The Other Female Character in Star Wars

So there is this cute image making the rounds on Facebook. It is one referring R2D2 as the most vulgar character in film because “They beeped out every single word he said.”

Image of R2D2.  Top: "The most vulgar character of all time." Bottom: "They beeped out every single word he said."

Why do masculine pronouns and masculine identity always get attributed to R2D2? Especially when machines are typically attributed female names and features?

How would this be different if the bottom portion read: “They beeped out every single word she said” or “They beeped out every single word R2 said”?

I began to reflect on the Star Wars Franchise, and I realized that for each of the film series, there is only one obviously female identified character in each of the series. This is really disappointing when I think seriously about it.

So back to R2’s gender. According to Daniel Wallace’s book, “Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Characters” apparently R2D2 is said to have masculine programming. What does that even mean, masculine programming? Does that mean R2 was programmed with a penchant for belching, crotch grabbing, and spitting (realizing fully well there are many women and feminine people who do these things)? Considering that C3PO is typically labeled as non-gendered, gender unknown, or male gendered, obviously it’s not related to role or behavior.

What is R2 were the other woman in the Star Wars series? What would that mean for her as a character and our perceptions of her? I think that would make her a pretty kick ass women, one I could really look up to.

And while we are this line of thinking, what if Chewbacca were female (it’s not like one can tell the female Wookies from the male ones)? Or Yoda? What if Mace Windu or were trans men (especially Han, he does have a thing for vests after all)? And why can they not be these things?

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