It’s no surprise that Jessika Pava—the first female X-wing pilot, and the first Asian woman with a visible role in Star Wars—has struck a chord with so many people.
She combines two of the greatest strengths of The Force Awakens: the carefree badassery the film inherited from original trilogy, and the intentionally diverse casting choices that opened Star Wars up to a new generation of fans. (She’s also one half of the fandom’s most popular femslash ship, paired with Rey.)
Star Wars fandom has a long tradition of turning minor characters into beloved superstars, and if Captain Phasma is the new Boba Fett, then Jessika Pava is definitely the new Wedge Antilles.
Shout out to all the amazing fanartists who contributed to this story! There’s lots of awesome Jessika Pava art out there.