Out of space: Star Wars Resistance has gay characters, Disney says

Producers confirm that Orka and Flix in the animated children’s series are first queer couple in the franchise.

The animated children’s series Star Wars Resistance may not be the most popular thread of the long-running franchise, but it’s the first in the universe to harbour two gay characters.

Disney producers confirmed on Monday what fans had already surmised, that two characters in the series, Orka and Flix – voiced by Jim Rash and Bobby Moynihan respectively – were a queer couple.

Executive producers Athena Portillo, Justin Ridge, and Brandon Auman spoke to the podcast Coffee With Kenobi ahead of the launch of the series’ second season.

“I think it’s safe to say they’re an item,” Ridge said when asked about the characters’ relationship. “They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that.”

Fans, as usual, were light years ahead of the curve, and had assumed the characters were a couple after an episode in the first season of the show, Dangerous Business, in which Flix and Orka headed off to visit Flix’s mother, bearing a case of flowers.

The fact that the characters are nonhuman and the moment of revelation obscure and fleeting reflects other very minor but highly publicised moments of queer inclusivity in Disney narratives, such as a look shared between two characters at the end of the 2017 live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

Disney has made moves to include more rounded queer characters in its films, with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie slated to be the first bisexual character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder, expected in 2021.

The Star Wars franchise has been under pressure for its lack of queer representation, particularly as wishful fans have noticed intense chemistry between characters, such as Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) in 2015’s The Force Awakens, and characters who are queer in the books and comics attached to the universe don’t feature in the blockbuster films.

Star Wars Resistance is set six months before the events depicted in the The Force Awakens. It was nominated for an Emmy this year for outstanding children’s program.