As a young girl, there weren’t any female characters I aspired to be like more than Star Wars’ Princess Leia. She was everything I ever hoped I could be: cool, kick-ass and she wasn’t afraid to take risks to save those she was closest to.
I distinctly remember asking myself on more than one occasion ‘What would Leia do?’ in times where I needed to find that extra bit of courage (and yes, more often than not, sass) to get me through a tricky situation.
So you can imagine my excitement that the franchise that has dominated popular culture since the late ’70s is adding more female influences to the mix – both on and off screen – in its latest offering.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is hitting our screens on December 15, and it comes complete with two of the most powerful female forces in the entertainment industry.
The film is not a sequel to last year’s smash success, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Instead, Rogue One is more of a prequel, looking back at the years between Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV – A New Hope.
New generations of young women – and yes, existing Princess Leia fans like me – will be able to enjoy a new female hero in the form of Jyn Erso, a Rebel spy who is leading a mission to steal the plans to the Empire’s deadly weapon, The Death Star, played by English actress Felicity Jones.
"A new female hero in the form of Jyn Erso." Image: Supplied.
Indie film fans fell in love with the actress in 2011 when she starred in Like Crazy, a cross-continental love story where many of her lines and scenes were improvised. Jennifer Lawrence also appeared in the film, but it was Jones’ performance that critics described as “intelligent” and “palpably real”.