J.J. Abrams Wants ‘Star Wars’ To Include Gay Characters & His Words On Inclusivity Are Important
Some of the most wonderful things about the Star Wars franchise are its exploration of the complexities of good and evil, its desire to find justice, and its insistence on forging new territory across the galaxy. Some territory, however, has been notoriously absent from coverage in George Lucas' legendary space odyssey, and that's the inclusion of gay and lesbian characters. It seems like a pretty large omission, especially when the likes of aliens and sentient robots are commonplace. Thankfully, someone feels our pain — The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams wants to see gay characters in future Star Wars movies. Now that's what I call an endorsement.
Of course, Abrams is no longer in the director's seat for future Star Trek movies, so what happens next isn't necessarily up to him. However, having someone of his stature speak up for the need for more inclusivity makes it even more likely to happen.
Talking to press at the US-Ireland Alliance Oscar Wilde Awards on Thursday, Abrams said, "When I talk about inclusivity, it’s not excluding gay characters, it’s about inclusivity, so of course. 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."
Obviously, Abrams has a point. In including a gay or lesbian (or even transgender) character within the Star Wars universe, we're not looking for a token part just to check off of their diversity list, nor should the character's sexuality or gender identity play a central role in who they are. After all, LGBT people are just like everyone else — we laugh, we cry, we face challenges and overcome them. We don't walk around with a badge on our shirts proclaiming our sexuality or talk about it at every opportunity. It's just normal to us, and it should be in Star Wars, too.
Whether or not we'll see this development in upcoming Star Wars movies is still up in the air, but I'm hopeful that a series so rife with imagination and courage to go beyond the boundaries of what we think is possible. It's a wide, wonderful universe out there, and the more diversity we can include in it, the better it'll be, without a doubt. Here's hoping Abrams' hopes are realized in the near future.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures/Lucasfilms; Giphy