By: Dominic Jones
The push for more diversity in Star Wars is paying off! Bryan Young over at Big Shiny Robot broke the story earlier today that an LGBT character would be introduced in Paul S. Kemp's upcoming novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith. The character, named Moff Mors is described by Young as being, "an Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but is an incredibly capable leader and spends much of the book working hard to prevent absolute failure. She also happens to be a lesbian."
Del Rey Star Wars editor Shelly Shapiro told Young,
"This is certainly the first character in canon," Shapiro says. "But there was a gay Mandalorian couple, so it's not brand new. It's not something I really think about, it just makes sense. There's a lot of diversity–there should be diversity in "Star Wars." You have all these different species and it would be silly to not also recognize that there's a lot of diversity in humans. If there's any message at all, it's simply that "Star Wars" is as diverse (or more so because they have alien species) as humanity is in real life and we don't want to pretend it's not. It just felt perfectly natural."
As Shapiro mentions, this is not the first time we have seen homosexual people in Star Wars. Karen Travis subtly included two married Mandalorian men in her Legacy of the Force novels, The Old Republic MMORPG allowed for characters to enter into same sex relationships, and the 2003 video game Knights of the Old Republic included a lesbian character (though a glitch in the first release allowed male characters to enter a relationship with her, this was corrected in subsequent releases of the game). However, those are now considered Legends and Moff Mors will be the first gay character included in the new/official story group canon.
I have to say, I was very pleased to hear this news. There seems to be a movement at Lucasfilm (and from Star Wars fans) to make the stories more diverse (the marketing and merchandise still needs lots of work, though), and we have seen more ethnic and gender diversity than ever before (for starters, The Force Awakens leads are white woman and black man and the cast in general features far more diversity than either the Prequels or the Originals). Expanding that diversity into LGBT characters seems like the logical next step to make Star Wars a more diverse and inclusive universe, as well as one that is reflective of our own. Obviously more can always be done but I want to give kudos to Paul S. Kemp and the Story Group for making this decision and hopefully we will continue to see more diversity in Star Wars characters going forward.
Star Wars: Lords of the Sith hits shelves on April 28th, 2015
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