Why aren’t more women interested in collecting and dueling with lightsabers? As the woman that operates the lightsaber-themed YouTube channel SaberSourcing and website SaberSourcing.com, this is a question I think about a lot.
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When I first launched the SaberSourcing YouTube channel in May 2017, I was expecting more men than woman to watch the channel simply because more men than women are Star Wars fans. I wasn’t expecting that over 95% of SaberSourcing viewers would be male. That’s a lot of guys and not very many women.
I’m a little surprised that my viewership is so overwhelmingly male. Star Wars culture has changed a lot over the years. Carrie Fisher would sometimes joke that Princess Leia was the only woman in the galaxy in the Original Star Wars trilogy. Aside from the small roles of Aunt Beru and Mon Mothma, Leia was the only woman in the Original Star Wars trilogy.
Now, Princess Leia is far from being ‘the only woman’ in the galaxy. She’s joined by strong and intelligent female leads and role models including: Padme Amidala, Ahsoka Tano and Rey. Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Forces of Destiny, even created the fangirl fashion website Her Universe in 2010 aimed at female sci-fi fans. In short, it’s more common to see women who are Star Wars fans in the present day than it was in the 70s and 80s.
Lightsabers are a hobby within the Star Wars hobby. Maybe lightsabers just generally appeal to more men than women. That’s what SaberSourcing viewership numbers seem to imply. Also, nearly all of the custom lightsaber companies are run by men. There are a couple notable high-profile women in the custom saber community, however, like Deanna Johnson from Vader’s Vault and Vee Ripper from Ripper Blades. These women lightsaber enthusiasts are the exception and not the rule, however.
From a business standpoint, women seem to be a relatively untapped market for lightsabers sales. More women would likely enjoy participating in the lightsaber hobby. Maybe they just haven’t found a way into the community yet.
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What do you think about the lightsaber hobby being so male-dominated? How do you do think custom saber companies could tap into the female market?