“The Last Jedi” May Give Us “Star Wars” First Queer Character After All

It may not be the one you expected, though.

Last year, John Boyega excited Star Wars hoping for a Finn-Poe romance by saying that Finn and heroine Rey (Daisy Ridley) are “just friends,” and that the “romance thing” in future films is “not going to go the way you think it’s going to go.”

The Force Awakens/Lucasfilm

More recently Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy agreed that a Finn-Poe romance was within the realm of possibility.

“After 40 years of adventures, people have a lot of information and a lot of theories about the path these stories can take,” she said tactfully, “and sometimes those theories that come up are new ideas for us to listen to, read and pay attention to.”

But while none of the advance chatter has suggested ex-stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and maverick Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) become more than buddies in the upcoming The Last Jedi, another character could finally break the Star Wars movies queer cherry.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Lucasfilm

Earlier this year, Claudia Gray’s Star Wars novelLeia: Princess of Alderaan introduced resistance leader Admiral Amilyn Holdo, played by Laura Dern in Last Jedi. In one passage, after Leia reveals she’s only into “humanoid males,” Holdo hints that her own sexuality is more expansive.

“A pair of pretty dark eyes.” Then Amilyn thought about that for a moment. “Or more than a pair, if you’re into Grans. Or Aqualish, or Talz. Or even—”

“That’s all right!” Leia said through laughter. “It’s just humanoid males for me.”

“Really? That feels so limiting.”

“Thank goodness it’s a big galaxy.”

In a new Vanity Fair feature, Dern’s purple-haired version of Holdo was described as an “oddball.”

She’s Poe’s new commander but “doesn’t quite have Leia’s everyman (or everywoman) touch with the troops,” according to EW, and the two butt heads. It’s not even entirely clear if she’s a good guy.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi/Lucasfilms

“She’s somebody who’s a bit off-kilter, who sees the world through a prism most others don’t understand,” Gray told StarWars.com of the younger Holdo introduced in her book. “At first Leia thinks she’s pleasant but weird, but as time goes on, it becomes apparent that there’s much more to Holdo than you might guess when you first met her.”

Should she be canonically queer, it would make her the first openly LGBT character in a Star Wars film. LGBT characters have been popping up in Star Wars novels for some time, though, including Imperial turncoat Sinjir Rath Velus in 2015’s Star Wars: Aftermath.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.