Star Wars fan Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen and boyfriend Juan Ramon Guerrero were among the 49 people who died in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando earlier this month. Drew’s best friend Joshua Yehl has started a petition asking Lucasfilm to use him “as inspiration for the first-ever LGBT Star Wars character to appear in a movie.”
As part of their annual report on LGBT characters in movies, the anti-defamation group GLAAD is pushing Star Wars to introduce gay and lesbian characters into the films. Per Variety:
“As sci-fi projects have the special opportunity to create unique worlds whose advanced societies can serve as a commentary on our own, the most obvious place where Disney could include LGBT characters is in the upcoming eighth ‘Star Wars’ film,” the report reads. “2015’s ‘The Force Awakens’ has introduced a new and diverse central trio, which allows the creators opportunity to tell fresh stories as they develop their backstory. Recent official novels in the franchise featured lesbian and gay characters that could also be easily written into the stories.”
The introduction of gay and lesbian characters into the canon Star Wars novels has been controversial, but really, what isn’t?
Also at Variety, Brent Lang looks at why major blockbusters like Star Wars and Marvel have been reluctant to add LGBT characters.
It’s not the first time Star Wars has featured LGBT characters, but an upcoming novel will be the first to introduce one into Star Wars canon as it now stands.
Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith, out in April, features Moff Mors, a lesbian and “Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but is an incredibly capable leader and spends much of the book working hard to prevent absolute failure,” Bryan Young at Big Shiny Robot reports.
“There should be diversity in Star Wars,” Del Rey editor Shelly Shapiro told Young for Full of Sith. And what more is there to say than that?
Addressing the latest round of the ‘gays in Star Wars‘ controversy last night, Conan O’Brien found some other characters that might benefit.
I’d like to take this opportunity to link (again) Todd Alcott’s post on Darth Vader and Boba Fett in ESB. OTP!
Remember the message board kerfuffle in ’09 about gay and lesbian relationships in The Old Republic MMO? Well, it looks like they will be an option – eventually – in The Old Republic after all. Here’s the official statement:
Due to the design constraints of a fully voiced MMO of this scale and size, many choices had to be made as to the launch and post-launch feature set. Same gender romances with companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a post-launch feature. Because The Old Republic is an MMO, the game will live on through content expansions which allow us to include content and features that could not be included at launch, including the addition of more companion characters who will have additional romance options.
Given Bioware’s track record, this isn’t a huge surprise, but it’s good to know it is a consideration.