When Rogue One was released, it sparked many a conversation about everything from the importance of alternate perspectives to the merit of using CGI to re-animate actors who have passed away. But perhaps the most surprising talking point from the movie was the debate over whether two of the characters were actually in love with each other — and no, I don't mean Jyn and Cassian.
As longtime partners, Chirrut Imwe and Baze Melbus demonstrated a touching respect and affection for each other, sharing in-jokes and remaining fiercely loyal to the bitter end. Their relationship really chimed with fans, and the easy chemistry between the two men lead many to wonder whether they shared something more than friendship.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, director Gareth Edwards has finally weighed in on the debate, and you'll be happy to learn that your OTP really is canon. Probably.
They're Gay If You Want Them To Be
When asked about whether Chirrut and Baze were in love — perhaps secretly married — in #RogueOne, Edwards revealed his thoughts on the matter.
"That wasn’t the original intention, but I understand that people can translate it that way."
Explaining that the depth of the characters' relationship evolved while filming, Edwards pointed out that fans weren't the only ones to suspect there was something more to Chirrut and Baze — actor Donnie Yen (Chirrut) ships it too.
"After a while, it was something that became interesting. Donnie asked, ‘What do you think these guys are? What do you think their relationship really is?’ And he asked if that was the case."
Yen's comment challenged Edwards to see the characters a different way, admitting that the two being in love totally made sense for their behavior and the way they related to each other in Rogue One.
"I felt like, ‘You know what? If these were real people and I was filming them, I wouldn’t know. It’s not something we would see; they would keep it to themselves.’ For all I know, a little bit of that might be going on under the surface."
He also embraced the idea of viewers interpreting that Chirrut and Baze were romantically entwined.
"Genuinely, if the audience wants to take that away from it, I’m very happy. I’d be very proud to have brought something like that to 'Star Wars'."
The topic of queer representation in #StarWars is not a new one, and in fact it's been talked about since #TheForceAwakens introduced us to Finn and Poe Dameron, two characters with such sizzling chemistry that many viewers were convinced that they were attracted to one another.
However, in both the case of Finn and Poe, and Chirrut and Baze, any romantic tension between the characters is entirely subtextual — whether we'll ever actually see an out-and-proud #LGBT character in Star Wars has yet to be determined, though many believe that the franchise would benefit from this representation. After all, queer people deserve better than Schrödinger's gay (characters whose sexuality is subtextual and therefore exist in some sort of queer limbo).
Until then, it's nice to know that Edwards has given his blessing to the interpretation that Chirrut and Baze were in love. Here's hoping that the new canon book about Chirrut and Baze in their youth will also tell the tale of how they fell in love...
Do you think Chirrut and Baze were husbands in 'Rogue One'?
[Poll image credit: Lucasfilm]