They were afraid of being labeled sexist when the female fighter pilot crashed her ship into a Star Destroyer.
The final battle against the Death Star in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983) used to have a bit more of a woman’s touch as it’s been revealed that there were actually three female Rebel pilots taking on TIE Fighters and Star Destroyers as they waited for Han Solo and the gang to blow up the shield generator bunker on Endor (ah, old war stories!).
Huh. Now I’m trying to remember if there were any women at all in the battle scenes. Probably there were and you just couldn’t tell. Stormtrooper armor, y’know.
And why not?
There’s been no official explanation as to why these characters were cut, though fan speculation suggests that the filmmakers may have deemed the sight of ladies getting blown to smithereens to be too intense for moviegoers … especially when one could pass for your grandmother.
One of them was elderly, see. But no worries:
We have a feeling a lot of the Rebellion’s apparent gender discrimination…
…or, at least, George Lucas’…
…will have dissolved in time for “Episode VII.” “Star Wars” needs women, and “Star Wars” will get them if Disney has anything to say about it.
Yeah, Disney’ll off some of them womenfolk. You wait and see.