Have you heard? Lucasfilm just hired David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of Game of Thrones, to direct their very own Star Wars trilogy. I don’t know about you guys, but I think this is a great move for the franchise. We’re living in a new age of feminist progress: predators are being exiled, grassroots campaigns like #MeToo are empowering women to speak up, and film industry leaders are implementing structural change via the Time’s Up campaign. What better storytelling duo to carry Star Wars forward in this post-Weinstein epoch than Benioff and Weiss? I mean, they’ve never written a female character’s story arc that didn’t involve a violent rape for her to overcome. Talk about allyship!
We don’t know for sure what Benioff and Weiss’s trilogy will be about. But if it’s anything like Game of Thrones, we know it’ll involve lots of rape-as-character-development. Let’s take a look at ten iconic female Star Wars characters who might get violently assaulted in Benioff and Weiss’s Star Wars movies.
I’ll never forget my third viewing of The Force Awakens, a matinee on a weekday early in the film’s run. There was a family sitting in front of me, a dad and two young girls, and one of these girls kept peppering her dad with low-volume questions: Who’s that guy with the black coat? Why is the short guy running? Did that robot just die? And then Rey emerged, swathed in a mask that covered her entire face.
“Who’s he?” asked the little girl.
“She,” the dad said, “is Rey.“
There was a pause. “That’s a girl?” she said – and then, much louder, and much higher, and profoundly delighted: “THAT’S A GIRL???“
Indeed, Rey is a girl, and her mere existence marked a major milestone for blockbuster cinema. No longer could anyone say that a girl couldn’t anchor a film, or that audiences simply wouldn’t buy tickets to a movie about a chick. Rey swashbuckled her way into our hearts, and our world was changed forever.
However, Lucasfilm made just one slight oversight here: Rey never gets violently raped! Geez, what a mix-up! Her character development clearly isn’t going to be complete until she’s brutalized by some predatory guy. Or something. Thankfully, Benioff & Weiss have proven time and again that they’re a veritable font of creativity when it comes for new ways for women to be assaulted. We’re sure that when Rey gets attacked to learn a lesson about, uh, resilience, or something, Benioff & Weiss will handle it with panache.
9. Princess Leia
Much like Benioff & Weiss, George Lucas understood the value of some good old sexual-abuse-as-character-development. Who could forget the iconic sequence where Jabba the Hutt traps Leia and strings her up by a gold chain and forces her to lie around in a gold bikini as some kind of sex slave? Leia developed so much from that ordeal! She learned valuable lessons like, um… uh… how to, uh… not get caught and forced to wear a bikini, I guess. I don’t know. There wasn’t a real focus on Leia in Return of the Jedi, which is understandable, because they had to give the Ewoks as much screentime as they could.
Anyway, we can only hope that Benioff & Weiss will reanimate Carrie Fisher via dubious CGI in order to have Princess Leia endure even more violent abuse that will strengthen her development as a female character. Maybe they can even come up with another sexy outfit for her to wear while it happens, and Lucasfilm can sell little dolls of her wearing it! And fans can dress up in it for cons! And frat boys can wallpaper their dorms with it! Neat!
8. Amilyn Holdo
Amilyn Holdo is a high-ranking Vice Admiral who carries The Last Jedi with a spellbinding moment of singular bravery. Unfortunately, Rian Johnson didn’t give her any backstory whatsoever. If he had, we no doubt would have learned that Holdo was motivated to carry out her devastating attack on the First Order by a traumatizing, character-developing rape that happened when she was younger. Benioff & Weiss would never make such a slip-up. They can probably bring the character back in flashbacks to illustrate the point: there is only one way to add depth to a fictional woman’s life story, and it is sexual assault.
7. Rose Tico
Rose Tico is a warm, kind, fierce, and deeply funny character, but most fans agree that her C-plot, shared with charismatic co-star Finn, seemed a little extraneous, a little too red herring-y. I think we can all agree that her subplot would have carried much more weight with one of Benioff and Weiss’s signature storylines. What if we’d learned that Rose had been sold into sexual slavery as a child, and she’d had to grittily fight her way through years and years of abuse before finally breaking free? What if she’d tearily confessed all of this to Finn before leaping into bed with him for a sizzling sex scene that had nothing to do with the story? I think that’s a lot better than a racetrack of big horse-dogs, don’t you? Thank God we’ve got Benioff and Weiss to right this wrong in the next movie.
NOTE: Same goes for her sister Paige, obviously, whose brief moment of heroism onscreen didn’t involve even one sexual assault. Tragic.
6. Jyn Erso
Rogue One got off to a slow start, but it really picked up in the last hour — you know, when it abandoned having a plot altogether and just become one big-ass, blow-out action sequence. The first two acts of the script were pretty weak, and thin on character development all ’round. We can rest assured that, in Benioff and Weiss’s hands, Jyn would have been developed much more thoroughly as a character, probably through a gritty, graphic rape scene that would illustrate her ability to overcome adversity, and also be posted as a high-def gif to all the movie porn Reddits the split second a torrent leaked in 1080p.
5. Padme Amidala
George Lucas came pretty close to imbuing Padme’s storyline with gratuitous, nonsensical sexual violence. There’s that one scene in Attack of the Clones where she’s chained up and some space monster claws at her shirt, conveniently transforming it into a stylish crop top. And then there’s the part in Revenge of the Sith where Anakin strangles her until she passes out, and then a few minutes later she’s lying in a maternity ward pumping out babies and all the doctors are like, “She’s not gonna make it… she’s lost the will to live… this is her fault, really…” as if she wasn’t just subjected to nigh-lethal strangulation moments prior? Benioff and Weiss would never be so lazy. Maybe they’d throw in an extended sequence where Palpatine forces Padme to shave her head and strip naked and walk through the streets of Naboo having Gungan shit thrown at her. Something like that. A bit of character-building, adversity-overcoming, drama-intensifying flair.