The message that women can be heroes in their own right arguably started with the original Star Wars, and Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.  Suddenly every age from the youngest girl had a hero they could look up to – a princess who could save herself. It was the right message and the right moment, yet it matters now more than ever.

Disney gets it. The new Star Wars: Forces of Destiny animated series of minisodes (yes, that’s a word now) on Disney XD bring the strong women of the Star Wars universe into a new series of narratives that remind us that we all carry the potential for greatness.

Here’s the first episode, entitled Sands of Jakku.

The new series features the adventures of Rey, Leia, Ashoka, Jen Urso, Sabine and other iconic female characters from all eras in the Star Wars universe. Comprising sixteen two to three minute episodes, the shorts will air on both Disney XD and online on the Disney YouTube channel. The first eight episodes will begin airing today, July 3, 2017, with the remaining eight to be released this fall.

Disney has been carrying this torch now for years, raising eyebrows with 2012’s Brave and a Disney Princess who didn’t need a handsome prince to define who she was. The latest film, Moana, places the title character large and in charge, with the male demi-god character as her sidekick.

At no time in history has this message been more needed or more vital. We need some new heroes in the world, and we are astonished and delighted to find that those heroes have been standing with us the entire time.

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