Mystique can often be defined as the combination of mystery, glamour, and power. Like most movies, there is often a hidden meaning behind the director’s intentions. Whether or not George Lucas or J.J. Abrams had intentions of creating three women of mystery, glamour, and power- they did. Of their creation, there is Rey, Padmé, and Leia.
The most recent Star Wars film titled Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a tale of Rey and her quest to save the galaxy. Like most beginnings however, there is little we know about Rey other than that her parents are deceased and that she has the force within her. The entirety of the film showcases the building of Rey’s character, her relationships with others, and the mystery of her future.
Rey grew up on a planet called Jakku where she lived alone, abandoned by her parents for reasons unknown. It was this alone time that helped her improve her skills in scavenging and piloting. Despite her time being taken up by these skills, she still managed to have hope that her parents would return. It wasn’t until a droid named BB-8 found Rey, that her true purpose was given- to save the galaxy from war. On a quest to find Luke Skywalker, Rey meets friends and foes who push her further into finding herself and finding the force that courses through the universe. She encounters love, loss, betrayal, excitement, hope, and most of all, discovery. Upon the planet far from her own, Ahch-To, Rey finds Luke and the camera circles around them. The world is left to wonder what is to come of Rey, where she will go, who she will meet, and what she will become.
In the middle trilogy, we are taken back to a time before the trio of Han, Luke, and Leia, and brought to a time of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Padmé. Amidst a prime of chaos in the galaxy, there is a certain standard of beauty and grace that is acquainted with apprentice, Queen, and Senator Padmé Amidala. Over the course of her three movies, there is a countless amount of breathtaking wardrobe changes that defined the fashion of halloween costumes and cosplay as well as the Star Wars world for all of eternity.
As an ambassador of love and help to her people, Padmé begins her governess with Geisha-esque makeup and hair like Leia’s only elongated. It is this that sets the standard for the wearings of Padmé to come. Always fully clothed and in flowing gowns, Padmé is iconic for fighting for what is right in a get-up that only she can pull off. Once she begins to fall in love with Anakin, Padmé’s outfits become less traditional and more elegant, ranking the likes of brides in the heist of their honeymoon phases. The favorite piece of many by Padmé is her yellow dress and curled hair, for it is earthy and mellow like her own personality. Similarly, whilst Padmé is pregnant and Anakin has his existential crisis, she can be seen wearing dark tones with her hair in less of her natural curls and more of a toned down wave. In her last outfit, Padmé is youthful and dressed in floral blue within her deathbed. Padmé as a queen, political figure, and mother is a trailblazer for fashion in the galaxy.
Brought to life by the recently deceased Carrie Fisher (may she rest in peace), General Leia Organa is never the damsel in distress, rather she is always saving her male counterparts in distress. Leia is always at the top of her game, bringing utmost skill and effort to every adventure she is a part of. Even within love, Leia is found binding the power of care and affection to lust and longing. As a general and as a princess, Leia is a force to be reckoned with as she is poised, professional, and pristine.
From first glance, Leia is seen as a woman not to mess with. In the arms of guards and being questioned by Darth Vader, she is cunning and equipped with fast answers, never giving away any information to the dark side. Force-sensitive, Leia is the mother of all things kick-ass, from when she participates in the battle of Endor, to leading the war effort and coordinating the operations of the Alliance. Even Leia’s love for Han Solo is power-encrusted; imagine that, a princess and a stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking, nerf herder. Much like her mother, Leia has an everlasting love for her people and for her family. It is this power of love that pushes her to find Luke and retrieve her son Ben from the dark side. To have power in a metal bikini is something not many people can do, and to have the power to kill a monstrous being in a metal bikini with a metal chain is something nobody but Leia can do. Building the resistance and creating a better world for all of the galaxy as a General with the heart of a princess, is something that encapsulates Leia Organa’s true power.
As a trio of powerful women- queens, princesses, generals, senators, scavengers, and searchers- Rey, Padmé, and Leia exemplify mystique in all of their actions over the course of two and one-third trilogies. With power comes great responsibility, with fashion comes great standard, and with mystery comes great curiosity.