The track record of LGBTQ representation in the Star Wars universe is abysmal, something thats occurred in canonical comic books and tie-in novelsbut pretty much eluded the films and TV shows until now.
Star Wars Resistance, Disneys animated Star Wars series thats set around the same time as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, is about to start its second and final season. Ahead of the premiere, the Star Wars podcast Coffee With Kenobi spoke with several of the shows cast members and executive producers Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman about what fans can expect from season 2.
At the beginning of the interview, Coffee With Kenobis Drew Taylor asked about the relationship status of Orka (Bobby Moynihan) and Flix (Jim Rash), the owners of the Colossus Office of Acquisitions who are also something of comic reliefs on Resistance.
I think its safe to say theyre an item, Ridge replied.
Theyre absolutely a gay couple and were proud of that, Auman added.
Taylor brought up Ridge and Aumans comments to Moynihan a short time later, who seemed relieved and excited that he had the go-ahead to talk about it.
Oh, Im so happy were allowed to say it, Moynihan said (around the 15:27 mark). I have had a sentence prepared for a year and a half if someone would finally ask me. I would say, All I can say is when Flix says I love you, Orka says I know.
Hints about the two non-human characters being in a relationship with one another were there. Prior to Ridge and Aumans confirmation, Orkas Star Wars Database page included the word partner when referring to Flix. Its also inferred in season 1 episode Dangerous Business, in which Orka and Flix get Kazuda Xiono (Christopher Sean) to watch their shop.
Its a long story with a tragic ending: Were visiting my mother, Flix says.
Their dynamic is something akin to an odd couple: They often butt heads, but they also like and respect one another.
On the one hand, the fact that a gay couple is now confirmed to be featured in aStar Wars TV showparticularly an animated TV show, where LGBTQ representation has been historically been far less progressiveis a step toward greater representation and progression. For instance, the creators of Legend of Korra couldnt explicitly confirm a relationship between its two female leads in the series finale. Disney removed a brief scene of two women falling in love (thanks to a love potion) in Gravity Falls (but it later allowed two male characters to say they loved each other in the series finale). And while Steven Universe featured the first same-sex wedding in an animated show last year, it took creator Rebecca Sugar being willing to walk away from the show to make it happen.
Although Moynihan and Resistances executive producers are thrilled to finally talk about that relationship, its ultimately treated just like any other relationship on the showand Resistance likely has a bigger audience than many of the Star Wars comics and books that feature LGBTQ characters.
But on the other hand, its also a small gesture (with two fairly minor and non-human characters) in a franchise that has yet to include any LGBTQ representation in the films, leaving any hints of that to subtext or press interviews. And it took until after the shows cancelationits ending after season 2, which premieres on Oct. 6for executives to confirm Orka and Flixs relationship. From a cynical standpoint, the people who might complain about having a gay couple in a Star Wars TV show cant call for the show to get canceled because well, its ultimately ending.
As for the odd couples relationship in season 2? It might not amount to anything more explicit than what weve already seen on Star Wars Resistance. So while its definitely a cool tidbit to have in a galaxy far, far away, its also a small gestureand with no limits to that galaxy, it can also do so much more.
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