The movie makers boast they have made Dejah Thoris a 'strong' character by handing her a sword. To start with Dejah is far from weak in the book. Captured by the Tharks she makes an appeal for peace and friendship between their peoples that actually impresses the chiefs. She shows no fear at all, is always up for an escape plan no matter how harebrained, attacks a ten foot Green martian woman who is flashing sunlight in John Carter's eyes as he fights a duel and would have fought and died beside him had he not literally thrown her on a thoat and ordered Sola to get her out of there. Captured (again) by the unfriendly Zodangans she voluntarily embraces marriage to the Prince in order to save her city, insists on standing by her word after John Carter reappears and informs him she could never marry the man who killed her betrothed no matter how she feels about him. Yeah, real weak. Movie!Dejah is so strong and she has a sword but she runs away from the marriage that will save her home to go adventuring with John Carter. Hmmm.