When viewing Star Wars, the lens that I think is most important in terms of understanding the film is the gender lens. This lens, which brings to light the ever-present sexism in media and the struggles brought on to characters due to their gender, sex, or lack thereof is perfect for understanding the dynamics between sexes and genders in the far-away galaxy. The power struggles women and gender-fluid or neutral organisms face in the galaxy are prevalent when you view the film through the gender lens. When looking at Princess Leia, a woman who seems at first glance to be simply a strong female character in a male-dominated film, you begin to realize the underlying intent in her otherwise unwavering persona. She is one of only two women in the entire film (the other being Luke’s deceased aunt), and the only one who hasn’t been docile and/or killed off. In this way, the female voice is rarely heard in the film. The fact that we must continue to look at Leia as essentially the sole source of female representation in the movie exemplifies its inherent misogyny. Despite her moxie, she is continuously victimized and romanticized. Her capture by the hands of the Senate spurred Luke to put himself and the others aboard his ship in danger to save her. Based on the reality that the first thing Luke did when informally introduced to the Princess was state that “she’s beautiful”, we can infer that her attractiveness was the primary incentive for his heroics. If she had been less pleasing to the eye, would Luke have risked his neck to save her? If not, the value of women in the film can be boiled down to nothing more than their appearance. Taking the full scope of the movie into consideration, we begin to realize how genderless or gender-neutral beings are treated in this fictional world. Characters like C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, and other organisms whose genders are not specified or outwardly apparent are always shown as socially and economically inferior to not only men but humans in general. The only exception is Jabba the Hutt, who holds a considerable amount of power in the movie. Droids are made solely to serve humans, though are also made self-aware. They’re given male pronouns by humans and even by each other, but that serves the question of whether or not there are any female-identifying droids, or if cognitively aware machinery even has the capacity to identify with terms and classifications that weren’t created with their race in mind. This juxtaposes the social suppression of women’s rights and equality in the 1970s despite the growing feminist movement. The National Organization for Women, founded in 1966, was determined to get the Equal Rights Amendment (which stated that equal rights would not be denied by the US or state on account of sex) into the Constitution. During their battle, they found constant resistance from not only the entirely male Congress, but their fellow woman. Eventually they gained Congress approval, but even today they don’t have the ratification of 38 states needed to put the bill into the Constitution. In Star Wars, Princess Leia is the face of a rebellion that is threatened to be smothered by an all-male Senate. In this way, we can see how a fictional character faces similar struggles to women in the 1970s. Upon the completion of the movie, we can come to the conclusion that Star Wars hosts a world in which women are seen as little more than victims in need of saving and gender can play an influential role in the way a character is portrayed and interacts with their environment.