Every May the Fourth, Star Wars fans across the planet (and maybe the galaxy, who knows?) celebrate our love of everything George Lucas set in motion with the 1977 film Star Wars. At the time, who would’ve guessed that little space opera would launch a franchise that continues to expand like the universe after the Big Bang all these decades later?
Now is an even more exciting time for those who love Star Wars because Disney is helping pump out new content at an accelerated speed. Movies, TV shows, comics, and novels are being produced so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up. But today I’d like to celebrate some of the women of Star Wars that have been created for this new, canon Expanded Universe and suggest it might be a fine idea to have them jump from the page to the big screen.
1. Rae Sloane
First introduced in the novel Star Wars: A New Dawn, Rae Sloane may be the most complex Imperial officer fans have ever had the pleasure of getting to know. From her first introduction years before Star Wars Rebels to her ultimate succession of power in Aftermath: Empire’s End, Sloane has received the kind of character growth and arc usually reserved for heroes related to the Skywalker family. As she’s still alive — and instrumental to the First Order — by the beginning of The Force Awakens, there’s no reason she couldn’t make the jump from page to screen. And, quite frankly, there’s a dearth of black female characters in Star Wars films. One Rae (and many other women on this list) could help with.
2. Hera Syndulla
Voiced by Vanessa Marshall on Star Wars Rebels, Hera is different than the Twi’lek women seen in the films. She is no slave or barely seen Jedi who goes down in the wilds of Felucia. Hera’s a rebel and an ace pilot, the daughter of the Resistance leader on her home planet of Ryloth. While her ultimate fate at the end of Rebels is yet unknown, the new Forces of Destiny shorts show her with Leia and Han on the moon of Endor, so she at least survived the Rebellion. Seeing her as an older, wiser Hera in the new trilogy would be a lovely nod to the fantastic character work done by the Rebels actress and crew.
3. Sabine Wren
The daughter of Clan Wren, the wielder of the Darksaber, the probable future Queen of Mandalore. Sabine Wren is all of these things and more. Other than Boba Fett, the Mandalorians are a blank spot in the Star Wars films. A pity since they’re a culture based on honor, and fight with jetpacks. It’s tailor-made for an action movie.
4. Doctor Chelli Lona Aphra
Created for the Darth Vader comic by Kieron Gillan and Kev Walker, Doctor Aphra is an archaeologist with dubious morals who falls in with Darth Vader. The character became so popular that she now has her own spin-off comic and even had a crossover event with none other than Luke Skywalker himself. Accompanied by her murderdroids Triple Zero and Beetee, Aphra is part Indiana Jones and part Buffy, and she has exactly the kind of charisma that Star Wars audiences love. Add on top of that her father’s fascination with an extinct sect of the Jedi, her connection with Sana Starros, and her introduction to Luke Skywalker and it’s a miracle she hasn’t shown up already.
Side note: Doctor Aphra is currently my top contender for the in-universe replacement of Mara Jade.
5. Evaan Verlaine
A refugee from Alderaan, a former pupil of Queen Breha Organa, and a damn fine pilot to boot, Evaan Verlaine was created for the Princess Leia comic mini-series. Throughout the series run by Mark Waid and Terry Dodson, Evaan stays by Leia’s side as she traverses the galaxy in search of Alderaan natives who were off-world during its destruction. It’s the first — and thus far last — time fans got to see Leia cultivate a relationship with another woman. By the end of the run, Evaan is the closest thing the future General has a best friend, so much so that she reappears in the novel Aftermath: Life Debt. It would sure be nice to see Evaan again, perhaps in the War Room with General Leia, helping determine the best placement for squadrons and offering to get her BFF a stiff drink and
6. Sana Starros
Han Solo’s wife. Or his not-wife. Han Solo’s Schrödinger’s Wife. Fans first met Sana in the Star Wars comic back in 2015 as she holds Han and Leia at blaster point. From there, a series of events lead to confusion as Sana’s history with Han is revealed. Are they married? Aren’t they? It probably depends on whether the man hired for the deception was a real priest or not. A great way to clear up the confusion? Have Sana show up in the upcoming Han Solo film. Just a thought.
7. Norra Wexley
One of the main characters of the Aftermath series by Chuck Wendig, Norra is the kind of character you don’t see often in space operas. Or anywhere really: a woman over 40 who’s an active military fighter. Norra’s entire arc is about balancing family and duty, sacrificing things like birthdays with her son in order to save the galaxy so he’ll have future birthdays. A scrappy fighter, a great pilot, and a good shot, it’d be swell to see Norra on the big screen. Might I suggest Helen Mirren for the role?
8. Asajj Ventress
This one is tough. Asajj Ventress began life as Dooku’s apprentice, but went on to become a much beloved anti-hero by the end of the animated series The Clone Wars. Recently, the novel Dark Disciple by Christie Golden took an unused plot from the show and turned it into a story that gave Ventress’ arc closure. However, Asajj Ventress is no ordinary former Sith. She is a Nightsister of Dathomir. A witch. And if there’s one thing the women of Dathomir don’t do, it’s stay down. If anything, Ventress returning to her home world is only the beginning of a live-action movie about the witches of Dathomir and how they interact with the Force. Right?
9. Shara Bey
Poe Dameron’s mother was created of the comic Star Wars: Shattered Empire and she quickly became instrumental to the story being told by Greg Rucka. While Shara did not survive until Poe’s adulthood, there are plenty of stories left to tell with the time she had.
10. Ahsoka Tano
At this point, it feel weird — and a little ominous — that Ahsoka hasn’t made an appearance in a Star Wars film. Rogue One would’ve been the perfect place for a cameo, but instead audiences got Chopper. Now it could be that Lucasfilm doesn’t want to tip their hand as to Ahsoka’s fate. But should she manage to survive the Emperor’s machinations in the fourth season of Rebels, it will be high time to get Anakin Skywalker’s former apprentice onto the big screen where she belongs.
Honorable Mention: Mara Jade
Yes, I know Mara Jade is part of the now-defunct Expanded Universe. But if Star Wars Rebels can resurrect Thrawn for the new world order, there’s no reason Mara Jade can’t be returned to us as well. The former Hand of the Emperor, Jedi Master, and wife of Luke Skywalker deserves better than to be left on the trash heap of Star Wars history. Bring her back, Lucasfilm!