When fans watched first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first character they encountered was Finn, a black stormtrooper played by John Boyega. What came next were a myriad of critical responses about the idea of black stormtroopers existing in the Star Wars universe.
People took to web forums to argue that Imperial stormtroopers are all “white clones”. This is a ridiculous assertion, when one remembers that the clones were played by Bodie Taylor and Temuera Morrison – both of whom are Maori, not white.
Now it appears that there may be more diversity amongst the Imperial ranks, since there will now be a female stormtrooper appearing in Episode VII. According to The Mirror, BBC entertainment journalist Lizo Mzimba took to Twitter to break this news.
— lizo mzimba (@lizo_mzimba) January 16, 2015
A relatively unknown actress, named Amybeth Hargreaves, has been cast to play one of the Empire’s “elite” troops, However, it has not yet been made clear whether she is being cast in a credited role or as a stand in/stunt double.
Some are theorizing that Hargreaves could have been cast to stand in for Gwendoline Christie, since no definitive details have been revealed about the character Christie will be playing. Christie, who fans may know from Game of Thrones, has been attached to the project for some time, but the only detail that’s really known about her role is that she’s “an important soldier”.
If anything, this shows that while they may be evil, the Empire are neither racist nor sexist. This is more than can be said about some of the fans out there, who will likely voice their disapproval at the notion of a female stormtrooper as well.
It’s 2015 people, and if they could be this progressive “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…“, it would be nice if maybe we all could be too. With at least two more Star Wars movies to go (lets not forget the stand alone spin-offs), it’s likely there will be more attempts to introduce diversity with regard to future characters. So fans really need to follow Boyega’s advice when he said “To whom it may concern…Get used to it”.