If there’s one thing that Star Wars has in spades, it’s incredible characters. But you don’t have to have perfect vision to notice that there’s a fairly wide gender imbalance in the last 40 years of lore. That being said, there are some fantastically written women throughout the universe that it doesn’t hurt to stop and appreciate some of them for exactly that; being fantastic.
I should add that, as much as I love Star Wars, I haven’t read every novel or comic out there. The expanded universe really is huge So just note that this is only from what I’ve read in my years and, even then, there’s no real order to it! (And yes, Mara Jade would totally be in here but we all know how brilliant she is now don’t we?)
Morrigan Corde – Star Wars: Legacy Comic Series
Also known as Nyna Calixte to those who only knew her as one of the Moffs on the Imperial Council during Darth Krayt’s reign around 137 ABY. To call her a chameleon or turncoat doesn’t quite do her justice. She began in Imperial Intelligence, and through this she went on to meet Kol Skywalker and have a son: Cade Skywalker. Had she not been mother to a legendary Skywalker, Corde would still be worth noting purely for her cunning, finesse and ruthless ambition. She carried many calling cards, originally being the best agent Imperial Intelligence had, then a member of the Council of Moffs, to spy for the True Emperor Roan Fell. Throughout the Legacy series, Morrigan is one of the few characters who knows what she’s doing along with every detail of each aspect involved. She plays a double life as she turns on the empire to help her son and the Imperial Remnant, outsmarting her fellow Moffs as well as the Sith who hold the Empire in their grasp.
She lets all that go to the Sarlaac pit for her son in the end, breaking from a shell of cold, callus careerism to the one thing she shut herself out from, her family. It’s a wonderful regression in a way. She returns to what she knew was truly key to her life and drops the real facade of Nyna Calixte. Her brilliance, intelligence and ability to do almost any task is what makes her an intriguing and multi-faceted character that’s pushed the Legacy series to become my favourite story line in Star Wars yet.
“Your plots, your betrayals, your desire for control—had you Force ability, you might have made a good Sith—under Darth Sidious.” – Darth Maladi to Morrigan
Mira – Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Among the many companions of The Exile after the Jedi Civil War was a bounty hunter. The best bounty hunter in the system, and that’s not bragging, it’s fact. A Mandalorian slave turned refugee that forged herself into a famed bounty hunter, Mira has a darker past than most would. Despite being part of the Mandalorian war machine, and a desperate refugee on the streets of Nar Shaddaa, she never killed her targets. A good hunter never truly needing to kill their targets, especially if they knew them well enough. But beneath that there’s a person who saw hope and good in the galaxy and tried to piece it back in some way in the chaos of Nar Shaddaa. Unlike other characters in the game like Atton, Mira would have continued to do good and push for what she believed in whether the Exile found her or not.
It’s not often that a bounty hunter with a truly good heart comes about, and one as assured, confident and competent as Mira made her an easy character to love. I don’t even want to recall the hoops I jumped through to get her influence high enough to unlock her backstory. And I never get tired of how she bats aside a male exile’s attempt at trying it on with her.
“Her death will occur in many years time on a forgotten planet, saving the lives of others. But it will be her choice, and she will have no regrets.” – Darth Traya speaking about Mira at the end of KotOR II
Jarael – Knights of the Old Republic Comic Series
You’ve probably guessed the trend of kick-ass women who do almost everything better than their counterparts that’s been running through this piece. Jarael is no exception! Now it’s not hard to show up the likes of Zayne Carrick who succeeds through what most see as sheer dumb luck. Jarael is a brilliant counterpoint to the likes of Camper, Gryph and Zayne. She owns a brutal determination and warrior spirit, all from the cruelest of training. On top of that, she won the heart of the Sith lord to-be, Malak, just by being a right badass.
On top of throwing some stellar punches, Jarael has a fierce loyalty and devotion to her friends, beyond most characters in the galaxy far far away. She’s one of the few characters that I’ve identified with beyond because of her dedication and how highly she holds her friends. And barely a word is spoken for it; it’s just how she is and it’s a brilliant case of showing and not telling. Despite the hell that was her life for so long, she’s content to live her life helping and looking out for her friends. For that alone she’s a standout character to me in a galaxy of power plays, war and hokey religions.
“Zayne’s right. I have to do something—before another family is destroyed like mine was.”
Asajj Ventress – Clone Wars Era
Whether you read the comics, books or kept up with the Clone Wars TV series, chances are you’ve come across Asajj Ventress. No matter what you think of her, she’s got an icy cool and sultry condescension that’s hard not to like. There’s the immediate traits of being a deadly assassin, one of the few who can go toe to toe with Kenobi and Skywalker in a duel, and foiling the Jedi on a semi-regular basis, but beyond that Asajj has had a tragic life, and it’s hard not to admire her for it. Ventress never attained any of her aspirations; throughout her life she was always pushed back or not good enough. She failed as a Jedi when her master was slain and anger overcame her.
Despite being Dooku’s apprentice, she only ever remained a dark acolyte. Ventress spent most of her life trying to walk paths that weren’t for her. Towards the tail end of the Clone Wars she drops it all and shifts to the life of a bounty hunter. There is something quietly sad about her never finding her lot in life, being given up on or betrayed by anyone close to her. And despite all of that, she carries on to the next day and finds something else. Asajj is without question one of the best characters created in the Star Wars mythos and deserves an end that’s fitting for the fight she constantly braves. I’m looking at you Star Wars Rebels; if you can bring Rex back, I’m expecting Asajj close behind!
“Ventress! And here I thought this mission would be unpleasant.”
“The pleasure’s all mine, my dear Obi-Wan. I’ve missed you.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi and Asajj Ventress
Star Wars is brimming with some formidable women but these ones have always stood out for me! Which women of Star Wars are your favourite? Are there some you wish were explored more like Mission Vao or Darth Talon? Let us know below!