- How to stream Bears vs. Redskins on Monday Night Football Today 7:00 AM
- What are the best alternatives to the electoral college? Today 6:30 AM
- The best PS4 games you can’t play anywhere else Today 6:00 AM
- How to watch the 2019 Emmy Awards Today 5:00 AM
- How to stream ‘Power’ season 6, episode 5 Today 4:00 AM
- Former developer at software company deletes his code to protest its ties to ICE Saturday 4:21 PM
- A mysterious website is doxing Hong Kong protesters and journalists Saturday 1:44 PM
- The best ‘Skyrim’ followers and how to get them Saturday 1:26 PM
- Why Joel Osteen gets cyberbullied every time Houston floods Saturday 12:40 PM
- How to stream Jets vs. Patriots in Week 3 Saturday 12:39 PM
- 10 indie dating simulator games you should be playing Saturday 12:31 PM
- How to stream Packers vs. Broncos in Week 3 Saturday 12:14 PM
- Saudi crown prince’s former adviser suspended from Twitter Saturday 11:57 AM
- How to stream Cowboys vs. Dolphins in Week 3 Saturday 11:57 AM
- YouTuber to pay restitution after a teen fan died copying her video Saturday 10:36 AM
The idea that Rogue One is groundbreakingly feminist has always been pretty bizarre. Jyn Erso’s protagonist status is equal to Rey’s in The Force Awakens, and besides: Every other main character is a man.
While Rogue One was being promoted (and protested) as a female-led sci-fi blockbuster, its trailers remained noticeably male-dominated. Now we’ve seen the film, we can confirm it features the worst gender imbalance since the original Star Wars trilogy.
We counted seven women among the dozens of speaking roles in Rogue One, massively outnumbered by entire armies of men. There’s Jyn Erso, obviously. Then there are two minor supporting characters (Rebel leader Mon Mothma, and Jyn’s dead mother), and four more with a couple of lines of inconsequential dialogue. If you’re overly charitable, you might also include the non-speaking roles for a girl and her mother in one action scene, but otherwise it’s an endless sea of dudes.
By comparison, there are eight or nine male characters just in the main cast, filling the entire Rogue One team and all of the villain roles. On top of that, there’s at least another 20 male rebels, politicians, and Empire officers with speaking roles in the supporting cast, plus memorable cameos like Darth Vader and Bail Organa. Even the background extras are men, exceeding the typical (although still appalling) 17 percent ratio for women in Hollywood crowd scenes.
After The Force Awakens, which included several women in the main cast and more in supporting roles, Rogue One‘s casting choices are embarrassing and exclusionary. Either the filmmakers tried to “balance out” the female lead by surrounding her with men, or they simply didn’t consider that women should be present in a war story. Both options suck, especially when Felicity Jones has spent so much time discussing Jyn Erso’s supposedly progressive, feminist role during the film’s press tour.
If you haven’t seen Rogue One yet, or are planning to rewatch it soon, keep an eye out for women. Once you notice their absence, you won’t be able to stop. The Rebel Alliance is populated by male warriors, male politicians, male engineers. The stormtroopers are genderless but male-voiced when they speak; the Death Star scientists are all men. Even in the bunkers and bars and street scenes, women are a minority.
Was the galaxy’s female population wiped out in some horrifying massacre between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope? Or did Rogue One‘s creators simply forget that women have an equal part to play beside the men?
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor