In a historic move for the franchise, Star Wars will feature its first-ever openly trans actor, Abigail Thorn, in the upcoming Disney+ series, The Acolyte.
Set 100 years before the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the new series has been described as a mystery-thriller with a buddy-cop twist. A Jedi Master, joined by a Padawan, will spend the series investigating a series of crimes throughout the galaxy.
Originally announced back in 2020, The Acolyte will star the likes of Amandla Stenderg, Jodie Turner-Smith, Dafne Keen and more, including British actor Abigail Thorn. Thorn makes history as the first-ever openly trans actor to appear in a Star Wars series.
Abigail Thorn is set to play the role of Ensign Eurus. While little is known about the character, within the Star Wars universe, an Ensign is another term for a low-ranking officer in space-navies. This suggests that Thorn will be playing some version of the daredevil pilot, a character trope that is as old as the series itself, originating in the iconic Han Solo, famously portrayed by Harrison Ford in A New Hope.
While The Acolyte isn’t slated to release on Disney+ until sometime in 2024, fans can expect a trailer sometime late this year. The series will reportedly feature an eight-episode run.
I’ve been hitting the gym hard while I’m in the US: as soon as I get back I’ve got a TV role I need to be in shape for ?
— Abigail Thorn (@PhilosophyTube) June 28, 2023
Prior to joining The Acolyte, Thorn has celebrated an extensive acting career, including credits for acting, writing, and directing. Most recently, Thorn starred in a stage production titled The Prince. In 2021 Thorn came out as a transgender woman on her YouTube Channel Philosophy Tube, where she shared her preferred name and pronouns with fans.
While queer fans of the franchise welcome this news, generally speaking, Star Wars isn’t renowned for its LGBTQ+ representation. The franchise has had only a few queer characters over the years, particularly in its comic books. In an article from Pink News, a number of LGBTQ+ characters from the Star Wars franchise are named, including Delian Mors, the first-ever LGBTQ+ character to appear in the Star Wars canon.
Mors was introduced in Paul S. Kemp’s 2015 novel Lord of the Sith. According to Pink News, Mors is “a human female, served as a Moff – a rank held by Sector Governors of the First Galactic Empire – in the years after the end of the Clone Wars. Moreover, Star Wars saw its first-ever gay hero in Sinjir Rath Velus, an Imperial turncoat who originally appeared in Star Wars: Aftermath, a novel by Chuck Wendig.
While LGBTQ+ representation is a newer phenomenon for the Star Wars franchise, particularly when it comes to film and television, fans can hope that Abigail Thorn is not the last queer actor to join the ever-growing Star Wars galaxy.
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