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The new 'Star Wars' and women: Female sci-fi directors on Leia, Amidala, and what lies ahead

Who can forget Carrie Fisher’s gold, swirly, shamelessly skimpy bikini as a slave girl held captive by Jabba the Hutt in 1983’s Return of the Jedi? Cue sex icon posters of Fisher taped to salivating fanboys’ walls. Fast forward almost 30 years later, with both fanboys and fangirls, er fanmen and fanwomen at this point, awaiting an upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII by 2015, following Tuesday’s huge announcement about Disney acquiring Lucasfilm.

It’s a new world for women in sci-fi fantasy since the metal bikini days, or even since George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels, released in 1999, 2002 and 2005, which starred Natalie Portman as the elaborately dressed yet restrained Naboo queen-turned-senator Padmé Amidala, mom to Luke Skywalker and his sister Leia. EW reached out to female sci-fi directors about their take on the new Star Wars universe when it comes to representing women in a modern and diverse way.

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