While watching Star Wars: A New Hope, I found exploring the plot through the gender lens to be extremely empowering. This iconic film depicts a microcosm of how women were portrayed in pop culture during the 1970s. Although Princess Leia is depicted as somewhat of a ‘hero’ throughout the story, many occurrences of unnecessary objectification are highlighted while viewing the movie through the gender lens. Princess Leia is objectified and romanticised by every man that she encounters during the movie. For example, when Luke sees Leia for the first time in the hologram projected by R2-D2, his initial reaction is to comment on her beauty, rather than the message she is carrying. Additionally, when Leia is brought to Governor Wilhuf Tarkin before her scheduled execution, he caresses her face and calls her pet-names such as ‘princess’ and ‘sweetheart’. This is a quintessential example of a strong woman’s abilities being overlooked due to her femininity and appearance. Furthermore, the condescending nature of many of the prominent men throughout the film brought to light the ‘glass ceiling’ that women in power face. Despite Leia’s intelligence and bravery in escaping her prison cell and the group of Stormtroopers unscathed, Han Solo reprimanded her for almost getting them killed, and told her to follow his directions from then on. This shows us that women in power are limited in their ability to fight for their rights and beliefs. As the only other female in the film, Luke’s Aunt characterises the stereotypical role of a woman within a family. Although she dies quite early in the movie, in the time that she is shown she can be seen cooking and cleaning whereas Luke’s uncle harvests parts of droids for a living. This perpetuates the idea that women should dedicate their time to completing household chores and taking care of her family while their husbands work and earn money. It is crucial to watch Star Wars from the gender lens to fully grasp the intentions of the film. I believe that the creators of Star Wars intended to go against the stereotypes and norms of female protagonists by portraying Princess Leia as a strong and courageous character who fights for what she believes in. That being said, there were still are many underlying themes of misogyny and sexism. For these reasons, I believe that Star Wars reveals the concept that women in power may be viewed as incapable or indecisive which drastically alters their ability to lead. However, there are also many stereotypes within this film that could be harmful towards men. For example, Han Solo’s fragile masculinity was detrimental to his career and his relationships with others. If I was to watch Star Wars: A New Hope again, I would scrutinize the plot for stereotypical male behaviour, and take note of the different ways that men are portrayed throughout the movie.