During an pre-Oscars event at his Bad Robot HQ in Los Angeles, Abrams was asked whether he see’s an openly gay character in the franchises future; after the success of the first female Jedi and black lead, respectively.
“Of course!” Abrams said. “When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.”
“To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility,” Abrams continued. “So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”
In an ideal world, actually fuck that, right now this shouldn’t even be an issue that needs defending or explaining. But alas, that is still not the case; as seen with the latest canonical Star Wars novel that featured a homosexual lead.
Wendig’s Aftermath is a story about an Imperial officer who turns his back on the Empire and joins the Rebellion after witnessing a particularly vicious battle. Oh and he happens to be gay. Although the lead’s sexuality isn’t a big component of the story, Wendig said he thought it was important to include stories for people who are often unrepresented in popular fiction.
The decision proved divisive to say the least, with a cavalcade of negative reviews being posted focusing on the mere mention of the characters sexuality. Wendig, however, responded as such:
If you’re upset because I put gay characters and a gay protagonist in the book, I got nothing for you… You’re not the Rebel Alliance. You’re not the good guys. You’re the fucking Empire, man. You’re the shitty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire. If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars. It’s like trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them. Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.
Fans had already been speculating the possibility of gay characters in the franchise well before Abrams announcement. When The Force Awakens was released, one of the most popular theories circulating the internet was a possible romantic relationship between Finn and Poe.
Only time will tell, with the eighth installment, being directed by Rian Johnson, due Dec. 15, 2017.