With Thor: The Dark Work on the horizon, Marvel and star Natalie Portman are launching the Ultimate Mentor Adventure to inspire more girls to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Girls 14 and up are eligible to apply. UL (Underwriters Laboratories), Dolby Laboratories, National Academy of Sciences and Girl Scouts USA are also sponsoring the effort.
Portman, who reprises her role as astrophysicist Jane Foster in the film, also had some interesting things to say about female characters:
“I want them to be allowed to be weak and strong and happy and sad – human, basically. The fallacy in Hollywood is that if you’re making a ‘feminist’ story, the woman kicks ass and wins. That’s not feminist, that’s macho. A movie about a weak, vulnerable woman can be feminist if it shows a real person that we can empathize with.”
She joins a long line of Marvel ladies speaking up for variety. (via)
Vlogger Nye Armstrong demonstrates how to turn a hijab into the always-fashionable Princess Leia buns!
Their booth isn’t the only thing that got a new look for SDCC! The Her Universe website also unveiled a redesign today. And the limited-availability Jaina Solo and Mara Jade shirts are now online.
And while we’re on the topic, here are James’ shots from Preview Night!
Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe is bringing the expanded universe to SDCC! They’ll be debuting a new Mara Jade tee using Daryl Mandryk’s art from the Choices of One paperback cover, and a Jaina Solo tee using John VanFleet’s art from the Sword of the Jedi teaser image. Only 100 of each will be offered at the con, however, and they’ll only be online “for a limited time only.” They’ll be online during SDCC.
It also sounds like they’ve revamped their booth, which is promising.
There are a few other debuts, including their new Walking Dead line, but you know we’re biased.
UPDATE: Here’s the chat link, and huge thanks to Ashley for the kind words!
With summer con season now formally ramping up, it’s as good a time as any to remind folks that harassment is not okay – and what to do about it.
Over at Scalzi’s Whatever today, writer Elise Matthesen shares how she reported her sexual harasser at recent convention. It’s a fantastic post with great advice about making sure things are formally on the record – the perpetrator in her case is not a first-time offender.
Inspired by Matthesen, Maria Dahvana Headley shares some of her own tales of being harassed at genre conventions. A former pirate negotiator, she has this chilling statement: “The pirates in the maritime industry were generally a great deal more polite than the creeps in the SFF world. They stuck to terms.”
It’s been a while since we’ve addressed this topic, and sorry to be a downer as we approach the weekend, but this is important stuff for everyone to know.
Well, here’s a factoid for you: Only 30% of the speaking characters in last year’s 100 top-grossing films of 2012 were women. (Here’s those 100 films – how many of them were led by women? By my count, 12, the top one being The Hunger Games.) And that’s only the beginning of the facepalm-worthy figures.
And that’s just in front of the camera. Behind the camera? Well.
Her Universe has been dropping a lot of pics lately, and I have, alas, been a little too tied up to do much – until today, with the double (triple?) punch of the X-wing A-line and Hot Topic dresses. It also looks like we’re getting an Artoo costume hoodie, but I’m not sure about the purple shirt the little girl is wearing… Anyone recognize it?
We think these will be available very soon (like, next week, probably) – stay tuned! And Doctor Who fans, ThinkGeek is selling new Her Universe Time Lord and Dalek shirts, though Ashley does warn they run small.
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.
If you were wondering why The Clone Wars’ Ashley Eckstein was chatting on the Star Wars Books Facebook today, well here’s your answer: She announced that Her Universe has acquired the rights to make Expanded Universe products! (As you may recall, the Mara Jade shirt for Celebration VI was a one-off and limited availability due to not having the EU rights.) Here’s what Ashley had to say about what’s to come:
We are designing Several NEW Star Wars designs this year. Everything will be debuting in May. We are making shirts, dresses, jewelry…We have Rogue Sqaudron designs AND I am SO excited to announce that Lucasfilm has given us the rights to design shirts for the women in the EU, so expect more Mara Jade and Jaina Solo designs!
She later asked fans to be sure to speak up about what EU stuff you’d like to see.
Later, a (male) fan asked “Why do girls pretend to like Star Wars?” (Really people? Really?) Ashley handled that pretty well:
Girls definitely do not pretend to like Star Wars. It’s a fact that close to half of all Star Wars fans are girls. There may be some girls and boys that pretend to know more about Star Wars than they really do, but I would encourage you to talk about Star Wars with them and teach them more. Sometimes people may pretend to know more than they really do because they want to fit in. But even if there is a seed of interest in Star Wars, it’s our job as fans to welcome NEW fans into this Universe. Especially during this exciting time! We are about to get more movies!
Of course there was plenty asked about The Clone Wars:
I honestly don’t know Ahsoka’s eventual fate. I encourage you to watch the Season 5 finale on Saturday because there are some surprises. You will get some answers and then you will also probably have a lot more questions…You must tune in and bring some tissues…
There’s plenty more, so check out the chat!
Her Universe and Ashley Eckstein today announced Year of the Fangirl, a new campaign to highlight geek girls. Ashley’s team – Tricia Barr, Erin Kelahan, Amy Ratcliffe, Victoria ‘Scruffy Rebel’ Schmidt and Lillian Skye – will be highlighting ladies as their “fangirls of the day.” You can fill out the form yourself or even nominate a friend (or twenty.)