Mark Hamill raised some eyebrows among ‘Star Wars’ fans this week when he said that his character from the films, Luke Skywalker, could be gay.
Vanity Fair reports that Hamill gave an interview to Britain’s The Sun this week in which he said that Skywalker’s sexual orientation is open to interpretation. Hamill was riffing off of recent comments from ‘The Force Awakens’ director J.J. Abrams in which Abrams said it would be interesting to see ‘Star Wars’ include a gay character in the future.
“…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,” Hamill told the tabloid. “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.”
This isn’t the first time Hamill has brought up Skywalker’s sexuality. In early January, he responded to a fan on Twitter who had asked if Skywalker was bisexual.
“His sexuality is never directly addressed in the films. Luke is whatever the audience wants him to be, so you can decide for yourself,” Hamill wrote in a message to the fan.
— addie (@obiskyguy) January 13, 2016
This news is causing a heated debate among some ‘Star Wars’ fans. Some on social media are saying that Hamill’s comments are a sort of revisionist history on the original trilogy. Others have pointed out that in the original Expanded Universe created by various third parties with the blessing of Lucasfilm, Luke Skywalker goes on to marry and start a family with a woman, Mara Jade. The Expanded Universe was discarded from ‘Star Wars’ canon, however, after Disney bought the rights to the ‘Star Wars’ franchise from George Lucas.
And as Vanity Fair notes, “Indeed, the only character for whom Luke openly displayed any affection in the original trilogy of films was his sister Leia, so there is plenty of room for fans to project their own sexual preferences onto him.”
We’d also be remiss not to mention that Luke Skywalker has long been the subject of various works of fan fiction, some of which have called into question his sexuality. Another fan theory that blossomed following the release of ‘The Force Awakens’ is that the relationship between Stormtrooper Finn, played by John Boyega and Resistance fighter pilot Poe, played by Oscar Issac, could evolve into more than just a friendly bromance in future films.
‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ will hit theaters in December 2017. Mark Hamill will once again reprise his role as Luke Skywalker in the film.