2. Jyn Erso
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Ph: Film Frame
Jyn Erso is “reckless, aggressive, and undisciplined.” These are descriptors not normally applied to a woman. Jyn is also physically strong and hard as a rock. She does what she needs to do when she needs to do it, no matter what she is feeling inside. And she is not sexualized in any way, a rare thing for an action movie heroine. Her toughness makes her unique in the Star Wars universe.
But what really makes Jyn special is the confluence of toughness and heart in her character.
Throughout the course of Rogue One, Jyn’s character makes a complete 180-degree turn. At the start of the film, Jyn is an out-for-herself terrorist who doesn’t care about causes. By the time she dies on Scarif, she has become an inspirational rebel leader. Her depth of feeling is brought out by two things: the loving, desperate words of her father’s message, and the Death Star’s destruction of Jedha City. Finally, she realizes the Rebellion is a cause worth fighting for.
We love Jyn because she is a complicated human being. Like so many of us these days, she is angry and pathless. There is so much evil happening around her but she doesn’t see how she can possibly help or how it even affects her. Fortunately, life allows her to discover her purpose in a big and obvious way. She shows us there is hope for a better future, and that’s why she’s number 2 on our list.