Women of the Galaxy, a new art book examining female characters from every corner of the Star Wars universe, is exactly the kind of thing I would have read cover to cover twice in one sitting if you’d given it to me when I was nine.
From Jedi Master Aayla Secura to bounty hunter Zam Wesell, each alphabetical entry features art from a group of 18 women illustrators, as well as an explanation of the character’s history from Nerdist and StarWars.com writer Amy Ratcliffe. And with more than 70 characters in the book, there’s bound to be someone in here you’ve never heard of, but wish you had.
Case in point, I have a new favorite Star Wars character: Kneesaa. Why?
“Princess Kneesaa is the daughter of Chirpa, chief of the Bright Tree Village tribe,” Ratcliffe says in her description. “She’s not the kind of royalty that likes to sit around and be pampered; she prefers action.”
Kneesaa aids rebel troops in their effort to overthrow Imperial oppressors in her home, becoming a close ally of Poe Dameron’s father, Kes, and Hera Syndulla of Star Wars Rebels. And just look at her.
What a warrior.
She has definitely eaten a Stormtrooper.
Most of the characters in Women of the Galaxy are, sadly, not so cuddly (although we’ll give the droids a pass), but they are just as cool. Like Jedi Master Depa Billaba, a former padawan of Mace Windu who nurtures the talent of Star Wars Rebels’ Kanan, or the bounty hunter Bazine Netal, whose striking looks made her stand out even in the crush of Maz Kanata’s bar in The Force Awakens.
Or, of course, the terrifying Asajj Ventress, one of the first female villains to appear in a Star Wars movie or cartoon, seen at the beginning of this post.
Women of the Galaxy is out in bookstores now (here’s a look at the cover, by Jen Bartel).