Marvel Women vs. ‘Star Wars’ Women: Who Is Greater?

In the past decade, there has been a steady positive increase in the way women are portrayed through movies and television. In 2017, the three highest-grossing films were all led by women; Emma Watson’s Beauty and the Beast, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Daisy Ridley’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That’s a powerful realization when just a few years ago men still highly dominated the blockbuster realm. Today Hollywood is showing more women than ever, not as damsels in distress but instead as complicated, strong women who don’t need men to dictate their every action or sway their minds. That’s pretty great. And the trend is only continuing.

With critically-acclaimed shows like Big Little LiesOrange is the New Black, and The Handmaiden’s Tale or movies like the upcoming reboot of Charlie’s AngelsTerminator: Dark Fate which highlights the first female Terminator, or the recent news that we’ll see Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) take the baton as the new 007, Hollywood is finally comprehending the power of women of all races in entertainment. Love it!

So today, in honor of all of the powerful ladies of cinema, I’m going to compare ten magnificent female Marvel women against Star Wars’ ten greatest heroines. Enjoy!

(This is a long read.)

Scarlet Witch vs. Qi’ra

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I like Scarlet Witch a lot. I’ve liked her since Avengers: Age of Ultron. She’s extraordinarily powerful and I love her sense of style. For a while, she felt swallowed up by all of the important storylines surrounding her but Infinity War changed that, thus evolving her into a character that is not only fun to watch but has an entertaining storyline as well.

Plus, that moment between her and Thanos in Endgame (“You took everything from me”) was AMAZING!

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I like Qi’ra because she’s more than just a pretty face. There’s a darkness to her that makes her mysterious and all the more intriguing. Plus, when she has to, she has some pretty sweet fighting skills.

I think it’s hilarious that both of these women have been liked by a character Paul Bettany was playing (Vision and Dryden Vos.) And while both of these women’s stories were heavily wrapped in romance it didn’t define them or turn them into damsels in distress which I appreciate.

I like Qi’ra a lot but I LOVE Wanda Maximoff.

Marvel Women: 1 pt.

Shuri vs. Rose Tico

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Before Black Panther, I had zero knowledge of Shuri. As a young girl, I wish I had. Shuri is such an inspiring role model for not only is she a princess, which is pretty cool, but she’s an incredibly smart (and heroic) young black woman.

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As you may know, Asians in Hollywood have always been placed in a certain bubble. If they’re not kung fu ninjas or honorable samurai they’re scary gangsters or goofy sidekicks. And the women are at the bottom of the food chain.

Asian women are often sexualized or depicted as timid creatures who fulfill their husband’s wishes in film, making a character like Ros, played by the lovable Kelly Marie Tran, seem like a beacon to so many.

Here she was, the first major Asian female character in the Star Wars franchise, and not once was she depicted in the typical fashion. Unlike Chirrut Imwe, who was practically the master of kung fu Star Wars edition, or Baze Malbus who was portrayed as the typical grumpy, gruff Asian man, she didn’t fit in any boxes.

One, she was never portrayed as a damsel in distress. Two, she was every bit as inspiring a heroine as someone like Rey, for she fought against the First Order with a fierce determination despite knowing that there was a great chance of being killed. And three, she was continuously showing Finn a thing or two, even going as far as saving his life when he tried to sacrifice himself for the Rebellion. I love Rose!

To try to pick one of these women over the other almost seems cruel so I’ll place this bout in a tie.

Marvel Women: 2 pts. 

Star Wars Women: 1 pts.

The Ancient One vs. Vice Admiral Holdo

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Wise, benevolent, and really, really cool, The Ancient One’s role in Doctor Strange was truly a highlight of the film.

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Holdo was definitely…a different character than what we had grown accustomed to in the Star Wars franchise. With the personality of a classic Star Wars heroine and the look of a character from The Hunger Games, Holdo stood out. Some despised everything about Holdo while others praised Laura Dern for bringing this character to life.

At the end of the day, she orchestrated one of the most mind-blowing moments in Star Wars history.

Both of these women would have important roles that would leave an impact on their male co-stars (Doctor Strange and Poe Dameron) before dying in the third act of the film.

I like Holdo but between the two The Ancient One will always win.

Marvel Women: 3 pts.

Star Wars Women: 1 pt. 

Gamora vs. Padme Amidala

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Gamora easily has one of the most interesting storylines in the MCU. Being the daughter of the Mad Titan Thanos came with some serious baggage and it wasn’t long before her relationship with Thanos would come to bite her in the butt.

Beyond the sadder side of her storyline, I am always excited to see her in action. Being an incredible assassin means being able to kick butt and I love watching her kick butt.

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The mother of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa, Padme is a very important character to the entire Star Wars story. While we all know George Lucas could’ve handled her story better she’s still an interesting character.

Unfortunately, both of these characters’ stories were overshadowed by the romance they had with their male counterparts and both of these women were killed by the men who professed to love them. 😕

To be honest, as much as I like Gamora I think I like Padme just a little more.

Marvel Women: 3 pts.

Star Wars Women: 2 pts.    

Hela vs. Captain Phasma

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The wonderful Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett helped bring the first major Marvel female villain to life in a stunning fashion, injecting a legitimate sense of menace and power into the role. Thor: Ragnarok is a great film for many reasons and she is one of them.

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Like Hela, Captain Phasma would become the first female villain to appear in a Star Wars and boy was she a great character. Infusing every scene with her lovable authoritativeness and clipped manner of speaking, Phasma became an instant fan favorite for a reason; she’s awesome!

While I love Hela I absolutely LOVE Captain Phasma.

Marvel Women: 3 pts.

Star Wars Women: 3 points 

Black Widow vs. Jyn Erso

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I always say this but in reiterating this simple fact it continuously reminds me how much my love for Black Widow has grown over the years. When I first was introduced to the character I didn’t like her. She was too flirty, too pretty, and I didn’t take her seriously. And then, after a while, I realized she was more than an attractive spy who just so happened to be the only female Avenger.

She actually had a story that was legitimately more interesting than most of her male counterparts, a story that we will finally get to see in her upcoming standalone film next year, Black Widow.

Fast forward to now and she’s become a character who I fondly deem worthy of my favorite-superheroes-list.

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A fighter, a survivor, a true rebel, Jyn Erso never played by the rules. Refusing to let the Empire bully the galaxy any longer and ruin more families like her family had been destroyed she stood up and led the Rebellion to its first major victory against the Empire. A victory that would lead to the first Death Star’s ultimate destruction.

These two women were both raised as fighters, in a different way. Natasha Romanoff was raised to be an assassin while Jyn was raised to be a warrior. And both would perish in an attempt to save humanity. 😢

Oh man, I love them both so much but Black Widow just manages to beat Jyn Erso.

Marvel Women: 4 pts.

Star Wars Women: 3 pts.

Pepper Potts vs. Leia Organa

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Pepper Potts has had a fascinating journey. She has gone from being a simple secretary to becoming CEO of Stark Industries and finally a superhero! It’s been an amazing journey and honestly, I hope Endgame wasn’t the end of her character, especially when she had just gotten REALLY cool. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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For over 40 years Leia has inspired women and girls around the world for her strengthened qualities, her refusal to be a damsel in distress, and now her role as mentor to the young heroes of this new generation.

We have seen her defeat Darth Vader with simply her words. We have watched her fall in love and in doing so fell in love with that aspect of her storyline. We have watched her liberate herself from the grubby paws of the disgusting slug, Jabba the Hutt. We have watched her fight against the Empire on the front lines while others in her same position (like Mon Mothma) elected to hide on a ship. And we have seen her use the Force to save herself from a terrible death, yet once again reminding us how awesome she is.

Both of these characters are practically the OGs of their respective franchises and both have had compelling storylines but I think it’s obvious who wins this round; Leia!

Marvel Women: 4 pts.

Star Wars Women: 4 pts.

Captain Marvel vs. Rey

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Captain Marvel soared into theaters and thus our hearts for the first time this year and all it took was two movies (Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame) to turn me into a bonafide Captain Marvel fan. While her storyline may not be as compelling as many of the other entries in this post she makes up for it with her incredible power, undeniable sass, and awesome style.

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Rey has been an amazing character since she made her debut in The Force Awakens. With a heart of gold and unyielding bravery, Rey has managed to inspire and gain millions of fans around the world. And yeah she’s powerful. So what? Do I hear anybody complaining about Luke Skywalker destroying the Death Star after having never been off of Tatooine or been in a space battle or piloted an X-Wing?! And yet Rey simply pilots the Millennium Falcon and kicks Kylo Ren’s butt and everyone loses it and starts calling her a Mary Sue. Okay…

Both of these heroines are super incredible and SUPER lovable but, after careful consideration and thought I have reached a verdict and Captain Marvel wins.

Yes, I’ve said it, Rey has been dethroned. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Rey, but there’s something so fascinating in seeing Captain Marvel, who’s practically Superman on fire without the weakness to kryptonite, kicking so much booty as, currently, the most powerful Marvel superhero. It’s just…amazing! Plus her musical theme is pretty sweet.

Marvel Women: 5 pts.

Star Wars Women: 4 pts.

The Marvel Women Win!

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I was definitely not expecting it to be this close with the Marvel women just edging out the Star Wars women by one point! Wow. Last time I wrote this post the Star Wars women beat the Superhero women in a landslide vote of 4 to 1 but now, in the time since then, the Marvel women have become so much cooler.

And what’s even greater about the Marvel women is that these heroines listed on this post aren’t the only ones! There’s Valkyrie and Nebula and Mantis and Wasp and so many more that are in the MCU now and will arrive in the future. Yes, I love the women in Star Wars but compared to Marvel it’s almost a joke.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Marvel Women vs. ‘Star Wars’ Women: Who Is Greater?”

  1. I was hoping Marvel women would win!

    I’m not sure it’s just me, but I feel like the Marvel movies have made of a move to represent women more than Star Wars. I never felt Star Wars had any more than Leia besides these last few years, while Marvel started with Petter Potts to begin with. I felt more of a “we’re trying to make a difference in the industry” from Marvel. If that makes sense. Could be just me though.

    I’ve always loved how Marvel portrays everyone though. Gamora is always my favorite female wise. Our stories are just too similar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Star Wars has some great heroines but here’s where Marvel wins every time. Nearly every major Star Wars heroine is a brunette. Think about it; Leia, Padme, Rey, Jyn, Qi’ra. You don’t have that problem with Marvel. Every Marvel heroine is different in their own little way.

      My favorite Marvel heroine is General Okoye. She’s stern but kind, is not a fan of wigs (lol), and she has some sweet fighting skills.

      My favorite Okoye moment is when she and T’Challa are talking to Everett Ross in Black Panther. Ross is kind of treating T’Challa with subtle disrespect and she gets so angry she starts telling T’Challa how she’s going to hurt Ross in ixiXhosa (that’s the Wakandan language.) When Ross asks, “Does she speak English?” she responds, “When she wants to.” LOVE IT!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for following my blog. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you’re missing the historical context here: without the impact and success of Leia on the big screen, it’s difficult to see if any of these later Marvel women being possible. In that regard, a comparison isn’t really a fair fight.

    It’s like comparing European architecture of the last few hundred years with that of classical antiquity. The former has gone in all sorts of fascinating directions, and outdone it in many ways (Versailles, Sagrada Familia, Empire State etc) but without the blueprint left by the engineers behind the Roman Empire, it simply couldn’t have happened. The ancient monuments may be decaying now, and in many cases, no longer with us – like the late great Carrie Fisher – but their legacy remains.

    A better idea here would be DC Vs Marvel in the last 20 years. Or SW ST women vs MCU women. Or US vs Europe in the 20th century for my architecture analogy.

    On a more positive note: hurray for Padmé! Since reading this article I’ve also read your super critical take on her in AotC. I’ll be responding to that one next.

    Liked by 1 person

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