'Star Wars' Universe Introduces First Major Gay Hero

Meet Sinjir Rath Velus.

September 4, 2015, 4:08 PM
PHOTO: Scene from the movie "Star Wars: A New Hope."
Scene from the movie "Star Wars: A New Hope."

— -- In the new novel, "Star Wars: Aftermath," we meet the first major gay character: Imperial traitor and new member of the rebellion, Sinjir Rath Velus.

Velus is not the first gay character, but the first gay major hero, Entertainment Weekly reports. In a previous novel, a lesbian Imperial officer Moff Delian Mors played a role in the action.

But Velus has now sided with the rebels and the author of the book, Chuck Wendig, spoke to EW about the new character. In the book, Velus turns down the advances of a female character and explains, so she doesn't take it personally.

"I don’t think that his sexuality needs to be this giant plot point, but at the same time, it’s part of who he is as a character," he told the magazine. "You’re starting to see it more, obviously, in the larger narrative properties. Comics are just starting to figure out that that [LGBT men and women] exist in the world, and you can include and incorporate them in stories and speak to those people, and speak to audiences who may not have been spoken to before."

He continued, "I think fiction has sort of a value and an opportunity to speak to audiences beyond both the author and beyond what you “expect” that audience to be. And it allows people to see themselves in stories where, before, they hadn’t."