I know what I’m about to say may not be popular or in my best interest. Now I’m not one to really care about the politics of Hollywood or the country in general. I’m very aware I’m a very, very small fish in a huge pond and I except it, that includes all the aspects of my daily life. My only care in this world is to be happy, make the people around me happy, and to wish happiness on EVERYONE. If I had to label a prejudice I have it would be against people who think they are better than others. Which has nothing to do with this post.
There has been an outcry recently for Disney to include LGBT characters in two of their popular franchises, ‘Frozen’ and ‘Star Wars’. GLAAD even called Disney out in their 2016 Studio Responsibility Index (among other/all studios). They said…
For the first time since beginning this report, GLAAD did not find any LGBT-inclusive content among Disney’s yearly slate of films. LGBT people are already part of families and communities around the world, and films of all genres should reflect that.
Hey, I’m all about including all walks of life in media of all types. I have no problem with that because movies, music, comics, novels should be a reflection of the world we live in, but it is through the filter of the person telling the story. That is where we get into our first sticky spot. If an author has had no dealings with people of certain diversities, it may come across in their work. Either they will exclude or make a character that will be called out for not being “fleshed out” enough or a stereotype. I really don’t think they mean disrespect to anyone, they are just shooting in the dark and missing the target. Heck, if I were to write about the few LGBT people that I know, they would be like everyone else. Wow, that’s weird…and would probably be boring.
So that leads me to the ‘Star Wars’ issue. Honestly, couldn’t there be LGBT characters already? GLAAD is the first one (I’d expect) to want homosexual people treated and portrayed as “normal” and like “everyone else”. Like I said before, these are words I’d use to describe the few LGBT people in my life. And come on, we’re talking about ‘Star Wars’ here. (I think) In order to show someone’s sexual orientation we would have to show the romantic side of their life, and ‘Star Wars’ is not known for it’s romances. The two real romances we had over the 6 previous films were Han and Leia, and Padme and Anakin. Han and Leia’s relationship throughout episodes 4 through 6 was nothing more than an elementary school romance with cumulated in them exchanging “I love you” (in two separate movies). Sure they shared a couple kisses, but on the screen it was not very “deep”. Their romance lived in our hearts and in our minds, not from the actions of George Lucas’ words or directions. As for Padme and Anakin, they were two puppets and I saw a better love story between puppets in ‘Team America World Police’.
So sure, maybe Poe and Finn could be a couple. But in order to explore their relationship past a certain point, it would change the matrix of the ‘Star Wars’ movies. Not because it’s a touchy subject, but because no one gives a shit. We watch ‘Star Wars’ to see worlds and creatures different than ours. We want galactic battles and lightsaber duels. We want swashbuckling adventure and “on the surface” storytelling. When fans were bogged down with anything other than this in the prequels, they rioted and called for the head of Lucas. So a couple comments and glances that could possibly lead to a kiss or an “I love you” should be enough, if it’s the way it was meant to go. Just to throw it in there for the sake of doing it could backfire in turning the characters into two dimensional or stereotypical people and that’s not want anyone wants. But if they can make it work, go for it.
Now as far as ‘Frozen’ it could work better. But still goes against the vision of the first film. The point of the film was to break the “true love” trope created by the Disney Princesses that came before it. The true love in the movie was not a romantic one, it was the true love shared by family. Now, that story has been told in the first film so it could open up a new story line that could work beautifully in a second film. And with Disney wanting to diversify their Princesses line (finally), a LGBT character would be a welcomed addition. I speak as a father when I say that my 3 year old daughter wouldn’t care or even understand. She just loves Elsa and that’s really all that matters. Because at the heart of it all, that’s all we are searching for in life…LOVE.
So to wrap up this slippery slope I have skated on. If it works, go for it. Include LGBT characters into the ‘Star Wars’ universe. I honestly think it would be handled better in the novels where it could be told in a manner that wouldn’t come across as rushed or make someone a negative stereotype. Also, go for it Disney. If not Elsa, make a new Princess to fit the LGBT mold. Just for the love of god don’t shoehorn in characters or retcon to make it work. Let it happen organically. The perfect example would be in the original run of ‘The Authority’ comic book. In ‘The Authority’ we went through many issues getting to know the characters of Apollo and The Midnighter when they revealed that they were a couple. As an avid reader of the comic I thought it was great, very deep and handled so well. So just take your time, let the characters breathe and whomever they love won’t matter.