Women Aren’t Allowed To Fly X-Wings In The Original Star Wars Movies

No women were shown flying X-Wings in the original Star Wars trilogy.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

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While the newer Star Wars films have taken some steps to rectify the lack of female representation featured in the original Star Wars movies, there is always more progress that can be made. Still, Star Wars has come a long way since the days when women weren’t allowed to fly X-Wings like the original Star Wars films suggested. According to Mashable India, not a single woman flies a fighter ship in the original trilogy.

And, apparently, it isn’t from the lack of female actresses interested in appearing in the space western either. In fact, while generations of girls grew up thinking that the only female role model available in the OG Star Wars was Princess Leia (alright, she’s a total badass, but still, we wanted more), there was a whole panel of actresses who had been left on the cutting room floor at Lucasfilm.

Two of these actresses were female fighter pilots in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Although they were not in the original cut of the movie, the plethora of special edition features on the Blu-Ray release showed these two women as part of the Rebel Squadrons during the Battle of Endor. 

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One of the women was a younger pilot, probably somewhere in her twenties, and despite not making it to the final cut of the movie, she had a single line: “Got it.” Unfortunately, that tiny bit of dialog was dubbed over by a man in post-production. 

The other woman was an older woman with weathered wrinkles on her face and eyes that said she’d seen some stuff. The fact that an older woman was piloting a fighter ship would have been so interesting to see in Return of the Jedi, as it opens so many questions as to who this character is. Has she been a Rebel her entire life, or did she join the Alliance in her elder years? What have those eyes seen that myriad of Star Wars films, books, and TV shows, have not yet explored?

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Although both of these unnamed characters appear on the Return of the Jedi Blu-Ray, proving that at one point, George Lucas had indeed authorized female fighter pilots, both women piloted A-Wings. So, does this mean that women really weren’t allowed to fly X-Wings in the original Star Wars movies?

As it turns out, there were originally two female X-Wing pilots showcased in Return of the Jedi, who were also cut out of the final cut. But, unlike the two featured above, neither X-Wing pilot made it into the Blu-Ray special features and were left unknown and forgotten for decades—and one of them was a major character.

According to Star Wars Aficionado, Vivienne Chandler played an X-Wing pilot in Return of the Jedi who had over a page of dialog. Chandler spent three full days shooting her scenes for Episode VI, all of which took place in the cockpit of an X-Wing and had her interacting with another X-Wing pilot (who was male, of course). When Chandler saw a screening of Episode VI, all of her scenes were included, which makes it extra odd that her entire character would be cut and not even appear in the special edition years later. 

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George Lucas has never commented on why he cut out all of the female fighter pilots from the original Star Wars movies. Fan theory suggests that perhaps someone on the executive team thought that seeing female fighters die in battle would be too much for audiences of the 1970s and 1980s. While we may never know the exact reason, we are glad that the more recent Star Wars content has begun to show more representation in all aspects and hope that the space fantasy franchise will continue with that trend.

This is the way.

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