Throughout its almost 40-year history, Star Wars has been lacking in the women department. With only one major female character per trilogy, there was call from fans soon after news of an eventual Episode VII broke for a course correction, and at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy made sure objectors knew they’d been heard.
Aside from introducing Rey, the new female protagonist of The Force Awakens, and Daisy Ridley, the actress who plays her, Kennedy promised that the future episodic films and standalone spin-offs would feature a number of “really strong women.”
For Kennedy, this was a personal matter, because as a fan of the previous Star Wars movie, she didn’t have many female characters to look up to. In front of the fans at Celebration, she promised that was about to change.
When Carrie Fisher took to the stage alongside original trilogy cast members Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, and Anthony Daniels, she also made reference to the franchise’s new focus on its female characters. “It’s good to have a little help,” she says. “But I liked being the only one when I was 19… Now I need a little help.”
Check out the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens below: