Star Wars Fans Are Debating Whether The Franchise Belongs To Men Or Women

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The online magazine Culture Slate recently shared a post celebrating a young woman for making her own Star Wars costume. Despite its benevolent nature, the post has since sparked debate for saying that “The Force has always been female!”

Of course, this is only the latest chapter in an ongoing discussion among fans about whether the franchise belongs to men or women, or everyone. The post’s title does not necessarily reflect its content, either, as this isn’t an in-depth analysis of the films which tries to argue that the mythical power possessed by Jedis and Sith Lords alike is gendered. Rather, the post commemorates a woman named TJ for making her own Star Wars costume in the seventies.

So what? Thousands of kids dress up every year for Comic Con. True, but it’s a lot easier nowadays than it was then. As the writer of the post points out, cosplayers couldn’t look up outfits on the internet. In order to dress up as their favorite characters, they had to go to the cinemas and take notes on the costumes while watching.

Clearly, Star Wars was – and is – equally important to both women and men. This should be an obvious fact, yet it’s been contested by many. Most recently, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro called the franchise a “little boy’s property,” thus excluding female fans.

As many others point out from the sideline, this debate is essentially useless given how Star Wars, like most other mega franchises, was conceived with no specific audience in mind. Like said franchises, it also champions universal themes such as love, friendship and tolerance – values which are represented by the Jedi in opposition to the singular, authoritative and evil Sith.