Geek Gal Out! These Are The Warrior Women Writers Behind Star Wars – Find Out Why They Love The Franchise!By Caroline Cao | October 19, 2018 | Beauty
Women writers have enriched the literary world of Star Wars canon. The 2018 New York Comic Con held “A Celebration of Female Writers in a Galaxy Far, Far Away” event. There’s nothing like spending my Saturday listening to smart enthusiastic women talk about writing for the Star Wars canon, whether it’s exploring the idiosyncrasies of underexplored heroines and villainesses or just writing about how Lando Calrissian rules.
The panel featured Mur Lafferty (Solo: A Star Wars Story); Katie Cook (Star Wars: Search Your Feelings); Justina Ireland (Lando’s Luck); Amy Ratcliffe (Star Wars: Women of The Galaxy) and Delilah Dawson (Phasma). A lot of insight was shared!
There are heroines and there are villainesses. Delilah Dawson loved writing about Phasma because Phasma was a shameless, merciless monster who annihilated anyone who stood in the way of what she wants. Justina Ireland playfully replied, “She’s [Phasma’s] a CAREER-MINDED WOMAN.”
Justina Ireland said that back then the Star Wars fandom was not her space. “I grew up in the ’70s and the ’80s and Star Wars was not a friendly fandom for a black girl. I liked the things I liked, but I was never going to go and join those spaces.” She noted the Internet aged helped let her know that there were other black fans who liked Star Wars and not just Lando Calrissian. “[Star Wars fandom] was something I could appreciate but could never be a part of until now.” Also, Ireland said she has “fan theories that would make you cry.”
Katie Cook said she wore her nerd awkwardness with pride, while Amy Radcliffe “played out Star Wars fan fiction through RPG.”
While the Solo novelization exacerbated the worse implications of L3′s fate, for all the reasons stated by Kate Gardner, it seemed that Mur Lafferty indirectly acknowledged the backlash, though she couldn’t say more likely due to spoilers. Lafferty mentioned that people saw the fate differently, and went, that’s fine. She herself asserted that she liked the “robots sacrificing things for other robots” trope and the appeal is understandable on a broad stroke. While I still disagree with Lafferty’s execution, I respect that Lafferty’s conceptualization of L3’s sacrifice was her individual perspective.
Furthermore in the Solo novelization, Lafferty made a goal of fleshing out female characters, from Val, Qi’ra, L3, to Enfys Nest. She was told once she “didn’t flesh Tobias Beckett enough” and responded with, “Huh,” because it didn’t occur to her that Beckett needed more to be said about him. Lafferty said she wrote more about Enfys Nest (because who wouldn’t?) but was ordered to cut stuff out.
Everyone was asked if they were “Pantsers” or “Plotters.” Do they write by the seat of their pants? Or do they do extensive research? They were all pretty much Plotters when it comes to writing about the Star Wars canon. Dawson made an affectionate point that “We all write fan fiction. It’s just canonized and authorized.”
Caroline Cao is a screenwriter, playwright, poet, and film critic studying for her Nonfiction MFA at the New School. She has contributed to Birth Movies Death, Film School Rejects, The Mary Sue, Bitch, and Reverse Shot. Follow her on Twitter/Instagram: @maximinalist