Now, there's been a lot of controversy lately about the diversity problem in the Star Wars universe - and especially the marketing around it. After all, seeing as the saga has an entire galaxy's worth of characters to choose from, a surprisingly large number of them still seem to end up being white men. That though, seems to be very much changing.
First, there came the recent news that Star Wars Rebels will soon feature just as many female leading characters as male ones (a rarity on any platform, but especially kid's television), and now, as BigShinyRobot recently revealed, the Star Wars universe has made another pretty huge step in the right direction: They're about to introduce a fully fledged LGBT character into full canon.
We're About to Get an Actual, Factual LGBT Star Wars Character
Now, in fairness, the Expanded Universe has already seen a same-sex couple in the form of two married Mandalorians, Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur - but that was kept pretty darned subtle, as well as now being distinctly non-canon (along with the rest of the EU).
This, though, is something else entirely - and a major step in the right direction when it comes to diversity in the Star Wars Universe, for two key reasons:
1. The Newly Introduced Character Is Set to Be a Fully Rounded Character, Who Happens to Be a Lesbian
Yup, that's right. Moff Mors - soon set to be introduced in Paul S. Kemp's soon to be released novel Lords of the Sith - is no token gesture or alienating stereotype.
"Moff Mors is an Imperial who has made some very serious mistakes but she is an incredibly capable leader and spends much of the book working hard to prevent absolute failure. She also happens to be a lesbian."
Or, in other words, the Star Wars universe has now acknowledged the fact that sexuality (along with gender, identity and pretty much everything else) isn't the only defining factor in a person's life, and responded accordingly.
The even better part, though?
2. Moff Mors isn't a Statement - This "Just Felt Perfectly Natural"
As Shelly Shapiro, the editor of the forthcoming series of Star Wars novels from Del Rey, of which Lords of the Sith is a part, put it, when asked about whether the role was a statement of intent:
"It's not something I really think about, it just makes sense. There's a lot of diversity – there should be diversity in "Star Wars." You have all these different species and it would be silly to not also recognize that there's a lot of diversity in humans. If there's any message at all, it's simply that "Star Wars" is as diverse (or more so because they have alien species) as humanity is in real life and we don't want to pretend it's not. It just felt perfectly natural."
Or, in other words, Mors' sexual identity isn't there to make a point, it just simply is.
Which, in a world where many still take issue with the idea of equal marriage rights, or even dispute the existence of non-straight forms of sexuality, is a pretty big deal all by itself - and downright awesome.
What do you think, though? What else does Star Wars need to do to solve its diversity shortfall? Are there any other recent examples of awesome improvements in representation? Will The Force Awakens keep up the good work?