Between the films and novels and comic books and the commemorative Burger King cups and that crappy 1997 fighting game in which an unarmed Han Solo was able to fist-fight Darth Vader and win, Star Wars is maybe the biggest fictional universe ever devised. (Discounting unofficial fan fiction -- otherwise the Bible or Home Improvement would probably take the cake.)
He then wins the dance off to save Lando's rec center too.
And recently, an editor on the upcoming Star Wars novel Lords of the Sith confirmed that the book would introduces the series' first canonical lesbian character, an Imperial officer named Moff Mors. (Well, the first canonical lesbian character since 2014, when Disney waved its magic wand and transmogrified three decades of Star Wars canon into non-canon.)
Anyway, this announcement highlighted a curious phenomenon: If you are among the infinitesimal smattering of LGBT characters ever to appear in a Star Wars anything, chances are you run with the Dark Side of the Force -- or are at least kind of an asshole.
Seriously, listed below are essentially all of the LGBT folks in Star Wars, and all of their brushes with dickheadery generally go beyond, "Look, ma. The Dark Side was just a phase. All the kids were firing electricity out of their fingers. Also, that Wookiee porn you found? That's dad's."
Incidentally, Wookiee porn was a not-insignificant plot point in the Star Wars Holiday Special.
In the acclaimed 2003 video game Knights of the Old Republic -- which allowed you to join the Dark Side by randomly shouting at senior citizens -- players meet the fiery cat-woman Juhani. After striking down her master in rage, Juhani runs away from her neighborhood Jedi academy and hides in the wilderness. She's in such a garbage mood that the Dark Side infects the land and causes local wildlife to randomly attack farmers. Your Jedi hero is called in to intervene, because can you imagine a world where there was a grizzly bear attack every time somebody dropped out of high school?
"I should be able to walk with my backpack full of salmon in peace!"
After defeating Juhani, the player has a choice: A) kill her for falling to the Dark Side, or B) spare her life so she can join your crew. And if you choose to play as a female hero, Juhani can fall head-over-heels in love with you. Even though Juhani looks like a Nosferatu ThunderCat, she's a far better paramour than the optional guy love interest, who can be summed up as "complaining Han Solo."
This revelation gives minor details from Juhani's side quests new context, like how she and her fellow Jedi Belaya spent "many nights together alone under the stars," or how the Jedi Council awkwardly wink-wink-nudge-nudges that Juhani and Belaya are "close." Hell, Juhani's entire story arc is about accepting deep-seated passions that are impossible to control (but we doubt that's a metaphor for anything). And should you choose to kill Juhani, Belaya joins the Dark Side and ambushes the player later in the game, sporting sweet health-goth duds.
"You can keep your weird pee-smelling hobo robes, Jedi."
So, yes, the only way to see a Light Side lesbian in Knights of the Old Republic is if you play as one. Except -- DECADE-OLD SPOILER ALERT -- it turns out your character was secretly the amnesiac Dark Lord of the Sith all along! You just can't win.
From the handful of gay men in Star Wars only two were a couple: Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur, from the Legacy of the Force novels. At first blush, there's a lot to admire about them. They have a long successful marriage and an adopted daughter, and overall seem far more romantically well-adjusted than any of the movies' protagonists.
This franchise is its own creepy fanfic.
Medrit works as a blacksmith, which means he spends his days forging geegaws with hilarious made-up names like Beskar'kandar. But Goran? Well, he's a contract killer whose boss is Boba Fett. This sounds like a sterling resume builder, but having a vicious mercenary sign off on your vacation days poses its own unique problems.
"I'm not that bad, guys! Come on, I offer dental."
"Boba, is 'offering dental' a euphemism for 'tossing employees into the Sarlacc Pit'?"
"I'm going to level with you: The answer's not no."
You see, Goran was one of Boba's lieutenants when Boba was backroom scheming with a fanatical race of galaxy conquerors called the Yuuzhan Vong. To their credit, Goran and Boba later betrayed the Yuuzhan Vong, because those freaking dummies were making deals with Boba Fett; come on, dudes.
In the Star Wars universe, the desert spaceport of Mos Eisley is renowned for its preponderance of scum, villainy, and space oboes. And perhaps the most scummy and villainous (yet least oboe-like) species there are the Hutts. These hulking gastropods are the face of organized crime in Star Wars, with a well-earned reputation as cutthroat business-slugs. Moral considerations don't even enter the Hutts' cultural makeup -- their entire society is based around obtaining wealth and power and eating Muppets.
And yet, some-fucking-how, Hutts are the closest Star Wars ever gets to addressing transgender issues.
"This was actually a lovely drag race. None of you were open-minded enough to notice."
According to the expanded universe, the Hutts' worm-like appearance isn't for show. Every single Hutt -- including "Jabba the" -- is a hermaphrodite carrying male and female reproductive organs. Gender is a matter of personal preference, but most Hutts self-identify as female once they're pregnant and switch back to male when the little Huttlet is born.
There are exceptions: Mama the Hutt and Anachro always maintain their feminine personas. Then you have Jabba's uncle Ziro the Hutt from the Clone Wars cartoon, who George Lucas suggested be a Hutt version of deceased homosexual author Truman Capote, because George Lucas clearly hadn't run out of ideas after Jar Jar Binks and Watto and those Japanese trade federation aliens from The Phantom Menace.
Also, Chewbacca was based on Boo Radley.
By the way, Jabba probably went through some gender changes of his own. Although Hutts are still willing to rub their mucous sacs together, they're not obligated to -- Hutts are fully capable of reproducing asexually. And since Jabba has a son but no named spouse, there's a fair chance he knocked himself up.
So, yes, Princess Leia choked the shit out of a single mother.
And now we turn to Moff Mors, the first official gay character of Disney's Star Wars canon. Is she a stoic Jedi Consular? A death-sticks smuggler with a heart of gold? Wait -- Moff. Where have we heard that name before?
Oh right, Moff, as in "my boss is Grand Moff Tarkin, Darth Vader's screamingly dour HR rep." To be fair, there's really not much we know about Moff Mors just yet. She's a minor character in Lords of the Sith, a novel that sounds like Lethal Weapon starring Vader and Emperor Palpatine. Look, we get that a lot of the above characters (except maybe Ziro) were introduced with good intentions. But when these characters are considered in concert, fans are ultimately left with an infinite universe where Darth Vader can enjoy a sumptuous banquet with chic velociraptors, yet there are exactly zero LGBT people whose peer group doesn't love murder.
This is just the Cloud City dinner scene from The Empire Strikes Back. Darth was high as shit that day.
Perhaps the only exception to this is the planet of Makeb in the Star Wars: The Old Republic online game. On Makeb, the players' characters are free to initiate same-sex relationships without having their future partner first commit Ewok genocide or whatever. But seeing as how Makeb is the only planet in the game where homosexuality can exist, your player must literally plot a course toward Planet Gay, which is no grand improvement.
"PULL OVER, MILLENNIUM FALCON. YOU ARE LEAVING ORBIT WITH CONTRABAND PET SHOP BOYS CDS. TURN BACK, OR REALITY WILL COLLAPSE."
While you're here, also check out The Horrifying Hidden Subplot You Missed in 'Star Wars' and 25 Scenes You Secretly Hope Are in the New 'Star Wars.'