J.J. Abrams Says Gay Characters Are Coming to Star Wars

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J.J. Abrams Says Gay Characters Are Coming to Star Wars

The director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens says the universe will only become more inclusive, eventually having gay characters.

At an industry event, J.J. Abrams spoke about the inclusivity of the Star Wars universe. When asked if the film series would ever see a gay character, he responded in the affirmative.

"Of course! When I talk about inclusivity it's not excluding gay characters. It's about inclusivity. So of course."

The expanded universe has already seen some openly gay characters - Moff Delian Mors from the Lords of the Sith novel, among others. Not to mention, the series has possibly already had gay characters - we just haven't known about it. Indeed, the only romances the films have ever lingered on involve the primary characters. Anakin mostly seems to like Amidala because of how unlike sand she is, so interpret that as you will.

At the Oscar Wilde Awards (held ahead of Sunday's Oscars), Abrams went on: "to me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn't be a homosexual character in that world."

While one can imagine the internet outrage that might erupt from certain corners, it could be useful to remember that Star Wars has already seen inter-species relationships. If no one is upset about those, maybe we can just be cool about gay people, too?

Source: The Daily Beast

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Um, ok? Not really sure it has to be stated in advance - or why this is newsworthy at all.

Gays, schmays, I want more glorious First Order! At the very least let Captain Phasma contribute something more to the next film then just getting punched!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the first gay character was Juhani, from Knights of the Old Republic--all the way back in 2003. Bonus points for also being a different species. So they've existed, it's just they've rarely been in stories.

I'm fine with this--it is an entire universe, after all, so there are bound to be people who prefer the same sex--but just...don't make a big deal out of it. "Hey, look! These people are gay! Isn't that great? Guys, isn't that GREAT?!" Because that's just annoying. That's trying too hard and an insult I feel.
Do it like Steven Universe. Everyone in that show already knows that Ruby and Sapphire--as well as probably every other Gem--are gay and no one cares. It's just a part of life. A quick kiss on the cheek here, and natural hand-holding there. Stuff like that. Make it so people notice it, but don't make it that character's defining trait.

Dragonlayer:
Gays, schmays, I want more glorious First Order! At the very least let Captain Phasma contribute something more to the next film then just getting punched!

Surprise! She's the new gay character! :-)
But seriously, now that you bring her up, I wouldn't be surprised if they went with this. What better way to get people to forget about the fact that she was a total letdown than to make her the first filmed Star Wars gay character?

Sniper Team 4:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the first gay character was Juhani, from Knights of the Old Republic--all the way back in 2003. Bonus points for also being a different species. So they've existed, it's just they've rarely been in stories.

The Old Republic games are not canon, they don't count unfortunately.

Sniper Team 4:

Dragonlayer:
Gays, schmays, I want more glorious First Order! At the very least let Captain Phasma contribute something more to the next film then just getting punched!

Surprise! She's the new gay character! :-)
But seriously, now that you bring her up, I wouldn't be surprised if they went with this. What better way to get people to forget about the fact that she was a total letdown than to make her the first filmed Star Wars gay character?

"Remember how we built up Captain Phasma to be a badass and then completely failed to deliver, thus irritating some people? Well I have the perfect PR solution: make her gay! People will be too busy arguing over about this is too much/isn't enough they'll completely forget she was useless!"

Seriously though, I'd be fine with that - not to suggest that everyone must pass a 'Dragonlayer Approval Rating' test on this tetchy subject - since she seems like the perfect character build to "just" be homosexual. No overt sexualisation, no overemphasis on her gender as a soldier, just the Captain of the elite new Stormtroopers who happens to be gay.

First of all, I thought there already were gay characters in Star Wars. In fact, I could swear there was already news about that on this very site. I don't know, perhaps I simply misremembered, and this really is a big deal since it's the first time it's ever happened.
But he's talking about the film series here, not the rest of Star Wars, which makes me wonder, why? Aren't other people making the other films? What role does he even have in the Star Wars films now; I thought he was done.

Either way, I hope when they say "gay character" what they actually mean is "character who just happens to be gay", rather than a character who's only distinguishing traits begin and end at their sexuality.

And this would make Stars wars better how? Oh yeah, "gay culture" or the "gay community" will throw money at them and no I'm not being sarcastic. I'm all for this progression in society however when a group is being exploited by capitalism I'll stand against it in principle.

Yay, now we can finally throw a parade of some sorts, using a specific colour theme which may become renowned for this type of pride. Seriously though, of all the things to quote someone on and elaborate in a news article, this is surely one of the more tame to choose.

Man this could of been an article about all the characters that were lost in the Star Wars EU with a search clause, and now I'm a dash of sad with a tab to wookieepedia open.

I thought Abrams was finished on Star Wars?

Says the guy who is no longer actually involved in the movies.
What a way to pander without having to do anything.

DoctorM:
Says the guy who is no longer actually involved in the movies.
What a way to pander without having to do anything.

That was pretty much my reaction as well. Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with gay characters, bisexual characters, even asexual characters. I just don't want them to be written for that purpose.

Let me put it this way. I'm an online roleplayer. Several of my characters in roleplays have been gay, or bisexual. But I write them first as a character, with their sexuality only coming into play when it fits. I don't write gay characters, I write characters who happen to be gay. I'm an amateur. I certain hope professionals can do the same.

This isn't news. Star Wars has had gay characters since Episode IV. Everyone knows C-3PO was gay and R2-D2 was his lover.

All joking aside, I recall some people suggesting Poe was gay. Because apparently his interactions with Finn were 'gay' in some way. Yeah, I kinda doubt it would be Poe that Abrams is talking about. More likely than Finn, though. And I sort of doubt Rey would be gay. So I expect that IF this is true, it won't be any of the main cast. I could see a supporting or side character being gay, though. Or someone that is introduced in Episode VIII.

There have been gays in Star Wars since Juhani in 2003, and Goran Beviin and his husband from like 2007=8. The difference is that theses were never publicized as selling points. They were just sort of there.

It's gonna be Finn and Poe. I'm calling it right now, it's gonna be Finn and Poe. Not only has Tumblr been aggressively pushing the idea of it, because Tumblr is cancerous in its pandering to fanbases and their whims, but also there is the more reasonable and realistic fact that both Oscar Isaac and John Boyega were playing their characters with the idea that they were, in fact, gay and going to end up together. Or, at least, that's what I've been lead to believe.

Ryallen:
It's gonna be Finn and Poe. I'm calling it right now, it's gonna be Finn and Poe. Not only has Tumblr been aggressively pushing the idea of it, because Tumblr is cancerous in its pandering to fanbases and their whims, but also there is the more reasonable and realistic fact that both Oscar Isaac and John Boyega were playing their characters with the idea that they were, in fact, gay and going to end up together. Or, at least, that's what I've been lead to believe.

I kind of hope it is, and they end the trilogy on a shot of them both making out and reaching into each other's pants. The fan reaction would be glorious to behold; like the prequels one hundred times over.

On another note, this is my 1000th post ... and it's about gay shipping. Hooray!

FirstNameLastName:

Ryallen:
It's gonna be Finn and Poe. I'm calling it right now, it's gonna be Finn and Poe. Not only has Tumblr been aggressively pushing the idea of it, because Tumblr is cancerous in its pandering to fanbases and their whims, but also there is the more reasonable and realistic fact that both Oscar Isaac and John Boyega were playing their characters with the idea that they were, in fact, gay and going to end up together. Or, at least, that's what I've been lead to believe.

I kind of hope it is, and they end the trilogy on a shot of them both making out and reaching into each other's pants. The fan reaction would be glorious to behold; like the prequels one hundred times over.

On another note, this is my 1000th post ... and it's about gay shipping. Hooray!

Happy thousandth post! I still have quite a ways to go.

As long as they're awesome, I'm chill.

Cool... I guess. Why don't you just put it in there, and not make a big deal out of it? I honestly don't understand why people feel the need to announce things like this to the world. You aren't special for writing fiction with gay characters in it, and Star Wars at this point, canon or not, has had gay characters before this. I suppose you just had to pat yourself on the back, JJ but virtue signaling this hard just makes you look desperate for attention.

While one can imagine the internet outrage that might erupt from certain corners, it could be useful to remember that Star Wars has already seen inter-species relationships. If no one is upset about those, maybe we can just be cool about gay people, too?

Reading this line again just frustrates me so damn much. Could you be more blatant?

You know if you stop making a big deal out of nothing for clicks perhaps there won't be as much fuel on the fire when something does drop that is even slightly controversial. I understand it makes you journalists more money from clicks, but exploiting and priming people to be outraged on a subject for your monetary benefit is pretty slimy. This isn't news. This barely qualifies as a editorial as the commentary doesn't really add much from the source material. This is just substandard journalism, and the Escapist shouldn't be running articles this vacuous.

Subtlety would be the best route. Don't turn it into something not the norm - it's really not anymore. Just introduce Biggs and Wedge as the live-in couple we always knew they were.

I thought Star Wars already was gay. That's what I was led to believe in high school anyway.

It's the "openly" gay part that has me worried.

If they do something like "Look at me, I am a gay character that is oppressed", then I say nay. As Abrams said, it's dumb that anyone in the Star Wars galaxy would have a problem with a gay person. And if they shove it in our face, nay as well. Because then that would just be their only character dimension.

But asides from that, yey? I guess?

I just hope its not Poe and Fin, because holy crap have I seen enough of that Rule 34 shit...

Nice, now i never have to spend money on a Starwars ticket again!

Turns out all of my worrying about The Force Awakens was misplaced.

I don't really care, but the wording "openly gay" makes me think that instead of this kind of gay

We'll get something like this:

Oh for fucks sake... please please please dont make it another flamboyant "my only character trait is being gay" stereotype..

Seriously, star wars was never good at handling relationships and the anakin x padme stuff was atrociously cringeworthy... star wars is not about sexual relationships! Its bad at them!

And "openly gay"? Why do i get bad vibes when a hollywood regiseur uses these words?

HAVE YOU EVEN CONSULTED ACTUAL NORMAL GAY PEOPLE?

The last thing "normal" gays want is to rub their sexuality all up in your face! Contrary to popular hollywood belief your typical gay people are NOT christopher street day goers who are. They simply want to be treated like everyone else! They want to lead normal lives without being persecuted for their sexuality. Other then that the overwhelming majority of gay people is by all accounts really not that outstanding in social behavior.

What do i mean with normal gays? Neil patrick Harrison for crying out loud! Hes funny, great guy, he doesnt hide the fact that hes gay, but he doesnt bludgeon you over the head with it either! He simply acts like a normal decent human being. Infact chances are you wouldnt even realize that he was gay if his partner wasnt around, because he behaves like EVERYONE ELSE!

So please.. for the sake of the upcomming movies... dont make the gay characters defining characteristic be that hes gay... just give him or her a same sex partner, show them hugging or something and then drop it because they are involved in an intergalactic fucking war!

Or hey.. how about a gay villain for a change? Again not someone karicature but a real villain with real motivations and character who also happens to be gay? No?

Ah who am i kidding... this is hollywood.. hollywood cant do subtle if it jumped up and bit them in the face.

This is bullshit. They existed in the extended universe. Just because you decided those stories and characters are no longer cannon doesn't actually cause them to no longer exist in the fabric of reality. They are still there, and they had gay characters first. No, J.J., you don't get to claim to be the first creative mind to do this in star wars; you can't arrive late the the party and then claim you were there first just because you kicked the other guests out.

Also, why is J.J. acting like he has George Lucas levels of control over star wars? I thought he was done after Episode VII, since VIII is being helmed by a different director? Did I miss something?

mad825:
And this would make Stars wars better how? Oh yeah, "gay culture" or the "gay community" will throw money at them and no I'm not being sarcastic. I'm all for this progression in society however when a group is being exploited by capitalism I'll stand against it in principle.

Are you being exploited by capitalism if you're being offered things that you want to buy?

Mister K:
I don't really care, but the wording "openly gay" makes me think that instead of this kind of gay
We'll get something like this

Ian Mckellan is openly gay... "openly" doesn't mean "ostentatiously" it just means that it isn't being actively hidden.

Exploitation.

Gotta love it.

Soviet Heavy:
There have been gays in Star Wars since Juhani in 2003, and Goran Beviin and his husband from like 2007=8. The difference is that theses were never publicized as selling points. They were just sort of there.

Is this being publicised as a "selling point", though? Or was Abrams just answering a question about the future of the series?

Given Star Wars is owned by Disney, and given the very straight, white and male focus of the [film] franchise going back decades, I'd say it's wholly understandable why this would be a talking point. Should it? Not really, but when you have decades of a global franchise not doing something and then they do it (whilst still being owned by a company with an insanely puritanical past), well, human nature dictates it's going to be discussed, and I don't see why that's a bad thing. Even if no one involved in making the films mentioned anyone's sexuality (or ethnicity, or gender), then you can be damned sure the press/groups/people-of-teh-internetz will.

I'm bi, and I don't give two fucks whether there are any gay characters in Star Wars.
Actually, seeing a stereotypical "bear" chewie would probably be one of the funniest things ever.

OH NOES! Will somebody please think of the children. The end days are upon us. THE GAY AGENDA IS TAKING STAR WARS FROM US!

As long as the movies are good I'm a happy camper. But this does give the movie another problem that it needs to solve in order to be good. The only thing that concerns me is how it's handled. Because if you get a sense that any aspect of the movie is forced just for the sake of some other agenda (in this case inclusion) then it affects the whole movie. It ends up being that thing that was there for sociopolitical reasons instead of story reasons. And it sticks out like a sore thumb. And that would be bad movie making.
But if it's done in a way that feels natural then it's perfectly fine. Why wouldn't it be? It's 2016.

Oh please let it be an interesting character that just happens to be gay, and not some one-dimensional posterchild who only serves to remind that he/she is gay.

Please let it be this

And not this

Soviet Heavy:
There have been gays in Star Wars since Juhani in 2003, and Goran Beviin and his husband from like 2007=8. The difference is that theses were never publicized as selling points. They were just sort of there.

I can't speak for that other bloke, but the difference with Juhanni is that her romance was chopped apart and torn out of the game because lucasarts wouldn't let BioWare put "the gay" into star wars.

I would totally make my day if that was going to be Rey. The fact I got to type this little rhyme just adds to my excitement.

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