Growing up, I always felt awkward for being a girl and liking Star Wars. I was never one to play with dolls in the first place, but I knew that was the norm for girls my age and tried my best to be normal. When the movies I loved so dearly were brought up in class and all the boys would chime in, I would sit quietly and pretend I didn’t know what they were talking about. My junior year of high school, I started being more open about my love for the iconic franchise, but it wasn’t until I started dressing up as Princess Leia a year after high school that I fully realized what I had been missing, and that it wasn’t over for me. I saw that even with the new female leads and all the new movies and toys, young girls still feel the same way I did and get bullied for liking Star Wars. I made it my mission to show them that you can be a girl and love these movies too. When the new animated miniseries based around the female heroines of the iconic franchise, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, was announced last week my heart soared with happiness and hope.

Some wickedly talented creative forces have made it their destiny to bring you action packed, three minute episodes each featuring around a different Star Wars heroine. Writing the miniseries is Jennifer Muro, well known for writing for DC’s Justice League Action, and is directed by Brad Rau, who has been the head of episodes for the hit Disney XD show Star Wars Rebels. The executive producers are Dave Filoni, executive producer of Rebels, and Carrie Beck, producer of Rebels and Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures. Reprising their roles are Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano), and Tiya Sircar (Sabine Wren). Lupita Nyong’o will also be taking up her role as Maz Kanata, who will be narrating the stories of these heroic females. Taking the role of Princess Leia will be Shelby Young, and the voice of Padmé Amidala is Catherine Taber, who played her in The Clone Wars. The first eight episodes will debut in July on Disney YouTube, then in the fall see eight more additional shorts on Disney Channel.

We’ve heard a lot about what some of the episodes are going to be about. A couple favorites of mine focus around some Rebels characters I’m personally excited to learn more about. What I believe might be the most captivating one will be set on the forest moon of Endor, and while we don’t know much, we do know there will be an epic team up with Leia, Hera Syndulla from Rebels and some of our favorite small, furry teddy bears.  One of the stories focusing on Sabine Wren will show how her long-time friend and fellow bounty hunter, Ketsu Onyo, came to joining the Rebellion.

The amazing lineup of characters and stories we know of, I’m hoping to see more young girls not afraid to show their love for Star Wars. This show should make them feel more empowered then ever. With the dolls also coming out with the series I feel they’ll also be less afraid to play with more Star Wars toys. Forces of Destiny has given me hope for women and girls in the future.

I now dress up as Princess Leia as part of the Rebel Legion, an international costume organization who dress up as the heroes of Star Wars and are dedicated to raising money and awareness to many different illnesses and causes. As part of this group, I’ve always made sure to show younger kids, especially girls, that it’s okay to do this and love Star Wars no matter your gender or age. This miniseries has inspired me to dress up as more of these heroic female leads, because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. More and more women have been given main roles in the Star Wars saga, and it’s a huge step forward from when women were mocked and bullied constantly for their love of the franchise.

Bekah Platzer

Bekah Platzer