick. She’s even got her own comic now! And Gillen even managed to grassroots Aphra into her own action figure! That’s pretty impressive.
5. Falynn Sandskimmer and the ladies of Wraith Squadron
This is going to be pretty darn obscure, and possibly not even the most obscure character on this list. Wraith Squadron was a series of books from back in the Expanded Universe about a group of black ops X-Wing pilots pulling off crazy/awesome stunts in the name of the Rebel Alliance. It was a spin-off of the very popular Rogue Squadron series, and starred Wedge Antilles. There were a ton of memorable characters in Wraith Squadron, and my favorite was Falynn Sandskimmer. She was a rough and tumble scrapper who sacrificed her life to save her teammates, so she didn’t last long, but she was pretty darn cool nonetheless. I will always remember the chip she had on her shoulder that Tatooine had other cool people besides Luke Skywalker, you know.
Wraith Squadron also had badass women like Gara Petothel, the undercover Imperial spy who decided she liked her squadmates so much that she switched sides, or Dia Passik, the former Twi’lek slave girl who would go on to be a long-standing Wraith, or even Jesmin Ackbar, the niece of the famous Admiral Ackbar, who jumped at the chance to be a Wraith because all other commanders wouldn’t put the Admiral’s daughter in harm’s way. Wraith Squadron was awesome and had some really memorable female characters.
Oddly enough, I can’t really remember any of the female pilots from Rogue Squadron…
Considering the obscure, detailed nature of my geekery, it shouldn’t be too surprising that Rey is the only main character on this list (sorry Leia fans!). I super liked Rey in The Force Awakens and I look forward to seeing her in future Star Wars movies. She’s got a cool look, a neat backstory as a fearless metal scrapper, and she’s got a solid destiny ahead of her as a Jedi-in-training. I’m also a big Rey/Finn ‘shipper, so there’s that too.
I never really connected with Princess Leia, and Queen Amidala never mattered much to me. Whereas I’m really digging Rey and look forward to her adventures!
3. Darsha Assant
Now we’re getting obscure! I wouldn’t be surprised if nobody has ever heard of Darsha Assant before, and that’s perfectly fine. There’s no reason anybody should know her — unless, like me, you read and enjoyed the novel Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter back when The Phantom Menace came out! Being a young, budding Star Wars fan, I eagerly devoured anything I could find about Darth Maul, and a full-sized novel was right up my alley! Darth Maul is a badass, Terminator-esque figure in the novel, but he isn’t the protagonist. The heroes of the novel are scoundrel Lorn Pavan and Jedi Padawan Darsha Assant.
Set immediately before The Phantom Menace, Shadow Hunter is about Darth Maul tying up a few loose ends on Coruscant before his master’s plans start going into effect. During his excursions, he kills Darsha’s Jedi Master and then has to track down both her and Pavan to snuff out all witnesses. What followed was a harrowing adventure as Darsha, Lorn and his droid buddy trek through the depths and back alleys of Coruscant in an effort to get away. Eventually, Darsha sacrifices herself in an exciting lightsaber duel with Maul.
Even though I was reading the novel for Darth Maul, Shadow Hunter came to me at an age where I was ready to start opening my geek-love to all things Star Wars. And I loved the book so much that all of the characters have stuck with me, even though they really only had this one appearance. Darth Maul has gone on to do awesome stuff, and I’m sure Darsha is no longer in canon, but she was pretty awesome in this novel.
2. Ahsoka Tano
I was as skeptical as the next person when Star Wars revealed that Anakin Skywalker had his own padawan learner during the time between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. It made no sense! She’d never been mentioned before, and she’d be a pretty big deal in the life of Darth freakin’ Vader. Plus, when Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon first debuted, Ahsoka was an adorable ragamuffin of a kid. And she was an alien, which doesn’t happen very often to main Star Wars characters. Who was this unknown kid?
Only the coolest new addition to Star Wars in years! Ahsoka turned out to be pretty dang awesome, and the story of her journey into adulthood nicely paralleled Anakin Skywalker’s descent into the Dark Side. She’s a tough, charming new hero wielding a pair of lightsabers and willing to stick up for herself against the entire Jedi Order. To say nothing of how badass she became in the follow-up series, Star Wars: Rebels.
The best thing about Darth Vader has always been his humanity, and introducing Ahsoka Tano gave us a new and exciting window in which to view it.
1. Asajj Ventress
Asajj Ventress is just plain cool. There’s no doubt about it. When The Phantom Menace killed off Darth Maul at the very height of his coolness, it was up to the Expanded Universe to fill that missing hole. Along came Asajj Ventress in the original, 2D-animated Clone Wars cartoon. Here was a Sith-trainee wielding dual, curved-handled lightsabers, with a shaved head, a wicked grace and a mean streak a mile long. She was exactly what the Prequels lacked.
Then to make her even cooler, she transitions from bad guy to anti-hero! When Darth Sidious and Count Dooku go about their blustery old man Sith business, they abandoned Ventress and tried to kill her. But nuh uh, that’s not going to happen! She’s going to survive, she’s going to become a rogue bounty hunter type, she’s going to team up with her former Jedi enemies and eventually become a hero in her own right! I love a good story about a villain eventually becoming a hero, and Asajj Ventress is one of Star Wars’ best examples — even if it all happened in the margins. I can live with that.
Who are your favorite female Star Wars characters? Am I a fool to leave off Leia or Jyn or Hera? I almost included Hera. Let me know in the comments!