J.J. Abrams says ‘The Force Awakens” female characters are designed to reflect the real world

The new 'Star Wars' movie has been widely praised for featuring several prominent female characters

J.J. Abrams has spoken about the representation of women in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, explaining that he wanted the film to “look and feel” like the real world.

Abrams’ film has been widely praised for placing a female character, Daisy Ridley’s Rey, at the epicentre of the action and casting Game Of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie as a female stormtrooper called Phasma. Lupita Nyong’o also has a key role as a wise pirate called Maz Kanata, while Carrie Fisher returns as Princess Leia.

The Force Awakens, which Abrams wrote with Star Wars franchise veteran Lawrence Kasdan, also passes the frequently cited “Bechdel test”, which requires two female characters to be shown talking to one another about something other than a man.

“From the very beginning of our discussions about this movie, the notion of a woman at the very centre of the story was always something that was very compelling to me and exciting,” Abrams said at yesterday’s London press conference for The Force Awakens.

“And not just at the centre. It was important that in addition to [Carrie Fisher’s] Leia, who we knew was a critical part of the puzzle, that we had other women and female characters who are not necessarily human in the film.”

“We just wanted this thing to not feel like it wasn’t inclusive,” Abrams added. “We wanted to make the film look and feel more the way the world looks and feels.”

Watch J.J. Abrams discuss his approach to representing women in The Force Awakens below.

As used on https://www.nme.com/news/arctic-monkeys/77567