While Star Wars appears to be doing its part to change this, the ranks of awesome female science fiction heroes have been severely lacking. However, that doesn't mean that one of the newest members of that class doesn't have somebody great to look up to. Felicity Jones says that she went to various places to find inspiration for her character of Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but one of them was the prototype for tough science fiction women, Sigourney Weaver's character of Ripley from Aliens.
Felicity Jones admits to being a major Sigourney Weaver fan, so it makes sense that this would be one of the first places she would look after landing the role of Jyn Erso. Unfortunately, she tells Yahoo that she hadn't scored the role yet when filming A Monster Calls, a film in which she co-stars with Weaver, so there was no opportunity to pick the actresses brain directly.
At this point, it's pretty much a given that if you're going to be playing a tough woman in a sci-fi movie, you use Ripley as a reference. It would be borderline irresponsible not to do so. Exactly how Ripley will inspire Jyn Erso is not clear, Felicity Jones doesn't bring up any specifics, but we can't wait to see what happens.
To be sure, Ripley and Jyn Erso are very different characters. Both are somewhat reluctant heroes, but for very different reasons. Ripley gets thrust into the role by circumstance. In Aliens specifically, she's the one with the experience that nobody else has. Jyn Erso appears to be chosen for the mission in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story because of her relationship to a particular scientist, a relationship she did not ask for and, based on the fact that she's been living on her own for years, one that she actively rejects. The characters will be very different on the outside, but due to the importance of the mission, the internal nerve of the characters may, in fact, be very similar. Ultimately, both are thrust into situations that they're likely not ready for. While Jyn Erso probably has more experience with the required skill set than Ripley did, that doesn't mean it's any easier to simply waltz into the Galactic Empire and steal the plans for the Death Star.
We're certainly excited and hopeful that Jyn Erso will be one the great science fiction heroines. How much are you looking forward to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and it's new cast of characters? Let us know in the comments below.
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