Opinion

Flix and Orka

Flix and Orka

As with Albus Dumbledore and the Potterverse, many fans of Star Wars Resistance, an animated children’s programme set “a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away”, suspected that Orka and Flix were in a gay relationship. The creators of the show confirmed the rumours earlier this week, adding the pair to a small but much-publicised list of queer characters in mainstream entertainment for children and young adults.

The characters, and the acknowledgment of their sexuality, are welcome and long overdue. After all, the Star Wars saga has contained from its very inception in the 1970s, talking bear-like creatures, lascivious blob-villains, creatures of every size and shape really. Yet, like so many other fantasy series, its depictions and appeal managed to be restrictive — its protagonists were straight men, on the standard “hero’s journey”, finding themselves and, in the process, defeating evil. Princess Leia was strong, but also a motivation for Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. A change in that heterosexual male-centric outlook began with the series reboot in 2015, with the lead character now a woman. With Flix and Orka, the ambit of diversity in the vastly popular franchise has expanded, and that can only help normalise something which should never have been not-normal to begin with.

In fact, it is perhaps time to reveal more about the private lives of the Jedi, their friends and enemies. In the celibate order of warrior monks, the main conflict in the original Star Wars trilogy appeared from Anakin Skywalker having to repress his sexuality and hide his love. Such was the damage of being made to feel abnormal for his desire that he turned into one of the most dreaded villains of all time — Darth Vader. There is a lesson there for the writers of sci-fi as well as society at large. In the long run, it’s always better to be open and accepting.