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Juhani: The Only Gay Star Wars Character

You may have missed the dust-up last year when a Bioware forum mod announced (from an official position) that with regards to the words gay and lesbian, "These are terms that do not exist in Star WarsThis happened with regards to Bioware's upcoming release of Star Wars: The Old Republic, an MMORPG now due to be released in spring 2011.

Bioware's forum mod eventually apologized, unlocked the thread, and defused internet outrage.  (No doubt after a swift kicking from management.)  But even though the original controversy was quickly forgotten, the underlying question remains.  Where are the GLBT characters in Star Wars?  In a literal universe, which encompasses countless (thousands?) of novels and spin-off properties, surely it defies statistics that every character is straight.

It's no surprise that this is a topic that Star Wars fans have been debating for years.  And I suppose it's no surprise that the debate often goes badly, quickly.  For all that, there are several characters which are suspected of being gay or bisexual, but whose orientation I was unable to officially confirm.

For example, Moff Sarn Shild said that he had no interest in human females, but what does that really mean?  His sexual tastes were simply referred to as being "publicly unacceptable for an Imperial Moff" which could mean anything.  He was eventually done in by a female member of the Rebel Alliance, who took a job as his beard, pretending to be his mistress in public.   

Moff Sarn Shild may not have been interested in human girls, but he was also certainly not an "out" homosexual character.  For all we know, he preferred female aliens.  Or amorphous blob races.  It's impossible to say.

(I am trying very hard not to make a pun out of "Imperial Moff."  You're welcome.)

I also found a rumor that Leonia Tavira (a.k.a. Moff Tavira) was bisexual, but I was unable to find any more information on this.  (Not having read any of the X Wing: Rogue Squadron comics.)  Several people have mentioned Tavira's bisexuality, but without any quotes or context, this can be considered neither confirmed nor denied.

This is of course all separate from the idea of gender, which is slightly more fluid.  The Hutts, for example, are hermaphroditic.  Other species have the ability to change genders, or have no gender at all.  Topic for another article.

At any rate, there is one character in all of the Star Wars universe who is officially confirmed as being gay.  And she happens to be a character in a Bioware game, one which was released a full six years before the Old Republic MMORPG debacle.

Juhani is a playable character in the video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, originally released for XBOX and later for PC.  Juhani, a Jedi who turns to the dark side, is officially a lesbian, and her romantic sub-plot can only be unlocked by another female character.  

And so, Juhani, the only gay Star Wars character, we salute you!  

And Bioware, we have to wonder how long it's going to take before you allow a gay male character the same respect.