In “But How Gay Is It?”, we seek to answer the biggest questions you have about a new movie release in theaters now including, most crucially, the titular question. Does the movie have any queer characters? Are there stories involving same-sex lovers? Which gay icons star in the film? We’re bringing you all that and more.
What is Star Wars: The Last Jedi?
You’re fucking kidding me, right?
No, I’m the same gay who didn’t know what Call Me By Your Name was.
Jeez, I need you to get out more. You know what, like, Star Wars is, right?
Yes, of course. Space opera, Luke and Leia, all that good stuff. But I thought we ended those movies after that bad prequel trilogy?
Hoo boy. Okay, so when Disney acquired Lucasfilm, George Lucas’ production company that has the rights for franchises like Indiana Jones and Star Wars, they almost immediately greenlit a new trilogy for the latter. The first of the trilogy, The Force Awakens, introduced a whole new slew of characters, including up-and-coming Jedi Rey (Daisy Ridley) and daring pilot Poe Dameron (internet boyfriend Oscar Isaac). That movie, directed by J.J. Abrams, was considered a smash success, and made so much goddamn money. The Last Jedi is here to do it all again.
Who’s in it?
The crew from The Force Awakens Ridley, Isaac, John Boyega plus returning vets Leia (Carrie Fisher, may she rest) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) all come together for this one. Add in newbies like Amilyn Holdo (played by flawless queen Laura Dern) and returning members of the enemy First Order (Adam Driver and Domnhall Gleeson), and you’ve got a packed ensemble.
Why should I see it?
It’s Star Wars. It’s all anyone’s gonna be talking about until the Golden Globes. Of course you should see it.
But how gay is it?
Okay, we can play for a second. Yes, gay icon Dern is here. Yes, Fisher gets a beautiful sendoff in her final Star Wars film. Yes, there are would-be queer favorites Poe and Finn (Boyega), who were (and are) the subject of rampant and extensive questions about their potential relationship. (Having not seen The Force Awakens, I had only heard about this in the abstract, but there’s really nothing there in The Last Jedi.) Despite all that, we still have a Star Wars movie about intergalactic misfits that doesn’t include any actual gay people. No points for hints.
Wait. Wait wait wait. Did you just say you didn’t see The Force Awakens?
I did not.
And you still saw The Last Jedi?
I’m a gay with a weekly movie column. This is the biggest movie in the world. Of course I’m gonna see it!
Well, what did you think?
I liked it! I generally think every Star Wars movie has roughly the same problem: They speed through plot and character development to get to big set pieces, then expect us to care about the characters suddenly. But director Rian Johnson does a better job pacing this story than usual, and there are a couple of shots and scenes that are actually breathtaking. Holdo’s final scene, in particular, is one of my favorite cinematic moments of the year.
You loved it even though it wasn’t gay?
I can like non-gay things, too!
You seem very cranky today.
I just didn’t know I had so much Star Wars to catch up with.
I haven’t even told you about the spinoffs. There’s a whole drama about the Han Solo spinoff switching directors.
Oh, right, where’s Han Solo?
You should see The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.