I don’t think I completely understood the significance of female representation in popular culture until I saw The Force Awakens. I’ve written about this before, so I’ll be brief here, but when I saw The Force Awakens for the first time, I was in a movie theater, and I happened to be sitting next to a little girl. If you’ve seen the film, you may remember that it opens with Rey, sifting through scrap metal in the darkened hull of an abandoned space ship. But you don’t realize it’s Rey, because she has a mask on, and if you’re the five-year-old girl sitting next to me, you haven’t read a lot of press coverage or reviews, so you aren’t even expecting a character named Rey or an actress named Daisy Ridley. Maybe you’ve never even seen a Star Wars movie before. It’s all new to you. You’re quite impressionable. All you see is a masked person in a strange place.
A few minutes into The Force Awakens, the masked person going through the garbage climbs out of the ship and into the bright desert sun. The person removes the mask to reveal . . . a young woman. For me, this was not a dramatic moment, but the girl next to me turned excitedly to her father and said, “It’s a girl!” Continue reading “Take Your Kids to A Wrinkle In Time”