One of the perks of living with Star Wars fanatics is that you get to see the first viewing of any new movie release. Real fans buy tickets months in advance. But since my obsession is advancing women, I was a tad bummed this week that I had to decline participation in an ESSENCE magazine event that conflicted with the movie.
It turns out that supporting The Last Jedi was just as feminist an act. Watching the film, it's hard not to escape the parallels to our current reality. There's the insecure villain consumed with power who lashes out at the slightest mention of his weaknesses—just swap the lightsaber for Twitter. Then there's the dark force, seemingly winning the political star battles until a scrappy coalition of diverse fighters pull out an unlikely Alabama upset (I had to stop myself from yelling out "hashtag black women!" during a pivotal scene).
Unfortunately, the most glorious aspect of the film we have yet to achieve: badass women at the highest levels of leadership. Fortunately, organizations like Higher Heights, She Should Run, and Vote Run Lead are working on that. My favorite lines of the movie summed up what it feels like to live in the Trump era and also gave me hope. When the young Rey has a moment of doubt and asks Princess Leia "How do we build a rebellion from this?" the sage matriarch reassures her, "We have everything we need." And we do. We have our voices, which can't be silenced. We have our vote, which can't be outnumbered. We have our democracy, which is still the strongest in the galaxy. May the force be with the United States of America.