You know, Star Trek gets a lot of flack for not featuring LGBT characters. In the 50 years since the original series aired on television, Star Trek has tried to feature a liberal, humanist view where all types of people work together for the common good. Back in the 1960s, it was amazing to think that one day a starship crew might feature African-American women or Russians working right alongside white men. Of course, the white men were still in charge, obviously. Let's not get to crazy here.
But despite what Star Trek tried to show us about equality, there was one big group they left out. LGBT people. Sure, there were a handful of episodes featuring LBGT topics (like the time that one member hermaphrodite race totally got all hot and bothered over Riker's beard or the time that they introduced Vulcan AIDs in Enterprise). For the most part though, LGBT people are no where to be seen in Star Trek.
Then again, Star Wars is also notably missing LGBT characters. Unless you listen to some people on Tumblr who insist that The Force Awakens' Poe Dameron is gay.
|What? We were just cuddling. Stop trying to make it into something dirty.|
But, why are there no transgender characters? That has nothing to do with sex after all. Well, I think I've figured out why there are no transgender characters in Star Wars. There's a few reasons:
Terrible Medical Care
The Star Wars galaxy features amazing technology; light sabers, hyperdrive, starships and even droids that are smart enough to whine and complain. Yet, there is one area in which the technology of the Star Wars universe utterly fails and that is medicine. Seriously, if you watch the films, medical care in the galaxy is worse than the United States, and that's saying something. Maybe it's because there are too many alien species and anatomies for doctors to really study. Maybe it's because doctor droids are only programmed to deal with the two most common injuries (people whose limbs are hacked off, and people who fall into bottomless pits). And maybe it's because the only doctors we ever see are droids, the same type of machine we also see constantly falling apart, malfunctioning and, in the case of battle droids, being completely ineffective at their primary task.
|She's either losing the will to live, or something. Heck if I know, it's time for my coffee break.|
|"Shouldn't we offer some anesthetic or maybe let the burns heal before we-"|
"Shut up and keep bolting on robot parts."
|"He had a cut on his face. What's the tank for?"|
"That's standard treatment for all Mon Calmari. He's Mon Calmari right? I can never tell with you lifeforms."
|After all you don't want to end up like this guy. |
Hang on, this is the only non-droid doctor we ever see in Star Wars.
Definitely not saying much for healthcare in the galaxy.
Unlike life in the United Federation of Planets, life in the Star Wars galaxy is fraught with peril. In the movies we've seen multiple wars, the breakdown of trade and a highly stratified society where the rich live in luxury apartments in the city and can afford all kinds of expensive, fashionable clothes.
|Pictured: a Space Republican|
|Even sadder than the moisture farmers are the sand merchants.|
|You just know Ugnauts don't have a 401K.|
|Wish I had some blue milk to wash down that green bread.|
Plus no one in the Star Wars galaxy even has any real money. When people do talk about financial transactions, they often mention credits, which implies that there is no hard cash to be had. Everyone is just exchanging credit in some sort of galaxy-wide Ponzi scheme.
|Credit and junk; the twin backbones of the galactic economy.|
An Already Too-Complicated Bathroom Situation
Transgender access to public restrooms is becoming the next major civil rights issue in American society. While transgender people just want to be ensured they have the same rights and protections as any other citizens, some religious extremists have attempted to smear transgender people as deviants or sexual predators based on unfounded fears and ignorance.
With the Star Wars galaxy's dazzling array of different alien species, from the giant slobbering Hutts to the cuddly yet deadly Ewoks, it would make sense that bathrooms are already super complicated.
|Artwork by Sergio Aragones.|
Adding in the question of which restroom transgender people and aliens should use just adds a whole other layer of chaos to this already sensitive topic. Perhaps the transgender lifeforms of the Star Wars galaxy are fearful about coming out and starting their transition with the restroom situation as confusing and potentially threatening as it already is.
Government & Religion
We've already touched on how terrible the Empire is as an employer, but now let's focus on how terrible they are as a government. For starters, if you think the Military Industrial Complex has too much of stranglehold on the US budget (18%) imagine what the Empire must spend.
|These Star Destroyer's ain't cheap.|
|No transgender care, but TWO Death Stars? C'mon!|
|Jaywalking? Yep, cut off their arm with a lightsaber. That's all we have.|
|Totally sent down the dark path by gay marriage.|
So when a youngling, who's been taken from her home to be raised in a quasi-military religious order, comes to master Yoda and says "I've never felt comfortable in my gender role. My whole life, I've just felt like I should have been a boy." Do you really think Yoda is going to send her off to the gender clinic to get some testosterone? Or do you think he'd do exactly what he did with Anakin? Tell them to ignore their longing because it's a distraction from the Force and could lead to the dark side.
|Compassionate, I am not.|
Then Again Maybe they Do Exist After All
Perhaps we're being a bit too narrow-minded though. While Star Wars doesn't actually feature any transgender characters we're aware of, it is a rather diverse galaxy after all. We've seen that protocol droids can have male or female personalities in the same body.
|Remember the girl Threepio from Phanton Menace? It's okay, no one else does either.|
|Guess my birth gender!|
Also, I had one other thought about The Force Awakens if you want to keep reading...