Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams said recently that it “seems insanely narrow-minded to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in [the Star Wars] world.” But, what if there was already a gay character in the Star Wars universe and we just didn’t know it? And what if it was the biggest Star Wars character in a galaxy far, far away?

The Sun caught up with Mark Hamill, who is in London filming Star Wars: Episode 8, and Hamill responded to Abrams’ comments, upping the ante considerably.

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. 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.

Hamill also addressed a fan who DMd him on Twitter (you can just DM Mark Hamill now?) by saying, “Luke is whatever the audience wants him to be.”

Now, just because Hamill says “of course he is,” does not shut the book on Luke’s sexuality. In fact, Luke isn’t really a very sexual character at all. If anything, I’m surprised more Star Wars fans aren’t asking about Poe Dameron or Captain Phasma. Besides kissing his sister, Luke never really gave off anything other than an asexual vibe. But, what’s important is that Hamill is kind enough to open up that possibility for teens who, like the one he references above, are struggling with their own identity. It can feel very lonely for a LGBT adolescent who may not have a lot of role models to look up to in their own lives, and that Hamill would allow them to feel that kinship, however misplaced it may or may not be, is a remarkable act of kindness.

In reality, the ambiguity of Luke’s sexuality may be answered sooner rather than later. If Rey is a Skywalker, as we’re all pretty much assuming at this point, Luke would’ve had to have found himself in a relationship with a woman. Now, that does not preclude the fact that Luke is gay or bisexual, but it just seems at that point the mythology would be getting needlessly complicated (“You see, Luke IS gay, but he wasn’t still feeling conflicted about his sexuality while he was in a relationship with Rey’s mother and…”).

As Abrams said and Hamill agrees (and I think we all agree at this point), the Star Wars universe is a perfect place to introduce characters of various sexualities. The Force Awakens took some major steps forward with diversity by casting three leads that were female, black and Guatemalan and the future looks bright for an even more diverse world. But if we’re being honest, Luke seems like the least likely of the Star Wars characters to be gay, and only from a storytelling standpoint.

Like songs and their lyrics, the meaning of movies and their characters can be found in what we bring to them. There are no hard and fast answers, especially in fandom. It certainly hasn’t stopped people from shipping Captain America and Bucky (or Captain American and Iron Man, or Captain America and…). Movies often times help us get through rough times in our own lives and if projecting a little of what we want, or need, onto some of our favorite heroes, then that’s what our heroes are there for.

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