The Star Wars franchise quieted critics of its primarily white casts in November after the trailer for The Force Awakens revealed John Boyega as the first black stormtrooper, but now the series is growing more diverse and will reportedly feature its first lesbian character.
Del Rey Books editor Shelly Shapiro has revealed that the upcoming Star Wars novel Lords Of The Sith, written by Paul S. Kemp, will introduce the first canonical LGBT character in the world of the science fiction juggernaut.
Sci-fi website Big Shiny Robot reports the upcoming novel will feature a character named Moff Mors, who is described as “an Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but she is an incredibly capable leader.“ Moff also happens to be a lesbian.
While a previous Star Wars book series and numerous video games have featured gay characters, none are considered to be part of the “official” Star Wars world, as outlined by new owner Disney last year.
Shapiro spoke of Moff’s role as the first official gay figure in the Star Wars universe:
This is certainly the first character in canon… 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.
Previous minority characters have included Samuel L. Jackson, who first appeared as Mace Windu in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Billy Dee Williams, who starred as Lando Calrissian in 1980’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.