6 New Star Wars Characters Who Are Out and Proud

Dustin Diehl

The galaxy far, far away just got a little bigger. The tapestry that is the new Star Wars canon (including the new films, as well as all new video games, comics, novels, short stories, etc.) has now woven in a few much-needed threads of diversity.

While we've seen the galaxy (slowly) open its space lanes to characters of more diverse genders and race, LGBTQ representation has been practically nonexistent (don't worry Karen Traviss, we haven't forgotten about you).

But the new Star Wars Story Group seems dedicated to making sure everyone sees a little representation among the stars. This year alone we've been introduced to six new gay and lesbian characters, with hints that there are even more to come (including mention of the potential for trans characters).

So while we wait for the release of The Force Awakens, and hopefully even more diverse characters, let's meet the six new members of the family:

1. Moff Delian Mors

Moff Mors was introduced in Paul S. Kemp's novel Lords of the Sith. She's an Imperial (a "bad" guy, for the layperson), but like any good character, there's more to her than that. She had a wife, Murra, who was killed in an accident. Delian Mors is the first official LGBTQ character in the new canon.

2. & 3. Esmelle and Shirene

Chuck Wendig's novel Aftermath introduced us to the remaining characters on this list. Set soon after the events of Return of the Jedi, Aftermath gives us our first glimpse at the state of the galaxy leading up to Episode VII.

One of the novel's main heroes, Norra Wexley, returns to her home planet of Akiva and reunites with her sister, Esmelle, and her sister's wife, Shirene. Esmelle is a bit of a hard-ass, but she was left to raise Norra's son, Temmin, while Norra jetted off to fight with the Rebels (and tried to find her husband).

Shirene, on the other hand, is the perfect ying to Esmelle's yang, balancing the relationship with a kind hand and a gentle word. Hopefully this isn't the last we see of these ladies.

4. & 5. Unnamed Dads

Ok, so this one isn't that exciting, but for a galaxy that's been devoid of canonical LGBTQ characters, we'll take it! At one point in Aftermath, a young character mentions his fathers, plural. So not only is gay marriage legal (at least in some parts of the galaxy) having kids can also be part of the equation!

6. Sinjur Rath Velus

Now we're talking — a gay leading man! Sure, Sinjur is an Imperial deserter with a drinking problem, but he's interesting, non-stereotypical and hilariously snarky. With two more books planned in the Aftermath trilogy (Life Debt and Empire's End), we can only hope that Sinjur continues to play an important part in these stories.

So there you have it. And if that's not enough, rest assured the people behind these stories know the important role they're playing. When confronted with negative reviews and backlash for including gay characters so prominently in his novel, Wendig had this to say on his blog:

And if you’re upset because I put gay characters and a gay protagonist in the book, I got nothing for you. Sorry, you squawking saurian — meteor’s coming. And it’s a fabulously gay Nyan Cat meteor with a rainbow trailing behind it and your mode of thought will be extinct. You’re not the Rebel Alliance. You’re not the good guys. You’re the fucking Empire, man. You’re the shitty, oppressive, totalitarian Empire. If you can imagine a world where Luke Skywalker would be irritated that there were gay people around him, you completely missed the point of Star Wars. It’s like trying to picture Jesus kicking lepers in the throat instead of curing them. Stop being the Empire. Join the Rebel Alliance. We have love and inclusion and great music and cute droids.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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