Star Wars still kind of a boys club, shockingly

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I swear I’m not taking This Is Madness particularly seriously – some things I am happy to leave to Hondo – but let’s admit it: It’s particularly disheartening to see neither of the female characters made it past the second round.

Hell, Leia, perhaps the most recognizable Star Wars lady, could only muster 33% of the vote against a droid. Now I love Artoo, but come on: He’s a droid. And having no particular attachment to either character, I’m not sure what to think of Chewbacca’s victory over Ahsoka. I can understand favoring Chewbacca – I mean, who hates Chewbacca? – but Ahsoka is certainly one of the most developed characters (not female, just characters) to come out of The Clone Wars, and she still only got 35%.

So much for the theory of a Clone Wars surge, huh? Should we chalk Obi-wan’s victory over Han to Ewan McGregor fans who didn’t stick around for the other votes? (No cookies for you, Wantons.)

Does it even really matter? Of course not. It’s a goofy March Madness takeoff, nothing more. (And given that I generally have little patience for most March Madness ripoffs, I’m a little ashamed at even falling for this in the first place.) But it’s still a damn shame, and a key reminder: No matter how many t-shirts we buy, we’re not done yet, ladies.

18 thoughts on “Star Wars still kind of a boys club, shockingly

  1. jawajames

    While it is dismaying that no female character has moved onto the “Duel of the Eights” round, Leia and Ahsoka had some very stiff opposition.

    Artoo is as iconic and beloved as it gets for Star Wars. One of the first characters we see in the films, he appears in pretty much everything: all six films, The Clone Wars, his own cartoon show, even Star Trek. Even Dunc loves Artoo. I think that love is because he’s a droid and doesn’t talk and has both comic and heroic scenes. We can all relate to being Artoo at times, and wanting our own astromech for our adventures. And he’s got that cute factor, too.

    Chewbacca is similar to Artoo for the same reasosns – while mostly known for his OT role, he does make an appearance in the prequels and TCW, and is like Artoo: somewhat a character, and somewhat a pet. This is someone everyone wants at their side: a loyal co-pilot.

    I think that pitting Leia against other face characters would have been more evenly matched – I’d guess she’s more popular than the Emperor and Jabba the Hutt, who both moved up.

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  2. Dom

    Dunc, I think you’re taking this too seriously. First, the people who actually take the time to log onto starwars.com and vote probably aren’t representative of the fanbase. Second, the OT is simply more popular and recognizable than CW, so Chewie’s win was probably inevitable. I think a better indicator is Google trends, which shows that more people search the internet for Leia and Chewie than R2 or Ahsoka. Here are the results:

    http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=princess%20leia%2C%20R2-D2%2C%20Ahsoka%20Tano%2C%20Chewbacca&cmpt=q

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  3. derp

    All of this was pretty unfair for all TCW characters; no matter how good, how developed they are, they always loose simply because people don’t atch the sow as much. Lets be honest, Ahsoka is a much more complete, developed, mutli-dimensional, and complicated character than Chewie. And yet she bit the dust. Why? Simply because a lot of people vote for Chewbacca by default, because they don’t know her.
    Of course, we shouldn’t take all of this seriously.

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  4. Lane

    I think the bigger issue isn’t some silly March Madness poll. The problem is that in a field of 24 characters, this universe could only muster four female characters.

    That’s the problem, and that’s something Star Wars has to get better at in its storytelling moving forward.

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  5. Dunc Post author

    Dom: You don’t have to log in to StarWars.com to vote. I honestly can’t remember the last time I logged into StarWars.com. It was probably before they killed the message boards and blogs, so: A while.

    What can I say? I’m melancholic this week.

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  6. Dunc Post author

    No. I’m actually glad they aren’t, and they would definitely get creamed by movie characters.

    Maybe next March some other fansite can do one of these with just EU characters… But it sure as hell won’t be us.

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  7. Dom

    Dunc, I know you don’t have to log onto the site, but still I don’t think it’s reasonable to think most or even many fans bother to vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if, for whatever reason, teen males are more likely to use the internet to go to SW sites than younger or older females – the demographic Ahsoka probably most appeals to. I mean, how many 5-year-old girls do you think voted in this? Probably none. But they’re the future of SW and the fanbase.

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  8. jawajames

    Lane: i think you mean 32, not 24, which makes it even worse representation. And two of those are TCW characters, which shows that really, there’s one female from the OT, one female from the PT.

    I still think that if the brackets had been devised differently (ie not using light side / dark side), the gals could have fare better (certainly putting Leia vs Padme in the first round was a killer there). Maybe next time, they could do a light vs dark in each first round?

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  9. Dom

    Again, I think Google trends is a far better dataset for measuring popular interest in characters. Don’t put too much stock in this March Madness. For all we know, only 100 people voted.

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  10. kataja

    Hmm, maybe I take it too seriously too, but I was already annoyed by Yoda beating Luke with the same kind of numbers… Dunno iff there’s any relations there, btw…

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  11. Random Comments

    More than 100 people voted…because I voted about 160 times for Ahsoka, and know a bunch of other people voted, too…and she had a total of 35% of votes….

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  12. Anna

    And people voting multiple times is probably exactly why the results are skewed. They really need to design these polls so people can’t vote more than once.

    Reply
  13. Dunc Post author

    They seem to be operating on cookies, which are a piece of cake to get around. You can tie it to IPs, but then you get complaints about people not being able to vote from different computers in the same house, etc.

    Since it’s not a super-serious poll, it’s not really that big a deal, but the vote is going to be somewhat skewed. 150 votes from one person is a bit excessive, but chances are it’s happening on all sides. ::shrug::

    Basically that’s why you never can trust an internet poll. Even IPs can be spoofed.

    Reply
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