Scroll To Top
Geek

Andor Finally Gave Us The Queer Star Wars Characters We Were Promised

Andor Finally Gave Us The Queer Star Wars Characters We Were Promised

Cinta and Vel in Andor
Still Courtesy of Disney+

And they didn't even die... yet.

rachiepants

Spoilers for Andor's first six episodes follow.

For literally years, Disney has been promising LGBTQ+ Star Wars fans that queer representation was coming to a galaxy far, far away. And while there have been a few moments here and there — like a quick same-sex kiss in the background of The Rise of Skywalker, or Orka and Flix being a couple on the animated series Star Wars Resistance — with Andor we finally got the queer characters we’ve been craving — and they didn’t even die.

We’re of course talking about Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) and Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu), leader and member, respectively, of the rebel cell that Andor finds himself embedded in after his escape from his home on Ferrix.

We first meet Vel and Cinta in the fourth episode when Andor is half-hired, half-coerced into joining a group of rebels just days away from executing a heist of the Empire’s payroll on the planet Ahldani, and striking the first true blow against the galactic overlords. Vel is the leader of that group, and she’s none too pleased to have a stranger in their midst right on the cusp of the mission — nor are her compatriots, which include Cinta, the group’s healer and quietly its fiercest member.

Andor takes a liking to Cinta, and it briefly looks as though she might be a budding love interest. However, in episode four, another member of the group, Skeen, puts an end to that and also, in the most nonchalant way, introduces the franchise’s (technically second) queer couple into canon.

Vel and CintaStill Courtesy of Disney+

Cinta is seen exiting a hut while Andor watches. “She’s already sharin’ a blanket, if that’s what your wonderin’,” Skeen tells Cassian when he spots him looking. He’s referring to Vel, who also exits the hut, wearing a blanket.

One of Andor’s greatest strengths in the first half of its premiere season has been its character-building. From the very top of the cast list, down to the featured extras, it lingers long enough to imbue them with humanity. It’s downright quotidian in places, showing moments of guards sneaking off for a cigarette, or struggling with a too-tight belt. And it’s with that lived-in, natural approach that we the audience see the relationship between Vel and Cinta. It’s revealed not in declarations but in body language, meaningful glances, an exchange, or in the way Vel warns Andor with narrowed eyes when he flirts with Cinta.

That’s not to say that it’s also just implied. In the sixth episode, we see the ragtag rebel group’s plans come to fruition and actual moments of tenderness between Vel and Cinta that speak to the poignancy of love during wartime.

As the heist begins, Vel and Cinta break off from the group to do their part, which includes a gorgeously shot underwater infiltration of the comms tower, where they plant a signal scrambler. Vel is a true believer in the cause and a warrior; however, when the time comes for Vel to give the signal to start the mission, she hesitates. She’s frightened in part because the weight of that moment is staring back at her, the life of the woman she loves is in her hands, and once she gives the go-ahead, there’s no guarantee Cinta will make it through.

Ultimately, with Cintas’ encouragement, Vel makes the call to start the mission — and kick off some of the tensest 22 minutes of television put to screen. Say what you will of Star Wars at large, but Andor has done the near impossible for a prequel and created real emotional stakes. The episode is, in a word, thrilling.

Cinta and Vel hold hands in AndorStill Courtesy of Disney+

Later, as the plan comes together (and inevitably begins falling apart), Vel and Cinta share another moment that erases any doubt about what the two mean to one another. Until this point in the mission, the two have remained side by side; however, they’re now separating to handle different assignments. Vel puts her hand over Cinta’s and asks her to “Tell me you’ll be alright”, eyes brimming with pain and resolve. “I’ll be fine... go” replies Cinta mirroring her partner's emotions. She agrees and they separate while looking back at one another as the elevator door closes between them.

What the two most recent Andor episodes gave us is what fans have been demanding: unambiguous queerness between two characters of import and with actual character development. Best of all, both women seemingly survive the mission — although many of their compatriots don’t.

A queer love story that doesn't end in tragedy? Well, at least so far. This is how it's done. Star Wars, you nailed it. But also, while we have your attention, we’d love to request a Doctor Aphra series, just sayin’.


Andor airs Wednesdays on Disney+. Watch the trailer below.

Andor | Official Trailer | Disney+youtu.be

RELATED | Jennifer Coolidge On Her Gripping New True Crime Series The Watcher

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Rachel Shatto

EIC of PRIDE.com

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.

Rachel Shatto, Editor in Chief of PRIDE.com, is an SF Bay Area-based writer, podcaster, and former editor of Curve magazine, where she honed her passion for writing about social justice and sex (and their frequent intersection). Her work has appeared on Elite Daily, Tecca, and Joystiq, and she podcasts regularly about horror on the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network. She can’t live without cats, vintage style, video games, drag queens, or the Oxford comma.