Star Wars star John Boyega has added fuel to the fire of rumours of a gay romance in the film series.
2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens featured a close bond between Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) – with rumours spreading that Disney is setting up a gay romance between two of the film’s main characters.
Isaac added fuel to the fire by hinting at an undisclosed romance of some kind, adding: “I think it’s very subtle romance that’s happening. You know, you have to just look very close… you have to watch it a few times to see the little hints. But there was… I was playing a romance.”
Boyega initially shut down reports, but later hinted he was open to the idea, adding: “Mark Hamill didn’t know that Darth Vader was Luke’s father: you never know what they’re going to pull.”
In a new interview over the weekend, he said that the issue should be addressed on-screen.
Speaking to Metro, he said: “I think that Oscar is always looking at me with love in his eyes, and I guess that the fans saw it. And then they realised that either he needs to chill or come out.”
Of the need for LGBT diversity, he added cryptically: “There definitely is that responsibility, but more the responsibility to hire those from those experiences to share their creative light, that’s the pivotal thing.
“If you hire the same sort of people you’re just getting the same sort of film. It’s not wrong, but then there’s a lack of variety.”
Kathleen Kennedy, the head of LucasFilms, previously hinted that there had been serious discussions about a gay romance – though not in upcoming film The Last Jedi.
She said: “We’ve talked about it, but I think you’re not going to see it in The Last Jedi.”
The film boss added: “After 40 years of adventures people have a lot of information and a lot of theories about the way these stories can take, and sometimes those theories that come up are new ideas for us to listen to, read and pay attention to.
“[It’s] clear that the fans are as much masters of this franchise as we are.”
Beyond Finn and Poe, Star Wars fans have also suggested that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story characters Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) are in a same-sex relationship, which the film’s director Gareth Edwards refused to rule out.
Meanwhile, Mark Hamill continues to insist that the sexuality of his iconic Star Wars character, Luke Skywalker, is open to interpretation.
He said: ” Fans are writing and ask all these questions, ‘I’m bullied in school… I’m afraid to come out’. They say to me, ‘Could Luke be gay?’ I’d say it is meant to be interpreted by the viewer… If you think Luke is gay, of course he is.
“You should not be ashamed of it. Judge Luke by his character, not by who he loves.”
Last year, Star Wars novel writer Chuck Wending issued an epic response to critics who were unhappy with the introduction of a major new gay character into the Star Wars book universe.
Wending had introduced the character in his novel Star Wars: Aftermath.
Lesbian Jedi Juhani featured in the 2003 game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – making her technically the first gay Star Wars hero.
The new films, however, are set in a different universe to both the books and the game. (It’s complicated.)