With Star Wars Forces of Destiny, there has been a great disturbance in the force. Have you felt it? The old order has been subverted.
Star Wars is for girls too.
I obviously knew this already, but Star Wars licensees seemingly didn’t share my opinion. I started this blog (in 2014) in part in frustration at the way Star Wars was being marketed as something just for boys. It was maddening because I knew this was crap. I witnessed first hand how my daughter was engaging with the galaxy far, far away. I also marvelled at the passion of the growing Star Wars fangirl community, who were longtime fans.
I wrote a flippant post a few years ago, listing all the ways Hasbro (and by extension Star Wars) could increase their sales and market share with one simple change – treat Star Wars as a brand for girls too.
Well, it seems they got the memo.
In only my wildest dreams did I imagine that something like Star Wars Forces of Destiny would be created.
Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a sub-brand within the Star Wars line that focuses on the female characters in the galaxy far, far away. Kathleen Kennedy, the President of Lucasfilm, says: “Star Wars Forces of Destiny is for anyone who has been inspired by Leia’s heroism, Rey’s courage, or Ahsoka’s tenacity…. It is a fun new way for people to experience Star Wars.”
There are dolls, books, accessories, and more – such as this series of animated shorts, voiced by (where possible) the original actors such as Daisy Ridley, Felicity Jones, and Ashley Eckstein.
It may not be labelled Star Wars for girls (and thank goodness for that), but the intention is clear – to create an offering targeted at enticing more girls, and reinforcing the message “Hey, sorry about that whole Star Wars is only for boys crap we once pulled.”
Of course, we the (progressive) fans already knew that. We knew that Star Wars was for everyone who liked it, and that included lots of girls. Only, this was not reflected in the majority of Star Wars marketing, products, and content.
Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012. Prior to that, the Star Wars saga had become a way to peddle goods to middle-aged men (*cough *cough *like me *cough *cough). It’s great that not only is Star Wars becoming something for children again, but that they are targeting girls in such an overt way.
Star Wars Forces of Destiny: The male backlash
All too predictably, like any attempt to reset historic bias against women and girls, some of the less enlightened incumbent men have reacted strongly against it.
“This is just SJW (social justice warrior) feminist sexist propaganda” is an accurate paraphrase of the middle-aged male Star Wars fans, upset at the encroachment of females into what they see as their space.
Star Wars dudebros, get this into your thick skulls – Star Wars Forces of Destiny isn’t aimed at you. Hell, it isn’t even really aimed at women. They’ve made this for little girls. Sure, like anything Star Wars, it’s for everyone, but the fans in mind for this are young girls. You don’t like it? In the words of Obi-Wan, “Move along”.
And think about this – by angrily trolling Star Wars fangirls about how much you hate this, are you acting like the female led Rebellion & Resistance fighting for positive change in the galaxy? Or the alt-right villains, headed up by a series of toxic males?
We were sent these toys by Hasbro in exchange for writing about Star Wars Forces of Destiny.