The Star Wars universe has lacked explicit LGBTQ+ representation in the past, but do these comments go far enough in addressing that?
Star Wars fans settling down to watch Solo couldn’t help but notice elements of what they considered sexual tension between the title character and Lando Calrissian.
It follows on from interpretations of the relationship between Poe and Finn in other instalments of the franchise which some read as more than just platonic.
Typically, those behind the scenes have remained quiet and allowed fan theories to play out without commenting. However, things might now be shifting.
When asked by the Huffington Post about whether Lando could be pansexual, Solo co-writer Jonathan Kasdan told journalist Bill Bradley “I would say yes”.
“I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie,” he added, accepting that the sexuality of Donald Glover’s character is hinted at on-screen, rather than being laid out in plain sight.
“I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”
Kasdan’s father Lawrence, who was also a co-writer on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, was less forthright on the matter.
“Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t,” he said, when asked about a moment where the idea of Lando flirting with Han is raised.
Knowing that Lawrence also worked on two of the three original Star Wars films, in which Billy Dee Williams played Lando, some fans may feel the apparent writing of the character as pansexual has been influenced more by the younger Kasdan.
While there has been something of a positive response to the comments, some have been questioning why the only LGBTQ+ characters in the Star Wars universe are described as such only retroactively or off-screen.
Comparisons have been made with JK Rowling’s after-the-fact comments about Dumbledore’s sexuality in the Harry Potter books and films, with some pointing out representation in writing is not the same as representation on screen, especially considering the power and influence held by the franchises in question.
Dear Rowling, Kasdan, etc.,— Ari Marmell (@mouseferatu) May 18, 2018
A character is non-heteronormative when you show it on screen (or on the page, if you're talking novels), and not before. This is true no matter what you say about them in interviews or after the fact.
You want the credit? Do the work.
(Images: Walt Disney Company/Getty)