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is my favorite girl character from EVERYTHING right now," my 9-year-old said last night after we saw the über-anticipated, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Rey is the action-packed movie's heroine, and I have to agree, she is everything.
If you weren't one of the hordes who saw it opening night, don't worry, no spoilers here. But what's clear from the posters alone, this isn't the "Star Wars" that we grew up. Whether you were raised with the original trilogy or the overly slick prequels, the Star Wars movies have always spoken more directly to the males in the audience. Even George Lucas admits the original film was made for the tween
boy in mind. Of course, girls like me (and my daughter) found our way in regardless.
Since the age of 7,
I have been a die-hard fan. My daughter inherited my interest in the Force. She's in a minority among her female peers—boy fans far
outweigh the number of girl fans. Though, there have been strong female
characters in the saga—most notably Princess Leia and Padmé Amidala—they've been in roles of support.
"The Force Awakens" or, more precisely, Rey, changes all that.
The people behind this film created that change intentionally.
ruining the movie, I'm going to tell you that your daughters are going be so excited," Kathleen Kennedy, producer on the film and president of Lucasfilms, told me earlier this month. "This character of Rey is, I think, one of the most wonderful heroines
to come along in movie history. I mean, she is great. [Girls] are going to have their own Luke Skywalker now."
After seeing the film with my own daughter, I know exactly what she's saying.
"She's independent, super strong, cool and just so awesome," my
daughter yelled, after we left a sold-out showing on opening night. "I
think girls are going to LOVE it."
She explained that, to her, "Star Wars" was always more boyish thing, but thanks to Rey, this film will get more girls' attention. We both figure that Rey worship will be rampant, especially
when it comes to Halloween. "[I]t's going to be like Elsa, we're going to see
sooooo many Rey costumes," she said.
film is full of action, explosions, fight scenes and beautifully
orchestrated battles, and it also contains humor, heart and a whole lot of
humanity. Huge themes in this film are family,
bravery and finding your inner potential—all awesome messages for little
padawans at home. "
You don't have
to be a certain kind of person to be a hero," my daughter said, clearly picking up on the message. "You can by anybody. Rey, she's a scavenger but she's a hero."
on my mom hat, I have to say that Rey is the kind of female character I'm more
than happy to share with my girl. She has strength, integrity, loyalty, she's a hard
worker—plus she can kick some serious ass.
My daughter recommends the movie for kids 10 and older (though, recall, she is 9). "There is a
lot of action, things blowing up, and lots of people get killed. This might
give little kids nightmares."
The film is rated PG-13 due to "sci-fi violence," and it's on par with the amount of violence in the other films. So if you and your kids are OK with those, this one would probably be fine as well. (Every kid is different, you'll know what's best for them.)