Bleats

Star Wars Secretly Added Gay Characters And You Definitely Didn't Notice

We've got a good feeling about this.

OK, let’s manage some expectations here: if you’re hoping this means Finn and Poe kiss in The Rise Of Skywalker, we’re sorry but that’s probably not going to happen. But the Star Wars universe does now have at least one confirmed gay couple, although you’d be forgiven for not having noticed.

It’s not Luke and Han. It’s not Leia and Mon Mothma. It’s not Ashoka Tano and Barriss Offee, despite the efforts of The Clone Wars shippers. And it’s definitely not C-3PO and R2-D2.

It’s Orka and Flix.

These guys.

Chances are your response is “who?”, unless you’re a pretty solid fan who can reply “Ah yes, those characters from Star Wars: Resistance, the animated series which takes place in the period immediately before The Force Awakens and which is about to start its second season, totally across that.”

And while there’s nothing explicit about their relationship in the show, beyond the small point that they’re doing a fairly relationship-ish thing in taking flowers to Flix’s mum, executive producer Justin Ridge told the Coffee With Kenobi podcast (and the Guardian reported) that “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item. They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that.”

It’s worth noting that there have been queer characters in what Star Wars used to call its Expanded Universe of publications, games and other non-movie media.

If you played as a female character in the still-amazing Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic game you could flirt with the warrior-dame Juhani, for example, and there were numerous queer and non-binary characters in the novels and comics.

And just quietly, we like to think that Moff Jejerrod was subtly coming out to Vader in Return of the Jedi.

However, this is the first canonical on-screen depiction of a same-gender couple in the Star Wars universe.

And sure, it would be nice if Disney had been game to show a queer couple that wasn’t a bat and an owl, but you know. Baby steps.

Turns Out That You're Definitely Not Going To Start Watching Game Of Thrones Now

People are time poor, at least when it comes to dragons.

With all of the televisual options at our collective fingertips we’ve been forced to face a grim fact which previous generations never had to face: runaway climate change. And also, pure entertainment fatigue.

More to the point, with quality television on multiple services and networks it’s impossible to just keep up with everything that’s out there, much less dip back into the vast catalogue of established classics.

“Eh, I can work out the show through the memes, thanks.”

When you’re trying to keep up with whatever’s just appeared on Netflix and Stan or the on-demand options on most of our traditional stations, are you ever going to swing back into the library of old favourites? Especially since Disney+ is just around the corner and you already know that you’re just going to stream The Simpsons over and over and over?

In any case: the fact is that you’re almost certainly not going to start Game Of Thrones for the first time now.

Eh, you already know it.

At least, that’s the finding of my completely unscientific study, which involved going on social media and asking “so, what do you think you’d like but won’t ever get around to watching?”

Hundreds of votes were cast in a massive triumph of democracy and it turns out that the biggest television drawcard of all time is now The Thing You Should Have Watched At The Time But Missed Your Chance.

Just shy of 20 per cent of the votes cast were for everyone’s favourite Not As Good As the Book Dragons show (18.9 per cent, to be specific).

That’s also true of other prestige dramas, like Breaking Bad (thirteen per cent), The Sopranos (8.5 per cent) and The Wire (seven per cent). Everyone knows they’re classics. No-one has time to start slogging through that many seasons now.

What’s weird is how many people nominated shows which are relatively recent – BoJack Horseman, Fleabag, Killing Eve, even Brooklyn Nine-Nine which isn’t exactly an episodic series.

But the fact is that our numbers clearly tell us that nobody will start Game Of Thrones at this point. Who has the time to commit to six whole seasons and a legendarily unsatisfying ending? Life’s too short, frankly.

if you have a show that you want to watch but never will, let us know. We’re just going to sit here, feeling guilty about that unopened pile of Friday Night Lights DVDs.

The GOAT Never-Going-To-Have-Time-To-Watch-This Top Ten

  1. Game Of Thrones
  2. Breaking Bad
  3. The Sopranos
  4. The Wire
  5. The West Wing
  6. Mad Men
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale
  8. Rick And Morty
  9. Deadwood
  10. The Crown

We Are Here For The Good Place's Stealth Subplot About How Lazy Dudes Suck

Maximum Derek, doing the minimum.

The Good Place is back (for the last time, because we live in the worst timeline) and landed with an incredibly dense and intriguing first episode. But despite the huge amount the best show on television was handling with new and old characters, a new setting and everything else it still managed to include a subtle but pointed slam at how lazy dudes are the goddamn worst.

And obviously this is kinda spoilery so if you’ve been holding off watching the fourth season until more episodes accumulate then now is the time to bail with this important public service announcement.

OK: so, we have a new Good Place, created and peopled by Janet (series MVP D’arcy Carden) and helped by her self-created rebound boyfriend Derek (the gloriously unhinged Jason Mantzoukas).

And this is the world in which the new test of four new humans will take place upon which, you know, the entire future and past of humanity depends.

But there’s one fairly brilliant little wrinkle to the Janet/Derek dynamic that’s buried amid the somewhat exhausting amount of exposition packed into the episode. And it’s this:

Janet is stressed to near breaking point by having to maintain the entire universe, while Derek is swanning around with magnificently bad approximations of cocktails (including, at one point, an entire onion in a glass) complimenting himself on the people walking around – or, as he calls them, his Derek-babies.

And while it’s a solid joke made to needle Janet’s doe-eyed swain Jason (Manny Jacinto), it also illustrates a larger point.

When a couple makes a new human its generally the female half of the couple who gets to do all the heavy lifting and all the emotional and gynaecologically-literal labour.

Meanwhile dad gets to pretty much keep doing what he does, pausing only to pat himself on the back for being such a stud.

And if that seems like an unfair stereotype, that’s pretty much what all the research tells us: new fathers have their careers and earning pretty much put along, new mums take years to even get back to where they were before getting pregnant, and usually find themselves doing all the home duties on top of their day job as a fun bonus. Annabel Crabb has just written an entire Quarterly Essay about it which every dad-to-be should read, frankly.

Anyway: that paragraph was way more preachy than the episode was, but how many comedies would manage to seamlessly weave a critique of modern parenting inequalities into its D plot, in an episode which also includes a baby elephant made of pure light speaking universal truths?

Thank you, The Good Place, for taking lazy dads to task. Goddamn, we don’t deserve a show this good.

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