For a good, long while now, Star Wars fans have been hoping—if not outright clamoring—to see a little LGBTQIA representation make it to a galaxy far, far away. In some ways, it has become the most glaring demographic holdout in this franchise’s 40-plus-year history, especially when one considers the clear conscious effort the people on the production side have taken to feature more diverse casting with the latest film releases.
It’s actually kind of ironic in that way: how each Episode brings with it a renewed hope that this will somehow be the one that finally gives us the gay, bi, lesbian, trans, or queer characters we’ve been waiting for. Tons of fans jumped on the Finn / Poe bandwagon after The Force Awakens despite neither characters sexual orientation being confirmed (although we now have hints about Poe’s). For a brief moment, some suspected Laura Dern’s Holdo might be queer. Baze and Chirrut certainly had that “old married couple” vibe in Rouge One, but were they romantically involved? Who knows. The fact of the matter is this: regardless of the hopes, shippers, and theories thrown its way, there have been no explicitly LGBTQIA characters in any Star Wars film to date. At least, that’s what I thought too until a little post crossed my path on Twitter over the weekend…
At first glance, one probably feels inclined to chalk this up as just another nonsensical fan theory; someone reading into things not really there. But here’s the thing, everything @ikolism points out is correct. A quick look at this OFFICIAL Star Wars featurette released in early January confirms as much.
If you jump to roughly the 9-minute mark in the video, the panel turns the conversation to the cuddly puffin-like creatures. At this point, host Andi Gutierrez asks the explicit question, “Has it been confirmed that porgs look different based on their sex?” The Lucasfilm story group panel then confirms that male porgs are distinguishable by their brighter colors and orange plumage. So whenever you see a porg like the one featured in the image at the top of this post, you’re looking at a male porg.
This brings us back to The Last Jedi and the so-called LGBTQIA moment I’ve been alluding to for this whole post. It’s truly a “blink and you’ll miss it” moment. During one of the many establishing shots we get of Ahch-To, there is a brief shot of the porgs just being porgs like the weird bird hamsters they are. As two porgs chirp like the dickens, a third flies into frame. He hobbles over to the background porg and begins to gently nestle his face into the fellow porg’s breast. Doublecheck the eyes. Both male!
Could it just be a hug between friends? Sure, but the look of serenity on that background porg’s face sure looks like elation from a loving embrace to me.
Ladies and gentlemen, THE FIRST GAY CREATURES IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE!