Help us J.J. Abrams, you're our only hope.
That was the plea Colin Hanks made via Instagram this weekend after his perceptive 4-year-old daughter (and newly-minted "Star Wars" fan) watched the original films and realized, "It's always boys, boys, boys and there's only one girl," Hanks wrote.
As disconcerting as it was to see so few women in the original Star Wars trilogy, Hanks wrote it was even worse when he and his daughter hit the toy store in search of a Princess Leia action figure and all they found was a "sad, depressing 'Slave Leia.'"
So, the other night, on May the 4th to be exact, I sat down with my 4 year old daughter and showed her Star Wars: A New Hope. It was her first time watching it. She loved it. Her favorite character was Princess Leia. She kept asking "Where is Princess Leia? Where is Princes Leia?" A few nights later, I show her Empire Strikes Back (or as she called it "The Emperor stripes back) and within four minutes of watching the movie she says, "It's so tiring watching these movies. It's always boys, boys, boys and there's only one girl." I could not of been more proud of her. So today I take her to Toys "R" Us to buy her a light saber and a Princess Leia toy. After being told that the light sabers were "in the boys section", she picks out the light saber of her choosing and asks about the Princess Leia toy. One problem: they only had the "slave Leia". As you can see, sad depressing, "slave Leia". So wrong. The only good to come from this is that, once again, my daughter makes me look at the world in a whole new light. #HelpusJJyoureouronlyhope
The bummed-out look on Leia's face seems to encapsulate how many little girls (and their parents) are feeling about the lack of strong female heroes in our favorite stories, not to mention their accompanying toy merch.
In April, "Avengers" star Mark Ruffalo pointed out the fact that the merchandise-heavy franchise had plenty of toys and other garb featuring Thor, Iron Man and his character, The Hulk, but there was little if anything for the lone lady Avenger, The Black Widow.
A HuffPost tally of available Marvel merchandise showed that nearly all of the Black Widow's male counterparts had about three times as many offerings for fans.
On the site for toymaker Hasbro, which creates all official Star Wars action figures, fans can find an Anakin Skywalker or a Han Solo in a dozen different configurations, but have to scroll for pages to find poor, sad, "slave" Leia. She only comes in a more clothed option if you buy from the "vintage" collection.
Abrams, who is directing the forthcoming "Star Wars" installment, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," has shown a knack for creating strong female characters with complex stories a la Sydney Bristow in "Alias."
Still, the director took some criticism last year when it was revealed there was only one new female character in the next "Star Wars," bringing total number of major female characters in the original movies to a whopping two.