It’s true. All of it.
Have you seen it yet? The new Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer? Go, now. Carve out a few minutes and let your childhood come back to you while you are just awash in nerd dom. Or experience the world for the first time. Whichever. I’ll wait. I’m patient.
I watched it last night with my boyfriend, all of the lights turned off in our house while we tried to be quiet while our roommate was still asleep. We hunched over the laptop because it wouldn’t stream right to the TV, and we watched as one of our favorite worlds came alive. It didn’t just come back to the screen, it came alive. As a kid, the world of Star Wars was a galaxy far, far away and long ago. Princess Leia was just like any other princess, and I grew up so entrenched in the space epic that it was the standard by which all other space stories were told.
But last night, hunched over the world’s worst laptop, I watched a female character with hands covered in grease, hunched over something mechanical in a world that looked a lot like where the first story began. This was my story, now. I no longer have to bend the rules if I want to imagine myself in that galaxy far, far away, and neither do so many other people. Star Wars looks so, so good and so, so much like the people who are actually in our world.
A few days ago, before the trailer dropped, I wandered in to Kohl’s with my boyfriend’s mom so we could do some clearance shopping. I’m used to seeing “nerd” shirts in stores like this, and if they ever show up in the juniors or girl’s section, it’s almost always the same: a logo. Princess Leia, maybe. The cover from movie posters. I love fashion, and over the past few years I’ve really strayed away from “generic t-shirts.” They don’t make me feel pretty, I’m not comfortable in them, and I have a hard time dressing them up.
I have a few requirements in t-shirts these days: it must be stylish. It must be comfortable. It must be long enough to cover my ass when I wear leggings because I have near and about sworn off pants altogether. So when I found a very cool, very chic shirt with a fucking Star Wars reference right there on it?
This. This is gender equality, people. It’s in the dumb stuff, the nerd shirts that look like they came off of the runway. The acknowledgement that there are women who like these things and that we do want to share it proudly. We might have a long way to go with a lot of things, but right now I am super excited to have an equal selection of Star Wars gear, what looks to be equal representation in the upcoming film, and finally having a seat at the boy’s table right alongside everyone else.
I’ve never cared what people thought about my liking “geek stuff” or whether or not girls were “supposed to” or not, but so many girls and women do, and so many girls and women have been told they can’t.
I’m so glad that we’re taking that back, and I am so excited for the new film. I’ll be there opening weekend, if I can help it, hopefully looking super stylish.
This galaxy we’re in is a pretty good one sometimes.
For further reading, don’t forget to check out this week’s Star Wars #OOTD!