The Star Wars canon is huge and expansive, and like every fictional universe, it’s sure to not all the time sync up fully. As followers of Marvel, DC, Star Trek, or Physician Who know, protecting a fictional timeline collectively with none errors might be difficult. Nevertheless, the alternatives made when bringing sure storylines to life point out the path that the franchise is headed. When storylines that includes underrepresented characters are handled as “much less vital,” it doesn’t point out that the franchise is eager about modernizing itself and reaching out to all followers. A latest controversy emerged within the Star Wars universe resulting from rewriting of Ahsoka Tano’s (Ashley Eckstein) character arc within the new Disney+ anthology collection Tales of the Jedi.
Tales of the Jedi consists of six episodes and reveals “beforehand unexplored” moments from the lives of Ahsoka and Dooku (Corey Burton). The ultimate episode of the collection, “Resolve,” follows Ahsoka within the aftermath of Padmé Amidala’s (Catherine Taber) funeral, the place she hides out in a small village. Whereas Ahsoka tries to masks her force-sensitivity, she’s pressured to disclose herself as a former Jedi when an Inquisitor (Clancy Brown) comes for her. This episode loosely tailored related occasions that appeared within the 2016 canon novel Ahsoka by E. Ok. Johnston. Nevertheless, one ingredient of the story that was lower out fully was the character Kaeden Larte, a black queer character who turns into Ahsoka’s ally on her mission.
When the Walt Disney Firm took over Lucasfilm in 2012, that they had an fascinating problem on their palms. Clearly, the occasions within the older spinoff materials (now known as “Legends”) must be retconned, as these books and tales that includes characters like Jacen and Jaina Solo would contradict the plans for The Pressure Awakens. Nevertheless, Disney made a aware option to reset the timeline and transfer ahead with a cohesive continuity. The Ahsoka novel was included inside this contemporary canon, and it was particularly cited for adaptation in Tales of the Jedi. The selection to take away Kaeden from the story speaks to the bigger problems with LGBT underrepresentation within the Star Wars universe.
Kaeden’s Story and Significance
It’s vital to point that this controversy is extra important than any minor retcons. An identical state of affairs occurred after the airing of the season premiere of the Disney+ collection The Dangerous Batch; whereas the comedian e-book collection Kanan had beforehand proven Kanan Jarrus’ (Freddie Prinze Jr.) experiences through the aftermath of Order 66, The Dangerous Batch reveals that “Clone Pressure 99” (Dee Bradley Baker) helped him escape. It’s a bit of complicated, however it doesn’t essentially change the story. Nevertheless, including in a number of new characters to flesh out the occasions is totally different than eradicating a personality fully.
In Ahsoka, Kaeden has an interesting story that reveals the angle of harmless civilians within the wake of the Galactic Empire’s takeover of the galaxy. She and her sister, Miara, stay on the moon Raada, and wrestle to offer for themselves within the wake of their dad and mom’ dying. When Ahsoka arrives (utilizing the codename “Ashla”), they assist her modify with none information of her Jedi roots. It’s a easy act of compassion that has nothing to do with future. It confirmed that there are merely good individuals within the galaxy that will likely be pressured to undergo within the wake of the Imperial takeover. By comparability, Tales of the Jedi does little or no to flesh out these farmers and their views.
Kaeden has an inspiring journey; after her experiences with Ahsoka and the Inquisitor, she is ready to function a medic throughout the rising Insurgent Alliance. Together with this could’ve been an effective way for Tales of the Jedi to tie into the themes of Andor, which is exploring the totally different disenfranchised teams all through the galaxy that turn out to be the primary rebels. Nevertheless, Tales of the Jedi solely focuses on Ahsoka’s duel with the Inquisitor and doesn’t actually connect with the bigger context of the galaxy. Whereas maybe the intention was to particularly present her perspective, it’s vital to see that she is rising as a frontrunner and is keen to just accept Bail Organa’s (Jimmy Smits) provide to hitch the Alliance and turn out to be ”Fulcrum.”
Kaeden is confirmed to be a queer character who expresses attraction for Ahsoka. Kaeden admits within the novel that she needs to kiss Ahsoka, who responds with shock. It doesn’t point out that Ahsoka is , however it additionally doesn’t present any disgust on her half. Ahsoka’s sexuality has been considerably unclear; whereas she has a short romantic fling with Lux Bonteri (Jason Spisak) in The Clone Wars, that is merely an exploratory childhood crush. In all probability, Ahsoka is adjusting to the Jedi Order’s strict adherence to celibacy. She’s by no means actually had the chance to open herself as much as relationships.
Nevertheless, Kaeden’s expressed sexuality was a step ahead within the Star Wars franchise. Whereas LGBT characters have hardly ever graced the movies and tv reveals, the brand new canon materials has proven many heroic queer characters. The character Physician Aphra was a standout within the Darth Vader comedian e-book collection, and he or she has subsequently appeared in each her personal collection of the identical title and the Struggle of the Bounty Hunters storyline. The Aftermath trilogy of novels and The Excessive Republic multimedia undertaking have each integrated queer characters into the story. It’s vital to achieve out to LGBT followers and present them heroes that symbolize a contemporary world.
Nevertheless, the Star Wars content material in theaters and on Disney+ has shied away from any expressed queer illustration. Andor is an anomaly because of Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) and Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu). Though it was indicated that Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) might be a pair in The Final Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker went out of its method to point out that each characters have been heterosexual. To make issues extra offensive, there’s a short second on the finish of the movie the place two girls kiss; that is the precise sort of “blink and also you’ll miss it” inclusion that may simply be edited out for worldwide audiences.
The Star Wars franchise must evolve, and the present lack of LGBT characters within the Disney+ content material is disheartening. Star Wars is a narrative that reveals how anybody could be a hero, and it’s vital for all followers to see themselves represented on display screen. A minor canonical rewrite isn’t one thing to be upset about, however the energetic removing of a queer character must be handled with gravity.