Ever since Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in 2012, the Star Wars universe has expanded. Diversity has been one of the highlights of the newer movies like The Last Jedi and Rogue One while also adding brand-new female characters who have never been in the Star Wars universe before. Some fans have mocked the new direction that Lucasfilm has taken on and others fully embrace the decision to have larger parts for strong female leads who aren’t confined to play the damsel in distress any longer. A new study has broken down all of the Star Wars movies released to date, except for Solo: A Star Wars Story, and revealed which film has the most female screen time.
Film lecturer Becca Harrison set out to figure out just how far the Star Wars franchise has come in the last 40-plus years in regard to female screen time and dialogue. To conduct her research, Harrison edited the 9 movies down to only include when women are on the screen and then used all of the dialogue spoken by females to collect her data. The results aren’t all of that surprising after watching the last four movies that have been released, including Solo.
Number one on the list with the most female screen time is Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, which isn’t surprising in the slightest. 43 percent of The Last Jedi is made of females on screen and speaking. Number two is also not very surprising. J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens featured 37 percent of female-led screen time and dialogue followed by Rogue One, which has 35 percent of female screen time. The numbers take a quick dive after that as we venture into the older movies.
Number four on the list goes to Return of the Jedi at 23 percent, which is remarkably similar to Empire Strikes Back with 22 percent. Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith have 20 percent, 18 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. And coming in dead last: A New Hope with a measly 15 percent. The numbers prove that Lucasfilm took a slide in the prequels from the original trilogy and then worked its way back up for the latest movies that have all come out under the Disney umbrella.
Rebecca Harrison’s Star Wars research proves that women have gotten better representation over the last 3 years. This news will sit well with the majority of Star Wars fans, but there are always those fans who love to troll and criticize Lucasfilm for reportedly using too many new female characters and different races of actors. It will be interesting to see how Solo: A Star Wars Story stacks up to the rest of the franchise. While Thandie Newton did not have a very large role, Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra did and showed off a multi layered, conflicted character who had a decent amount of screen time. You can check out the results of the female screen time across the [Star Wars} universe below, thanks to Becca Harrison’s Twitter account.