Star Wars is Super Gay
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Episode · 3 years ago

Star Wars is Super Gay

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Have you ever thought about the queer or gay themes within the Star Wars franchise? Although the films have yet to create an LGBTQ+ character, it hasn't stopped many fans from coming up with their own storylines, or analyzing what already exists to explore it's already present queer storylines and themes. Meet Dustin Diehl aka Dr. Jedi. He's your expert on everything Star Wars, including just how gay it really is. To follow Dustin, check him out on twitter @DrJedi. Your host is Levi Chambers, co-founder of Gayety. Follow the show and keep up with the conversation @LGBT, @LGBTQ, and @Pride. Want more great shows from Straw Hut Media? Check out or website at strawhutmedia.com. Your producers are Will Sterling and Ryan Tillotson. Have an interesting LGBTQ+ story to share? We might feature U! Email us at lgbtq@strawhutmedia.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Straw media. The New Star Wars films certainly succeed in introducing new icons for people of Color and women. Diverse protagonists like Finn, Poe and rose are incredibly validating to fans who seldom see themselves represented in major franchises. Although the recent increase in diversity of Star Wars characters is a triumph, its creators have failed to introduce a single lgbtq character in its cinematic universe. Star Wars is bigger and better than ever. New Films are coming out every year from now until will probably forever. There are star wars themed lands at Disney Parks and more content than we could possibly consume. Yet Still Disney has yet to bring a queer character to the big screen. Nevertheless, while the movies lack LGBTQ representation, you'll be amazed at the number of queer story lines and inclusive themes that are already baked into the galaxy far, far away. So, to dive deeper into just how Gay Star Wars is, we spoke with Dustin deal, Aka doctor Jedi, to explore the queerness of the epic Space Opera Im leave by chambers and from strahat media. This is lgbtq plus. You. You failed. Your Highness, I'm a Jedi like my father before me. Star Wars is one of the biggest franchises in cinema history. With its unique storylines, other worldly characters and spectacular landscapes, the space opera has captivated audiences for decades. For this week's episode, one of its biggest fans took us on a journey of the queerest proportions. Meet Dustin deal. My name is dustin deal. By Day I am a digital marketer, and also by day and night and weekends and pretty much all the time, crazy star wars fan. So have been ever since second grade and attend the conventions and speak at Phoenix comic con on a lot of different star wars topics and just generally am a big part of the fandom. Dustin has been a star wars fan since the second grade. So, and I remember this very vividly, I was in second grade and my dad had talked to me a lot about star wars and I had some friends who were into both star wars and star trek and I just kind of lumped them all together as one in the same and I thought star Trek was kind of Geeky and nerdy. So I assume that you know I wouldn't be really into Star Wars. and Think Spike TV was doing like a star wars marathon on TV and my dad recorded it. This was back when we had VHS recorders, and so he recorded the first movie and we watched it together after school when day and I was just instantly hooked. And I remember coming home from school the next day and he had recorded the next movie, Empire Strikes Back, and I couldn't wait till he got home from work. So I started watching it without him and I was probably three quarters of the way through the movie and he got home and he was like why did you start without me? And I was like it's okay, it's okay, we can we can start it from the beginning. So quickly rewound it and and started from the beginning and that was really my start. I was really into collecting action figures at the time to ask my mom to take me to toys R us and get my first star wars action figure, and it was an r d to Urtd to was my very first star wars action figure back in second grade. So it is since exploded into a much larger collection, but yeah, that was that's how it all got started. The fullest as well, gives a Jedi as buff. The Star Wars fandom is one of the most dedicated and engaged in the world. For Dustin, watching episode four, five and six was an everyday activity throughout his childhood and that hasn't changed. I mean, as a kid I probably watched them all at least once a month for for most of my childhood and then at the time,...

I think return of the Jedi, that the third one in the trilogy, was my favorite. That's the one I probably watched the most. Getting older, had much more of an appreciation for the empire strikes back, which is now my favorite. So I think honestly now, probably hundreds of times, but definitely dozens and dozens, although he remains a huge fan of the franchise. Dustin took a break from star wars during high school and it wasn't until he came out that the series re emerged in his weekly routine. I came out in high school and it was actually kind of a time when I was kind of taking it easy from Star Wars. You know, growing up in middle school I was reading all of the books and collecting all the action figures and getting into high school. You know, you just have so many other things on your mind. You're going through changes and you're dealing with friendships and figuring out who you are and obviously coming out as a big piece of that. So I mean directly. I don't know if it did, but when I think back, I mean a lot of the story elements in Star Wars, I think, have played a major bowl in my life. You know, the the feeling of finding a group of people that can band around you and support you in the face of adversity and being true to who you are and following your path and having really strong characters to look up to who aren't swayed by what people tell him. Is Right. I do think that the storytelling tropes of Star Wars played a big part in my coming out and giving me the strength to be who I was. And Mean George Lucas has always talked about how, you know, he used these really innate archetypes to tell this story, and I think it's true. I think people see themselves in the characters and in the stories, no matter what they're going through or who they are, and I think that's one of the beauties of the story. While Star Wars helped Ustin come out and find himself, his queer awakening started with an unlikely character. I mean I might sound silly, but Princess Leiah. I mean, oh my gosh, I was so obsessed with her. I all of her costumes and, you know, the the slave lay out outfit that's, you know, infamous from return of the Jedi. You know, I would be her. I play her at recess with friends when we played star wars, which was probably very confusing to my poor parents at the time. But I was just drawn to her, her character. You know, she was the the princess, but she wasn't the Damsel in distress, and I just really resonated with and and gravitated toward that character. I remember entering an essay contest in middle school and it was to, you know, write an essay about which character you feel most connected to in star wars and and I wrote my essay about Princess Leia. So I've always been a fan of carry Fisher to, you know, growing up, getting older, learning more about her career outside of Star Wars and her, you know, a Serbic personality and I've I've became a big fan of hers too. So when she passed several years ago, that was it was a it was a big deal. It hit me harder than I think I was expecting it too, but I think it's just a testament to who she was, but also who the Princess Lea character was and is helped me Obi Wan Kobe am I only out although Princess Leo was Dustin's Queer Awakening, there were definitely a few male characters who also piqued his interest. I've always kind of loved thinking about Wedge, which is one of Luke's friends. He was at the battle of the first death star and also the battle and return of the Jedi. I always thought he, you know, might have a secret crush on Luke. And I know we don't know a lot about supreme leader snoke from the sequel trilogy, but I mean that gold robe, that's pretty fancy. I feel like he might have a pretty queer backstory. We just don't know yet it. So what we'll see. We'll see if the the next movie, episode nine, it gives us anymore insight. With so much diversity in the universe, some of these characters have to be lgbtq right. Unsurprisingly, Dustin isn't the only star wars fan to recognize the queer themes within the franchise. I think franchises like Star Wars and even, you know, x men, I think also is one that gets brought up a lot with, you know, queer representation and in a queer fandom. I think it's because there's just a place for everyone. I mean it's such a huge universe or so many different...

...characters, no different species and in different people with different professions and light side and dark side, and there just seems to be an open canvass for really anyone and everyone to have a role to play. And I think you see that also in stories like rogue one, the one of the spinoff movies where it was a ragtag team of just kind of everyday folk who weren't Jedi and weren't part of the main storyline but they played such an important role in the events of of all the films. I think people like that because they can see themselves there. So I think for Queer people in the Queer Community Sci fi franchises, you know like this and fantasy franchises, it's it gives us a chance to disconnect a little bit and and see ourselves kind of in a fantastical place, maybe a place that's different from where we are, that might not have the same struggles that we have, but gives us a place to kind of be ourselves and play an important role. While some fans embraced diversity and Star Wars, others refuse to acknowledge the reality that queer beings exist. This dichotomy often creates toxicity that can be hard to overcome. There was a panel at a couple celebrations ago that I sat in on that was dedicated to, you know, queer themes in Star Wars, which was amazing and it was amazing that they could have a panel at the official convention about that. But that was one of the resounding frustrations is, you know, right now our community is being relegated to, you know, side material and it makes those conversations difficult and I think we need that representation on screen to further combat that that argument. And you know, there is that suspension of disbelief when you know characters is dating a a tuilet or you know they're even in the most recent solo movie. You know, there was an implied, you know, potential connection between Lando and his robot. You know, those things are are taken at face value because they're featured in the films and I think until we really get that on screen representation, it's it is going to continue to be, a question that we have to answer and unfortunately there's not a great answer because we don't have yet characters or situations to turn to. So I think again, people also just like to see what they want to see, and so that's why also to being explicit is so important, because even an implied relationship or an implied sexuality, people run into that. In the Harry Potter Fandom, you there has been a lot of backlash against, you know, the way that they've handled the dumbledore character. It's one thing to say a character is gay and a tweet, but until people have a chance to actually see that on screen explicitly, it's kind of just lip service. I got a bad feeling about this. Despite the homophobia within the FANDOM, Dustin believes most fans overwhelmingly support the Lgbtq community and concept of queerness in the Star Wars universe. However, it still happens that fans can love Star Wars and except that there are aliens and all kinds of various species, yet still be racist and homophobic when it comes to fictional characters. So this was a big theme of the last Star Wars Celebration in Chicago earlier this year in April. I think toxic fandom is certainly a term that gets thrown around a lot recently, in particular with Star Wars. I do think, though, that it's a vocal minority. I think there's a lot of people online that like to talk big and talk loud, but at the end of the day, I think the average fan is exactly what you would expect. You know someone who grew up with this, who loves this, who love sharing this with other generations, and he was just there to have a good time and, you know, be welcoming to all and celebration was such an amazing experience. I've been to several celebrations over the years and this one, out of all the ones I've been too, felt so warm, so inclusive. You know, there's just so many fans being positive. You know on that best. The actor who played jar jar banks was there and he's been very open about how, you know, the backlash to his character in episode one really affected him.

You know, he dealt with depression and suicide and when he came out on stage for his episode one panel, the audience just went nuts. He got a standing ovation, people were cheering for him, chanting his name and it was just this amazing kind of positive push back on a lot of the negativity. So I think while you know online there might be, you know, some some anti lgbtq rhetoric around star wars and some frustration kind of around, you know, even, you know, female visibility, with a lot of the movie centering on female characters, I think that's just a lot of, you know, angry kids in their basement who have a keyboard and like to use it. But at the end of the day that's not representative of the FANDOM. Try not do or do not. There is no try. Although the fandom is becoming more and more accepting, there are still moments in which dustin is reminded that homophobia is still a problem, even in a galaxy far, far away. You know, I think that disconnect comes because these stories are so personal and people have tied so much of their identity to a lot of these stories. If they already have some of those prejudices or some of those, you know, biases towards different groups of people. It gets reflected and how they celebrate their fandom doesn't like sorry, I don't like you either, and I think there's this strange sense of ownership with with star wars in particular, where people feel that the story owes them something and I think when they see themselves not being represented in the way that they see themselves or that they see the world, they see that as some kind of a front to the memory of this franchise or this story. But I think it's great and it's an important to kind of push people outside of their comfort zone. As Dustin mentioned, the most recent celebration was a welcoming event. However, he encountered blatant homophobia. There's a story actually just at celebration, you know, even though I said it was this great and positive experience, which it was, there was at a point that sticks out to me in particular, and even tweeted about it at the time, but I was waiting in line to take a photo with some ewoks at one of the photo booths with my boyfriend, who it was his first celebration and I brought him along. I wanted him to experience this with me and, you know, we took a cute picture with one of the ewalks and, you know, we were, you know, holding each other and it was, you know, very clearly that we were together and there was a kid in line behind us who just kept shouting gay, Gay. The most disturbing part of this interaction was that the adult with the bigoted team was unfazed by his actions. Well, I tried not to let it get to me, but the fact that the adult that was with him, you know, wasn't telling him that that was inappropriate or didn't seem phase by, you know, someone calling someone out for, you know, being their authentic selves in a negative way. It was, it was is disheartening and it just it did remind me that there are people who, you know, still have these feelings and who, you know, aren't educating, you know, their kids or people around them about the inclusivity of Star Wars in particular. Dustin went on to share his unfortunate experience with his followers on social media and the reaction was beautiful. It does exist and it's unfortunate, but it was amazing. I, you know, tweeted that story I put it on social media and instantly, you know, I get no tweets from the pride squadron, which was an Lgbtq fan group, and all these people who were there, and people sent me Rainbow Jedi pins and the mail and stickers and said can't wait to meet up with you and your boyfriend at the next celebration. And the positive again, the positive backlash against that kind of attitude was just overwhelming and really, really amazing. When encountering homophobia or Transphobia within the Star Wars Fandom, Dustin has one question for those individuals. I mean I think I would have said, you know, what would Luke Skywalker do? You know, I think there's so many characters that...

...are kind of paragons of good in in these stories and you know, kids like to emulate that right they they want to be the hero of their story and I think there are so many good role models and examples in in these movies and to just kind of put it back in the world of Star Wars and say, you know, what would some of your favorite hero characters do in the situation? How would they treat people who are different than them? And there's so many examples in all the movies. Of Know, these characters opening up their hearts and their and their minds to people who are different. So I think, yeah, I think it's just a matter of maybe putting it back in in a language that they understand. You know, it's not a matter of having a big long dialog about diversity and inclusion, but it's about, you know, these are characters and stories that you love. You know, how would you honor and emulate these characters in a way that these the rest of the community can can understand and feel a part of? So, when faced with prejudice within the Star Wars fandom, or any fandom for that matter, it's important to think about how your favorite characters handle diversity and to remember Star Wars is pretty gay right now. I feel like I'm take on the whole empire myself. And there have been some, you know, officially Canon lgbtq characters in the Star Wars Universe, mostly relegated to the video games and the books, in the comics. But funny enough, you know, those typically aren't the characters that most people ship, mostly because you know they're kind of side characters or tangential characters to the name story and what about shipping. So shipping is big and star wars, but the big ones are definitely fin and po from the sequel trilogy. There are a lot of people who ship Luke and wedge from the original trilogy. Certainly from the prequel trilogy, Obi Wan, Kenobi and Anakin, or Quigon and Obiwan, are a lot of popular ships. So although many of the most frequently shipped characters may not be queer in the cannon, that doesn't stop fans from playing matchmaker. But I think my favorite, especially you know queer ship from the sequel trilogy is Kailux, which is Kylo, Ren and general hucks. I just think it's it's hilarious when you think about it, especially when you see their interactions in the movies, and it has a huge following. I was actually waiting in line with someone at celebration and she had a bag that had all these kilux them stickers and pins and we got to talking and kind of Geeking out together and people have created this entire backstory where they have a cat together named Beleficent and she uses the ashes from, you know, vader's helmet box that Kylo has us her litter box and it causes like tension between the two of them and I think it's just it's hilarious and sweet and there's so many great stories that have been written by a fan fiction writers and amazing fan art from the two of them. So I think that's probably my favorite ship, is Kailas. So is there any truth to the Finn Post Ship Fin and PO? So at the end of the day I think this is probably been a lot of lip service from both the actors and and the producers just to kind of keep people interested. But they certainly have alluded to a lot, I think, and even one of the visual dictionaries they refer very, very vaguely to, you know, a potential love interest for po and they don't specify gender. And certainly there's been a lot of, you know, fun little moments in the movies. You know, obviously the big one being the LIP byte from force awakens when Finn and Poe are reunited. That I had ad the Queer fandom and a tizzy. But will they end up together? I don't think Disney has the guts to do that just yet in a big franchise like this. I would love to see something like that in the future, but I think for now they're going to keep it pretty vague. As Dr Jed I put it, Disney doesn't have the guts to introduce the same gender relationship in one of its biggest franchises. But that doesn't mean there haven't been some extremely gay moments in the film's on the serious side, I mean they're...

...certainly I mentioned there have been, you know, lgbtq characters introduced into the cannon, which is Great. You know, unfortunately they haven't been on screen either in in TV or movies, but certainly there are out gay and Queer characters in the Star Wars Universe, which I think is great and certainly a step in the right direction for representation. As far as maybe a more humorous take on it, I mean again I have to go back to that lip by I mean that was probably the the lip bite heard round the world and it's still, you know, sparked an entire fandom shipping these two characters, and I mean you don't just look at anyone that way with that expression. So that was definitely, definitely pretty gay. I mean hate and Christenston is definitely up there. I had the chance to meet him at a celebration a couple of years ago and get a photo with him and he's a really sweet guy and certainly takes the the Star Wars fans in stride, which is his admirable but yeah, I mean thinking back to he had that brief shirtless scene in episode three where he's coming out of a nightmare and getting out of bed and has just like pecks for days, and that's certainly a pretty gay star wars moment too. So I mean Kylo also had, you know, the pretty prominent peck scene and the last movie as well. And certainly Adam driver, you know, big fan of him since girls. But yeah, a little, a little too dark for me. I guess we'll have to see how it all ends up in rise of skywalker this December. But yeah, I think I prefer the light side. So why does star wars appeal to so many lgbtq people? I think it's a great story and a great just pop culture, you know, zeygeist event to kind of fall back into when you're in moments of transition, because it's something that's, you know, steady. It's there and the characters are there and the story is there and it's kind of it's comforting. So yeah, I think that would definitely be one. And what does the future of Star Wars hold? And what I love to about this kind of next generation of star wars storytelling is you have so many people now telling star wars stories who were fans themselves as kids and you know, whether it's them speaking on a panel at a convention or tweeting or writing blog posts, there's just so many people who are now in charge of telling star wars stories who very adamantly say star wars is queer and there's space for Queer people in Star Wars. You know, Chuck Wendig is a writer and wrote some Star Wars books and comics and made a lot of waves on social media when he very explicitly came out in support of the LGBTQ fandom. And it's just comforting to know that it's not just, you know, fans who are fans in support of this, but these are the people who are in charge of telling these stories now, who are themselves fans but who have, you know, a much bigger say and how things go than the average fan, and the fact that they are so adamant and so excited about continuing to find spaces for Queer characters and female characters and characters of color. It's comforting to know, to know that you can turn to the people who are in charge of this and to get to say where the story goes next, and they have made it clear that their space for Queer people want to keep up on all things queer and star wars related. Follow Dustin on social media. Yeah, so I am on social media. Twitter is probably the best way. I am Dr Jedi. Dr Jeedi on twitter and yeah, I usually tweet a mix of of you know, digital marketing Geekery, but for the most part it's just a lot of fun star wars stuff, Fan art, big news announcements and then, of course, I love you, tweeting when I'm at events like celebration, which I will be at. The next...

...celebrations going to be an Anaheim in August two thousand and twenty. So already gearing up for that and very excited. But yeah, that's where I'm at. Godwin, who strikingly done, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. It might be hard for a lot of people to see past their prejudices, even while Star gazing deep into a galaxy far, far away. But that doesn't mean we have to stop pushing for diversity in the properties we love, big galaxy size. Change starts with one person or one relationship or maybe soon one studio, willing to step up and do what's right by honoring how truly diverse this universe is. If tennacle faced aliens can be commonplace, why can't LGBTQ characters? But I think if we ask the characters themselves, they'd tell us what we know they've been saying all along. Never give up, never surrender. Sorry, that's galaxy quest, they'd say. A new hope is not far out of reach. Aim for the moon and even if you miss, you'll still land amongst the star wars, or something like that. LGBTQ plus you is brought to you by Straw hut media. If you like to show, don't forget to rate US ON APPLE PODCASTS and be sure to leave us a review. The show can be found all across social media at LGBT at LGBTQ and at pride. Yes, those handles are us. If you'd like to check out more of their great shows, give them a look at Straw Hut Mediacom and you can find me on social at Lea by chambers or at Gayety are produced. Ers are will sterling and Ryan Tillotson. Will see you next time. Let's go out with something really hot to these folks. A big hit out of seventy seven. A star who if they shoot far walls, please let the star. And how about that Nuddy Star Wars Bar? Can you forget all the creatures in there at Hey God vader in that blacket Evil Mask? Did he scare you as much as he scared me? Go Stare and war walk. My seventh up here. This is the nick winter show and I do the entertaining. Thank you.

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