Star Wars is a multibillion-dollar franchise. With over 12 films, nine programs, and over 100 games starring an assortment of humanoid aliens, it seems reasonable to assume that there is a character for everyone of us to relate to.
The Star Wars properties have just a small amount of representation, although it has made a lot of strides toward integrating the LGBTQIA+ community with its other properties like Marvel.
The Aftermath series by Chuck Wendig is the best representation of the Star Wars galaxy. Even with such dedicated pushes for inclusion with characters like Dr. Chelli Lona Aphra and Sinjir Rath Velus, there are very few off-the-page appearances from some of the most interesting and well-written characters.
The issue comes down to lazy writing. It’s much easier to convey gayness via a kiss or some other affectionous gesture, but much harder to develop a plausible character who simply happens to be attracted to someone other than those of the opposite sex. Similarly, Disney chose to minimize the scene in countries where LGBTQIA+ acceptance is minimal.
In the film Solo: A Star Wars Story, Donald Glover claims a "fluidity" in the performances both Donald Glover and Billy Dee Williams gave, although the character is incredibly flirty. There is little of that sentiment brought to the screen by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was only vague enough to ignite an excitement over his long-time relationship with Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore.
The relationship between Vel Sartha and Cinta Kaz is teased throughout the series, although it was unlikely to be revealed. The relationship between the two women is completely normal, from the "blink-and-you'll-miss-it" two-second kiss in Rise of Skywalker to a "stop focusing and you'll miss it."
The whole story smacks of classic queerbaiting. Queer people have long been looking for signs of a romantic connection to call their own. Even Emily Dickinson, who ripped into a letter and "licked the envelope's seal for any remaining trace of" lifelong lover Susan Gilbert's saliva was considered a given at the time.
The way the twins perceive themselves is even worse. Terec and Ceret are humanoid aliens called Kotabi, who were revealed in the Star Wars: The High Republic series in 2021. The design for the characters is... uninteresting.
The gender identity of the twins was revealed in a tweet on the Trans Day of Visibility in 2021, and considering that other non-binary characters have already been included in the Star Wars canon (Space Pirate Eleodie Maracavanya and Rebel pilot Keo Venzee have been on the rise since 2016 and 2020, respectively), it seems like Disney is more interested in cashing in, rather than promoting diversity. When the first item is a prismatic lens flare, however, it is a case of
There is a good reason for dissatisfaction within the communities Disney claims to represent. When high-profile films use language specially developed to entice consumers to believe that the company is "like you," and then make a half-baked attempt at representation, it's demoralizing. These gay characters are created for a wider audience: straight consumers.
When Disney makes bold statements about representation, young queer people get the impression that they may see some of themselves on the screen, and while these brief moments are certainly a step in the right direction, they leave much to be desired. The inclusion of non-binary language for characters should be straightforward in a massive universe. On our own planet, there are over 65,000 hermaphroditic species.
While we await a truly out-of-this-world romance, fans will have to be content speculating on bromantic figures like Poe and Finn.