The Star Wars franchise might boast some iconic female characters but after forty years it is still dominated by men.
Film lecturer and writer, Becca Harris has proven this after working out the percentage of screen time women share in each Star Wars film and posted the ranking to Twitter.
According to her calculations, female characters in The Last Jedi were given 43% of the screen time compared to the first ever film, A New Hope, which had them at just 15%.
I have FINALLY ranked all of #StarWars based on screen time for women. This is now canon. Don't @ me.
43% Last Jedi
37% Force Awakens
35% Rogue One
23% Return of the Jedi
22% Empire Strikes Back
20% Phantom Menace
18% Attack of the Clones
17% Revenge of the Sith
15% A New Hope
— Becca Harrison (@BeccaEHarrison) May 28, 2018
Of course it’s good to see that the newest movies have progressed to give women more screen time, but as The Last Jedi, The Force Awakens (37%) and Rogue One: A Star Story (35%) are led by women one would have hoped that they would have the lion share of screen time.
According to Harris, the Star Wars prequels were significantly worse for female representation, scoring the third lowest percentages on her ranking.
The Phantom Menace (20%), Attack of the Clones (18%) and Revenge of the Sith (17%) featured Natalie Portman as Padme, but as you can see from the stats her role is reduced with each new film.
Solo: A Star Wars Story has not been included in the rankings as it has only just been released so it may well improve on The Last Jedi’s numbers but unlike Rian Johnson’s movie it does not pass the Bechdel Test.
The Bechdel Test analyses whether two or more female characters in a movie have a conversation that does not refer to a man and Solo fails it.
Hopefully JJ Abrams’ Episode 9 will finally see the gender balance of screen time hit 50/50.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is in cinemas now