Shortly after the release of Rogue One, fans everywhere were speculating whether the characters Chirrut and Baze were gay.
And today, the rumoring continues over at Buzzfeed.
The quotes from Rogue One director Gareth Edwards:
“That wasn’t the original intention…But I understand that people can translate it that way. After a while, it was something that became interesting. Donnie asked, ‘What do you think these guys are? What do you think their relationship really is?’ And he asked if that was the case…I felt like, ‘You know what? If these were real people and I was filming them, I wouldn’t know. It’s not something we would see; they would keep it to themselves.’ For all I know, a little bit of that might be going on under the surface…Genuinely, if the audience wants to take that away from it, I’m very happy. I’d be very proud to have brought something like that to Star Wars.”
Now, you might think I’m highly offended by the idea of some gay guys in my Star Wars film. My precious Star Wars film. My laser sword movie that’s clearly got nothing but straight, vanilla, missionary sensibilities through and through. What with the handsome rogue tooling around space with his furry buddy. The incestuous love triangle. Slave Leia being shackled to Jabba the Hutt. Tell me that wasn’t some weird sexuality going on there.
No, that’s not my complaint.
My complaint is that any affection between two men is instantly turned into sexuality.
This is problematic for a lot of reasons. Again, not the depiction of affection in the movie. The reaction to it.
First off, this plays into the stereotype that straight men should not, CANnot show affection for each other. Even if your best space bro is dying on the sand, you are not supposed to cradle him gently as he passes on and becomes one with the force. You are not supposed to look into his unseeing eyes and still swear you can tell when the light leaves them. You are DEFINITELY not supposed to beg him not to go.
No, you’re supposed to be A Man. And Men do not love their space bros. They get pissed off because there’s one less gun in the fight. They slap each other on the back, but never use those same hands to touch each other’s faces.
It’s fine if you’re gay. If you wanna fuck your space bro, then we’re all good. Because showing affection to someone you want to fuck, that’s what a Man does, gay or straight. If you’re gay, it’s cool. If you’re straight, it’s still not. That’s the message sent here.
The other problem is that we’re looking at characters with no explicit sexuality and assigning one to them.
No, wait. The problem is that we’re assuming they’re both gay. That two men, one straight and one gay, would not want to hang out together, ever. They must both be gay!
No, wait. The problem is that we’re assuming that if they are both gay, they would totally want to be with each other. God forbid we have two gay men who aren’t attracted to each other. That would be like…having a straight man and a straight woman as leads who don’t fuck. Can you even imagine a movie like that?