This May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day, LGBTQ fans are taking to Twitter to raise awareness and challenge Disney and Lucasfilm executives to make good on the promise of openly LGBTQ characters in Star Wars films.
The Last Jedi panel at Star Wars Celebration Orlando rekindled anticipation for seeing an LGBTQ hero in the next installment of the Star Wars Saga. During the panel, moderator Josh Gad asked John Boyega whether the relationship between his character, the former stormtrooper Finn, and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) continued to "blossom" in The Last Jedi. Boyega responded, "Absolutely…Poe's my boy," and grinning into the audience, "so there's always a new adventure for us to go on."
"New adventure." Mm-hmm.
The The Last Jedi trailer that screened after the panel fueled the anticipation when it showed Poe looking as awesome and heroic as ever, and spawned a meme or two in the process.
Only a few days later, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy dashed the hopes of fans who were hoping for affirmation that The Last Jedi might break some barriers in LGBTQ representation. In an interview with Spanish outlet E-Cartelera, Kennedy conceded that they've "talked about" a romantic relationship between Poe and Finn. This sounded great, until she continued: "But I think you're not going to see it in The Last Jedi."
This disappointing development inspired LGBTQ Star Wars Twitter users to demonstrate the appetite of fans for an LGBT hero in the new Star Wars films. Last week, Twitter user Emi (@plantblogger) announced #GayTheFourth, an all-day Twitter event scheduled for May the Fourth. Community members are invited to use the #GayTheFourth hashtag to post stories and commentary about their experience and hopes as LGBT fans.
It's going on now: visit the Storify, spread the word, join the event, and add your voice:
If you haven't already, join the Twitter conversation using the #GayTheFourth hashtag with your insight and contributions, and May the Fourth Be With You!