The Force is with them, and a powerful ally it is.
Yesterday was Transgender Day of Visibility, a global push to advocate for transgender people, their rights, and publicly support the fight to protect trans and non-binary people from increasingly draconian assaults on their humanity by governments and powerful individuals around the world. To mark the day, the official Star Wars social media accounts shared a new variant cover for June’s The High Republic #6, part of a series that will highlight LGBTQ+ characters — including Lando Calrissian, Chelli Aphra, Sana Starros, and more — from the Star Wars galaxy.
Illustrated by Javier Garrón, the new cover depicts Jedi twins Terec and Ceret — previously been identified by High Republic comic writer Cavan Scott as non-binary. However, the accompanying message also explicitly identifies them as trans.
“In honour of Trans Day of Visibility, we’re proud to unveil an exclusive cover highlighting Terec and Ceret, trans non-binary Jedi, currently featured in Marvel’s The High Republic comic,” the message reads in part. “We support trans lives and we are passionate and committed to broadening our representation in a galaxy far far way.”
While humanoid, they are actually Kotabi, and are described as “Bond-Twins,” beings who share a gestalt mind that allows them to not just express emotions and thoughts together but finish each other’s sentences. This announcement from the Lucasfilm identifies them as the first explicitly trans Jedi characters in current Star Wars canon. They’re not the first Star Wars characters who have identified outside the gender binary, however.
The 2016 Chuck Wendig novel Star Wars: Aftermath — Life Debt included the first non-binary character in the franchise in pirate ruler Eleodie Maracavanya, who uses zhe/zher pronouns, and 2018’s Last Shot by Daniel José Older introduced Alderaanian pilot Taka Jamoreesa, who uses they/them. In addition, in last year’s EA video game Star Wars: Squadrons, fans were introduced to Keo Venzee, a non-binary Mirialan A-Wing pilot portrayed by non-binary actor Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow and Voltron: Legendary Defender).
It’s a small step, and Star Wars has a long way to go when it comes to integrating more LGBTQ+ characters into its work across all spectrums. Especially ones from LGBTQ+ creatives — and especially human queer characters, where their gender identities aren’t just a facet in a larger othering inherent to their status as “alien,” in ways so many of Star Wars’ species can be. But it’s at least a small step in the right direction for the galaxy, far, far away, and hopefully just some of the first steps of many to come.