About this project
girls run the galaxy.
That’s what I learned in 1977 when I first saw Star Wars. The moment Princess Leia schooled Han and Luke for launching a “rescue” with no plan to get off the Death Star, I met a role model for life. She was bossy and bold and inspired confidence in an entire generation of girls and women.
Flash forward to 2017 and I remain a dedicated Star Wars fangirl. I’m now in my mid-40s, and on my way to adulthood I picked up a doctorate in clinical psychology and became a documentary filmmaker. My work focuses on stories of racial and gender justice, and in 2015 after attending my first Star Wars Celebration I was totally preoccupied with the question: Who are the girls and women of Star Wars fandom, and what stories do they have to tell?
LOOKING FOR LEIA is a feature documentary film that explores the phenomenon of Star Wars “fangirls,” women and girls who connect deeply to the galaxy far, far away and are unique in the stereotypically male Nerd arena. The film reaches beyond Princess Leia to look at how female fans have shaped and expanded the Star Wars Universe, and how these stories speak to experiences of gender resilience and resistance.
We’re featuring an intergenerational and culturally diverse group of female fans, as well as women who are film buffs and cultural scholars, cosplayers and gamers, artists and authors. We’re talking to women in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math); women who use Star Wars in the classroom; women whose career path was shaped by Star Wars; women whose love of Star Wars has helped them battle cancer and live with disability and mental illness; mothers, daughters, and sisters in Star Wars families; women who are rebels and royalty, imperials, bounty hunters, and jedi. Every generation has a Star Wars story, and we’re hearing about the original trilogy, prequels, animated series, comics, Extended Universe/Legends, video games, new trilogy, stand-alone films, and conventions.