This morning we all delighted in the casting announcement for Star Wars VII. And then the reality set in: There is only one new female character being added to what is arguably the world's most beloved mythic series. It's as if 51 percent of the population cried out in pain, and was suddenly silenced.
Let me tell you about my seven-year-old niece, Hannah. She's one of those girly girls who wears pink sparkly boots and does ballet. She also has a pink toy sword, a pink shield, and does karate. And when she talks about princesses, which happens a lot, one of her models is the "fighting princess" Leia. Hannah is part of a generation of kids growing up in the Star Wars/Disney universe, and already the Star Wars part of that equation has changed the way she plays princess games and the way she imagines herself in superheroic form. Leia gives Hannah options that Ariel doesn't. And vice-versa.