The first trailer for Rogue One, Disney’s next entry into the Star Wars franchise, has been revealed, unveiling a surprise female protagonist. The decision sparked a diversity in the media debate on Twitter – for the right reason for once (consult #OscarsSoWhite).
Cindy Gallop, founder of advertising giant BBH New York, IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn, was one of many voices welcoming the lead actor casting of Felicity Jones as rebel Jyn Erso (see below).
— Regal Cinemas (@RegalMovies) April 7, 2016
The casting represents a colossal diversity push for Disney seeing as the franchise kicked off in 1977’s A New Hope with a scarcity of female and non-white characters.
There have been Star Wars fans pushing against the progressive strides, however. Disney’s first Star Wars movie, the Force Awakens, last year came under fire from some quarters for featuring a black (John Boyega’s Finn) and female lead (in Daisey Ridley’s Rey).
At the time Boyega issued a prompt message to the haters on Instagram following a sizeable movement to boycott the movie. He told them to "Get used to it."
And they had better "get used to it." Disney's only gone and put Academy Award-nominated actress Felicity Jones front and centre of an entirely new Star Wars offshoot.
On the news, Cindy Gallop told The Drum: “For the entire history of the movies, women and people of colour have been expected to identify with white male heroes and protagonists, who are deemed to be the universal archetype by the white men who run the industrial complex for every aspect of popular culture (including advertising).
“I could not be more delighted to see a right-thinking white man redress the balance. It’s about bloody time. When I watch Rey in 'The Force Awakens', when I see Jyn Erso in the trailer for 'Rogue One', I'm thrilled to see a heroine I can identify with, demonstrating that a woman can be just as badass as a man."
She lamented the lack of a "woman of colour" perhaps in Jyn Erso's role but added "I'm hoping that'll happen for another lead somewhere further along the line in the Star Wars universe".
Gallop concluded: “And for the white men protesting about the Rogue One female lead - seriously? Welcome to our world".
Just today Thursday (7 April), the DM Reporter assembled just a few of the comments complaining about the female lead in the Daily Mail comments section.
Similar sentiments have been widely shared across the web, and as a result, those complaining were widely trolled on Twitter.
Wow, the comments on youtube/twitter on #RogueOne having 'yet another female lead' are just a delight. pic.twitter.com/USyqzWKeN0 — Jenni Hill (@Jenni_Hill) April 7, 2016
"why does rogue one have ANOTHER lead female protagonist the feminists are attacki-" pic.twitter.com/rbJfCDnrHI — sloane (@poedamaron) April 7, 2016
Only ten more months of creepy nerds being passive aggressive about another Star Wars film with a female lead. — Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) April 7, 2016