Star Wars will be an inclusive franchise and its future will include gay characters, according to JJ Abrams, speaking earlier this week at the Oscar Wilde awards at Bad Robot Productions.
The Daily Beast noted that as The Force Awakens has been the first film in the franchise to utilise black and female leads, Abrams’ plans for inclusivity also extend to homosexual characters as well. “When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.”
This is a big step for the franchise, and it’s something that’s long overdue for the franchise. The inclusion of gay characters is an addition to the worldview that simply recognises how a part of the world identifies itself.
It’s a recognition that will no doubt be the start of a micro-Twitter-tempest with the charge that Star Wars has given in to politically correct culture, while missing the point that despite the millions of alien species, worlds and languages, additional sexual orientations might exist in a Galaxy Far Far Away somewhere.
Homosexual characters have already been featured in the Star Wars universe; through Paul Kemp’s novel Lords of the Sith in the form of Moff Delian Mors, and in Chuck Wendig’s novel Aftermath through Sinjir Rath Velus and Esmelle Wexley. Wendig noted that it’s a growing trend in science fiction and comics:
You’re starting to see it more, obviously, in the larger narrative properties. Comics are just starting to figure out that that [LGBT men and women] exist in the world, and you can include and incorporate them in stories and speak to those people, and speak to audiences who may not have been spoken to before.
Indeed, you can draw earlier parallels from Star Wars’s Expanded Universe, where authors described plenty of human and alien couples, without comment.
How these couples and relationships will be portrayed in upcoming films remains to be seen, but while we don’t think that Finn and Poe will be a couple, hopefully we’ll be surprised.