Comic Books

Star Wars ‘fans’ told in no uncertain terms that queer characters are going nowhere

Emma Flint June 16, 2022
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Against a large sun and purple background, two female characters stand atop a spaceship, holding weapons. The standing character has a pink mohwak, while the other character has a short, brunette crop. In silver at the top of the cover, the title reads: Bounty Hunters

Jan Bazaldua’s cover for Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #24, released 15 June 2022. (Image credit: Star Wars/Marvel Comics)

Star Wars creators are once again facing backlash from those who think a galaxy filled with wookies, ewoks and droids couldn’t possibly include LGBTQ+ characters.

The official Star Wars account spoke out after trolls complained about a Pride Month comic.

Throughout June, Marvel is releasing seven special Star Wars variant covers celebrating LGBTQ+ characters.

One of them, Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #24, features T’onga and Losha, two female characters from the Bounty Hunters series who are partners. Accompanying the main image is the Star Wars logo with a rainbow trail, and a small rainbow burst.

 

When the cover was shared to Twitter on 15 June, a minority of fans took to social media claiming that Star Wars and Disney were becoming “political”.

One comment, which said “Don’t make Star Wars political”, quickly garnered interest, not least of all from the franchise’s social media team.

Their swift and cutting response made clear, in no uncertain terms, that queer representation isn’t political.

“1. Queer characters existing isn’t political,” Star Wars tweeted.

“2. Star WARS is literally in our name.”

 

Sadly, the fandom is well-known for its intolerant behaviour.

Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Moses Ingram has spoken out about the racist abuse she’s received since being cast in the series, something Lucasfilm warned her would happen.

Since the series debuted, Ingram has been bombarded with hundreds of racist posts, some of which she shared in an Instagram video on 31 May.

In her video, Ingram spoke of the difficulties in dealing with such a constant stream of abuse.

“There’s nothing anybody can do about this,” she said. “There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate. I question my purpose in even being here in front of you saying that this is happening. I don’t really know.”

She continued: “The thing that bothers me is this feeling inside of myself, that no one has told me, but this feeling that I have to shut up and take it, that I have to grin and bear it. And I’m not built like that. So, I wanted to come on and say thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and the places that I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.”

Ewan McGregor and other cast members rallied around their co-star, with McGregor issuing a stern statement to trolls: “If you’re sending her bullying messages, you’re no Star Wars fan”.

Star Wars and LGBTQ+ representation

While the comics have introduced a number of LGBTQ+ characters, queer representation is less common in the on-screen Star Wars universe.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker made Disney history by featuring the first gay kiss in the movie franchise, but it was criticised for its brevity.

The sequel trilogy also dodged giving Finn and Poe a romantic storyline, despite their clear chemistry.

The legendary sci-fi franchise introduced its first canonically LGBT+ character in the 2015 novel Lords of the Sith. Delian Mors, a human female who is part of the Imperial order, had a wife in the book, who was tragically killed in an accident.

The expanded Star Wars universe has also welcomed a host of other LGBT+ characters including Sinjir Rath Velus, Doctor Chelli Aphra, Grand Admiral Rae Sloane and non-binary Jedi Terec and Ceret.

Upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte will bring a much-needed queer perspective, creator Lesyle Headland has vowed.

More: Disney, marvel, star wars

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