Doctor Aphra 16 Finally Lets Aphra’s Queer Flag Fly

by Mark Mitchell

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Hey, what’dya know, actual queer people in Star Wars.

In the past few years, big mega-franchises (Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc) have struggled with finding ways to include LGBTQA characters into their stories. Weak attempts at feigning inclusion usually boil down to cryptic hints (“The universe is so big, of course there are gay characters out there somewhere!”) or meaningless lip service (aka JK Rowling insisting Dumbledore is gay, but declining to include any evidence in the text, including in the the yet-to-be-released-but-already-tired Fantastic Beasts sequel film due later this year).

There have been nods to Chelli Lona Aphra’s queerness in previous issues of Doctor Aphra, but in Kieron Gillen, Si Spurrier, and Emilio Laiso’s Doctor Aphra 16 she’s actually allowed to kiss Magna Tolvan, and Laiso’s art is appropriately celebratory.

That a chaste kiss is enough cause to break out the Prosecco speaks volumes about the lengths that these fan-beloved franchises still have to go when it comes to representing queer people, but progress is progress, and even small steps forward are cause for celebration.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?


One comment on “Doctor Aphra 16 Finally Lets Aphra’s Queer Flag Fly

  1. The worst thing about Fantastic Beasts is that the sequel will literally be about Dumbledore fighting his evil ex-boyfriend. Yet somehow, there is no gay content in the movie? How can you reasonably tell the story without acknowledging that Dumbledore use to love the villain?

    The argument that queer content should only be in a story if it is integral to the plot is a bad faith argument that should never be taken seriously. But this is finally a movie where the queer content IS integral to the plot. Everything about the decision is indefendable.

    Also, glad to see Star Wars doing this, at least in the comics. I do appreciate that Star Wars has a real commitment to diversity, at least in front of the camera. No franchise is doing better (unfortuantely) and it is great to see the comics are pushing even further than the movies are. Because while the movies could and should be doing much, much better (especially with regards to queer content. And the overabundance of white British brunette girls), every success matters. Because yeah, it is a shame we live in a world where Star Wars’ diversity, imperfect as it is, is ahead of the game. At least Star Wars is continuously showing improvement

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