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J.J. Abrams says it’s time for gay ‘Star Wars’ characters

by  in Movie News Comment

Representation in media is a matter of great importance across galaxies near and far, far away.

Director J.J. Abrams brought the “Star Wars” universe some balance with “The Force Awakens,” when he cast a woman and men of Nigerian and Guatemalan descent as the leads in the new generation of the Lucasfilm mythos, breaking the trappings of a genre that often trains its focus on the adventures of white males, at the expense of others. Now, Abrams thinks “Star Wars” is ready to break its next barrier, and that it’s time a gay character be introduced to the universe.

Rey, Finn and Poe may evidence progress in pop-culture sci-fi, but Abrams sees work yet to be done. “When I talk about inclusivity, it’s not excluding gay characters, it’s about inclusivity,” the “10 Cloverfield Lane” producer remarked Thursday while addressing press at the the US-Ireland Alliance Oscar Wilde Awards, according to EW. “To me, the fun of ‘Star Wars’ is exploring the possibilities, so it seems insanely narrow-minded to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”

Abrams will serve as executive producer on Episodes VIII and IX, with Rian Johnson and Colin Trevorrow directing, respectively, and should have significant say over how the epic unfolds, and who sees its spotlight.

For all the media chatter around supposed “controversies,” like the notion that there was anything at all controversial about a black Stormtrooper in a universe where a man of color with a gambling habit freely rose to a position of political power in a city among the clouds, the countless records broken by the blockbuster confirmed that fans will turn out in droves to support projects that value inclusion.

Besides, oppression is the tool of the Empire and First Order, so it only seems right that the Rebellion and the Resistance would celebrate social, romantic and civil freedoms. And what is the saga if not a celebration of the strength of non-traditional families? Maybe those normative Solos couldn’t make it work, but the strongest life-partnership of all seven episodes, the one that has stuck it out through the most, is probably that pair of droids.