I Am a Genius: listen to my words

I Have the Conch

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Strong Women in SF

    Because I’m the kind of guy who makes lists

    And because I have daughters (five of them)

    I started making a list of strong women characters in SF. Not damsels in distress. And not fantasy or urban fantasy or horror or comics. But movies that are more SF than other genres.

    I even got out some lists of SF movies and for ideas.

    People, there’s a paucity of truly good female characters in SF.

    Here’s my list so far:

    • Ripley (Aliens)
    • Samus (Metroid) (I may be pushing it here)
    • female Jedi (Star Wars) (most are not actually portrayed, but here’s some that are)
      • Shaak Ti
      • Ashoka Tano
      • Darth Talon
      • Jayna Solo
    • Princess Leia (Star Wars)
    • Padme Amidala (Star Wars)
    • Mon Mothma (Star Wars)
    • Tuvoc (Star Trek, various)
    • River Tam (Firefly)
    • Zoe (Firefly)
    • Kaylee Frye (Firefly)
    • Sarah Connor (Terminator series)
    • Seven of Nine (Star Trek Voyager)
    • Captain Janeway (Star Trek Voyager)
    • Starbuck (Battlestar Galactica)
    • Quorra (Tron: Legacy)
    • Akina (Titan, AE)
    • Aeon Flux (Aeon Flux)
    • “Franky” Cook (Sky Captain vs World of Tomorrow) (i’m on the fence about Polly from this film)
    • Trinity (The Matrix)
    • Scarlett (G.I. Joe)
    • Lady Jaye (G.I. Joe)
    • The Baroness (G.I. Joe) (yeah, she’s a villain, but often she’s portrayed as very independent)
    • Leeloo (The Fifth Element)
    • Uhura (Star Trek, most recent movie)
    • Arcadia “Arkady” Darell (Foundation)

    Yes, I know this is very incomplete. I haven’t even mentioned Star Trek DS9, for example, and i’m sure there’s one or two there, but I didn’t watch it because I didn’t like it. So please, tell me more and I’ll update.

    My requirements?

    1. Must be a strong character, not just tough (that’s why I left Dejah Thoris and Lara Croft out).
    2. Romantic interest is ok, but that cannot be the definition of her character).
    3. Can’t be simple background material. There’s at least half a dozen other female Jedi for example, but they never show up in the stories, even in the EU. They don’t count. She doesn’t have to be the primary character, but she does have to have an important role as more than just window dressing
    4. Any media is acceptable. I’ve focused on film and TV so far, but books, comics (as long as it’s not a superhero book), and video games are ok too.
    5. Mothers can be strong too. This doesn’t have to be action heroes. Amidala, for example, does participate in firefights, but she’s not strong because she kicks booty. She’s strong for her convictions, even if they are poorly portrayed.
    6. Should be primarily Science Fiction. It may have fantasy or horror elements, but the focus should be SF. I may do a list of other genres later, but this is not it
    7. Should be from a reasonably well known property.

    You know, it looks to me like if a series gets it right, they get it right several times. But still, i mean, I have 6 named Star Wars characters here. And that’s out of 6 films and a TV series. And how many strong male characters are portrayed in that? Ditto for Star Trek. Trek has a better ratio than Star Wars, but I mean, 7 of 9 is lucky to be there. She was written in for looks. Arguably you could put Dr. Crusher and Troi on the list, but I wasn’t impressed with them, and there are a half dozen strong male characters on the standard cast list, not to mention repeating characters.

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