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Strong Women We Would Love To See Return To The ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Who Would You Choose To Bring Back?

By Culture SlatePublished 2 years ago 10 min read

The Great Purge

Disney's female characters have been under a microscope since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Daisy Ridley’s Rey was accused by some of being a “Mary Sue” and poor Kelly Marie Tran received hate mail from “fans” for her portrayal of Rose. Whether any of these criticisms were warranted or not (in the case of Tran, no one deserves the online abuse she endured), fans may have reacted to Disney essentially eliminating large numbers of strong women from the Star Wars Universe when they declared that everything published before 2012 was no longer canon. The books, graphic novels, and movies were re-classified as Legends. The Expanded Universe would no longer be acknowledged by Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas, and although it was understood that Star Wars needed to trim the fat to grow, we still went into mourning. 

With the success of The Mandalorian, Disney has several shows in production, and we can only hope they are continuing to draw on Legends as inspiration. Pellaeon and Thrawn were brought back from oblivion, so there's still hope for our favorites. Here are some of the most kick-ass females this side of the Maw, just in case you need a reminder.    

RELATED: Opinion: Why Rey Deserves the Skywalker Name

Mirax Terrik Horn

Mirax first appeared in the popular Rogue Squadron Series (Michael A Stackpole & Aaron Allston) along with her ship, The Pulsar Skate, which was almost as recognizable in the Legends series as The Millennium Falcon.  

Mirax had a network of contacts that spanned the galaxy, and although she always said that, she endeavored to remain neutral. But somehow her shrewd negotiations and ability to procure absolutely anything always helped the New Republic, as well as turn a profit. When her father was sent to the spice mines of Kessel, she took over the family smuggling business and turned it into a successful empire. Mirax eventually married the son of Booster Terrik’s arch-nemesis, which caused a slight rift between the two. But this was not the only time loyal and family-orientated Mirax was placed in situations where she had to break her own heart for the greater good. Disney’s version of the Star Wars universe definitely could have space for Mirax in some way shape or form.  A “female Lando”, a businesswoman, trying to negotiate the delicate balance of the warring parties could seamlessly slip into any series in development. Additionally, if they brought back her father’s bright red Star Destroyer, The Errant Venture, Star Wars Twitter would have a meltdown. 

Queen Mother Ta’a Chume and The Hapes Consortium

The planet first appears in The Courtship of Princess Leia (Dave Wolverton) when Prince Isolder turns up with a fleet of Hapan Battle Dragons with riches galore—much like a space version of the procession in Aladdin—and asks for Leia’s hand in marriage. Hapes is rich, but insular; under Ta’a Chume’s rule it closed the borders, and that goes double for anyone with an Iota of force ability.  The sector is made up of 130 star systems with a large and extremely powerful fleet you would have to be an idiot to start a fight with. The line of succession runs through the females, and men are seen as weak and subservient. Ta’a Chume is the old matriarch of the family and first appeared looking for a suitor for her son to be the future queen. She may be an older woman, but she is one of the most feared in the galaxy. Even Sheev didn’t dare mess with her. During the Battle of Andalia, one of few encounters between the two, the Hapan Battle Dragons took the Imperial fighters apart.

The Queen Mother was not afraid to assassinate members of her own family for the good of The Consortium and made attempts on their lives multiple times. Ta’a Chume normally hit her target. Ta’a Chume controls those around her with sheer personality, and as one of the truly terrifying older women in the Star Wars stable, deserves to be made canon. Preferably Maggie Smith or Julie Andrews if you are reading this, Disney. 

Roganda Ismaren

A survivor in the truest sense of the word, Roganda Ismaren is a Jedi initiate who escaped the Great Purge with her brother, only to be captured by Inquisitors and brought to Imperial Centre. Ismaren’s brother was killed, and in her sorrow, she fell to the dark side. One of the Palpatine’s mistresses and a dark apprentice to Ameesa Darys, she eventually became one of the Emperor’s Hands, an elite group of Force-sensitive assassins with a psychic link to Darth Sidious himself. Ismaren gave birth to a son and tried to take the Imperial throne on his behalf by kidnapping Leia Organa Solo. She failed but was ultimately turned back to the light by the Force Ghost of her dead brother. Casting rumors for Acolyte suggest a brother and sister Force-sensitive pair, with the sister having a lot more screen time. Fans are speculating that it may be a Nightsister, but I would keep a lookout for Ismaren. She would be a great addition to the canon. 

Winter Celchu

Another strong woman we can thank Timothy Zahn for, Winter was often mistaken for Princess Leia in the Alderaanian court. The tall and regal playmate of Leia Organa, Winter grew up to be her confidant and protector of her children, but she was a lot more than just a nanny and a pretty face.  She made the Empire’s most wanted list under one of her code names “Targeter”, and generally caused havoc for them throughout the war. She was a vital part of the Rebel Intelligence Network and the Alliance in general. Winter has a photographic memory; she forgets nothing she has seen or heard and her frosty demeanor made her perfect for the work. It is baffling that Disney has not decided to make her canon already.

After the destruction of Alderaan, Winter decided to avoid any romantic attachments, but Rogue Squadron and fellow Alderaanian Tycho Celchu had other ideas. She eventually thawed, but their romance took the longest of any other couple in the Star Wars Legends Universe. Winter is poised and unshakeable and would be a great addition to any series currently in development. Her “Targeter” personae could fit neatly into Ahsoka. Incidentally, Ivanna Sakhno from Pacific Rim is rumored to have been cast for an unnamed role, and she is a dead ringer for the ice maiden.  

Nomi Sunrider

Sunrider is a part of Jedi mythology. She turned to the Force later in life after the murder of her husband and daughter, then quickly came into her own.  Nomi participated in several successful campaigns against the Sith and fell in love with fellow Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma (Legends isn’t exactly clear when the Jedi developed their grudge against family life). Droma’s romance did not save him from the same fate as Anakin, and Nomi had to watch him fall to the dark side. Despite this being the second time she had effectively lost a partner, rather than fall herself, Sunrider’s grief and natural ability severed Droma from the Force, ending the Great Sith War.  Even though Nomi Sunrider was under the influence of strong emotion, she was never corrupted by it, which is why she is considered a rallying symbol for the light and the ultimate Jedi.

Sunrider appeared in an unused production journal for Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but never made it into the show, and fans are only left to wonder what could have been. But with Star Wars: The Acolyte in development, could we still see her back on our screens? Fingers crossed.

Shada D’ukal & The Mistral Shadow Guard

This is one of those cases where we don’t actually know where we stand, Disney. Shada does appear in Star Wars: A New Hope, briefly. Blink and you’ll miss her. According to Legends, Shada is in the cantina, disguised as Brea Tonnika to get passage off Tatooine, and that is how she is identified in the credits. The character isn’t called Shada until the graphic novel Hammertong: The Tale of the ‘Tonnika Sisters’. All of Shada’s backstory takes place in Legends reading material. So we have no idea which character is officially canon. The character played by the stunning Christine Hewitt in Star Wars: A New Hope may still be Shada, or Disney may have returned her original name of Brea. Are you confused? So are we.

But wiping Shada and The Mistral Shadow Guard from the record is more than just a simple name change. It would be destroying the rich and complicated history of Emberlene. Originally the world had vast armies and attempted to create its own empire.  Understandably, their neighbors were not exactly thrilled at the thought of being conquered. They united to eliminate the threat, but they may have gone a little far. The surface of Emberlene was left utterly destroyed and its population impoverished.  The matriarchal society now is geared towards using their fighting skills as mercenaries for hire to feed their starving population, working for anyone who will have them.  The Eleven, the Mistral, rather than taking responsibility for starting the conflict, blamed the Empire. Shada discovered their deceit and walked away from the order, but they were not willing to let her go quietly. She eventually found a new home for her exceptional skills, working for Talon Karrde.

The Mistral Shadow Guard had similar problems to the Old Republic Jedi, but could approach it from a female perspective. It would be refreshing to bring these strong women back into canon and to revisit some of the issues of Attack of The Clones through the female gaze. Shada is a complex female character with many layers and would be perfect for a live-action project. We would love to see her back...if she ever left?

Mara Jade

If you are a Star Wars fan, the name Mara Jade is whispered in the shadows at Comic-con. It’s written on the toilet wall at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. She was the ultimate badass of the Star Wars Universe; she is a crack shot, hand-to-hand expert, and a pilot to boot. If it has a heartbeat, she’s probably taken down three of them. And of course, she married Luke Skywalker.

By now, it’s widely accepted that Mara Jade cannot return to canon in her original form. But, Disney, does that mean we need to throw away the whole character? Mara Jade has been a fan favorite ever since she came within a hair’s breadth of preventing Luke’s escape from Jabba’s skiff in Tales from Jabba’s Palace (Kevin J. Anderson). Surely, Disney, it would be a waste to leave her out completely. Mara was an Emperor’s Hand, tortured as a child, trained to an elite level by Sheev, and forced to obey his every command. Disney could use the Hands to give Ian McDiarmid an excuse to get some more Sith bad-boy action on screen. We never got to see Sheev at full power the way he was described in the graphic novels, as one of the greatest lightsaber duelists of all time.  Wouldn’t that be something? 

Ysanne Isard (Iceheart)

One blue eye, one red eye, a white streak in her black hair, and a blood-red uniform. Any Star Wars Legends stan can recognize Iceheart without too much effort. She first appeared in Stackpole’s Rogue Squadron and then in sixteen more books and graphic novels. Isard was the Empire’s Head of Intelligence, Madame Director, and custodian of the feared Lusankya (sister ship of the Executor), an Alcatraz, impossible to find, designed for torture. Cold-blooded Isard handed over her father to the Emperor in an effort to cover up her own failure, and her ruthlessness impressed Palpatine. She was reported to be one of his mistresses. Isard also turned her beauty and femininity against the Moffs so they would continually under-estimate her, to their detriment. Eventually, she achieved the highest position possible as leader of the Galactic Empire. She had a particular penchant for brainwashing prisoners and then turning them into unsuspecting sleeper agents who would murder their family and friends. Ysanne’s cruelty and unique look would be a formidable villain for any series, but she could slip into The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett effortlessly. Come on Disney, give us Iceheart!

And Many Many More

I'm absolutely certain there are many fans reading this shouting “what about Revan, Daala, Tahiri Veila, Tendra Calrissian, Qui Xux, Jaina Solo!”  The Expanded Universe was littered with stunning female characters that acted as role models for a generation of women who were used to seeing themselves represented purely as assistants, sidekicks, and love interests. It would be a mark of respect for those who had spent time and cash, had joined fandoms, and had written fanfic devoted to these women, to be allowed to keep one or two of their heroes in the current canon, even if it's only in an abstract form. 

No matter what happens with these characters, it'll never change the fact that Leia, our favorite princess, took to the screen, picked up the blaster, rescued her man, and ultimately ended up in charge of the galaxy. We'll always have Carrie. 

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READ NEXT: Disney Unveils 2023 Movie Lineup at CinemaCon, 'Rogue Squadron' Still On Track For 2023

Written by Louise Parnell

Syndicated from Culture Slate

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