Chuck Wending has responded to critics who are unhappy with the introduction of a major new gay character into the Star Wars universe.
Wending revealed in a recent interview that the franchise would be introducing the character in his new novel – Star Wars: Aftermath.
The new novel picks up the story after the Empire is defeated in Return of the Jedi.
Sinjir Rath Velus is an Imperial turncoat who serves the Rebellion – and later reveals his sexuality after rebuffing a female character.
Many have embraced another openly gay character joining the legendary franchise, some ‘fans’ have not responded well to the news, accusing the author – as well as Walt Disney Studios – of trying to “stuff diversity down our throats”.
“I also don’t like the inclusion of so many gay characters because my personal opinion is that homosexuality is not normal,” a user named Giorgio wrote on Amazon.
“Sodomy is not normal and I am tired of the liberal media trying to make me accept this lifestyle.”
Another, Earl Hall, accused Wending of “jumping on the Caitlyn Jenner bandwagon”, before questioning the need for diverse characters and “social groups trying to make me accept a sexual proclivity.”
However, while Wending accepts the bad reviews he has received due to his writing style, he won’t stand for homophobic remarks.
Referencing elements from the Star Wars universe in his response, he wrote on his blog:
“Sorry, you squawking saurian – meteor’s coming. And it’s a fabulously gay Nyan Cat meteor with a rainbow trailing behind it and your mode of thought will be extinct,”
“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.
“Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.”
The new character has been dubbed the first major gay character in the Star Wars Universe.
Fans were quick to point out, however, that lesbian jedi Juhani, featured in the 2003 game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – making her technically the universe’s first gay hero.
There are also a number of minor gay characters in the series – including imperial officer Moff Delian Mors, and Norra Wexley, who also features in Aftermath – with legendary droids C-3P0 and R2-D2 also rumoured to be in a gay relationship by some fans.