Star Wars to introduce major new gay character
Aftermath introduces a major new gay character to the Star Universe.
Author Chuck Wendig revealed in a recent interview that the franchise would be introducing a major new gay character.
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.
“I don’t think that his sexuality needs to be this giant plot point, but at the same time, it’s part of who he is as a character, and I thought it was an interesting moment,” Wendig told Entertainment Weekly.
“Especially since you don’t necessarily see it as much – not just in Star Wars but just in science-fiction… comics are just starting to figure out that that [LGBT men and women] exist in the world.”
However, despite saying he didn’t want it to be a major plot point, Wendig did place emphasis on the fact that Velus’ sexuality was central to his character.
“I don’t want it to seem like a glib choice,” he said.
“I mean, I think it’s fundamental to who he is, in terms of his character.”
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.
Earlier this year, the BBC accidentally invited a Twitter hoaxer – who accused the franchise of “homophobia” and “racism” – to join in a talk centred around those who had never seen the Star Wars films, after the new trailer for The Force Awakens was released.
Cucumber creator Russell T Davies has also previously questioned the lack of diversity in Star Wars, asking: “There are whole vast empires where we don’t exist – there’s not a single gay person in Star Wars, in Star Trek, in Disney, in Pixar, and this stuff isn’t old, it remains current. There’s still a long way to go.”