Last year, transgender and non-binary actor Zoe Terakes was cast in the upcoming project Ironheart, becoming the second openly trans actor to appear in the Marvel cinematic universe after Zack Barack from Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019.
It looks like Lucasfilm is taking notes, too. The Acolyte is set to introduce one of the most diverse casts to date and comes after the award-winning Andor starred in Star Wars' first-ever prominent lesbian couple.
The Acolyte Marks Important Star Wars Milestone
The Acolyte is shaping up to bring even more diversity to the galaxy far, far away.
According to her agency United Agents, British actress Abigail Thorn is due to play Ensign Eurus in The Acolyte, making her Star Wars' first-ever transgender actor in a non-minor role.
Thorn joins an exclusive list of transgender actresses who have starred in a Lucasfilm project, becoming the second-ever trans actor after Talisa Garcia was cast in Wilow.
Non-binary actor Amanda Steinberg will also star in The Acolyte, and this means that the upcoming series is shaping up to be one of the most inclusive yet.
These are huge strides for transgender representation in the Star Wars galaxy. However, for some years now, Star Wars publishing has been leading the way by introducing characters who identify outside of any gender binary.
Despite being set before the events of The Phantom Menace, The High Republic era has been one of the most transformative elements of the Star Wars franchise. It has only introduced brand-new concepts, planets, and events but also is home to a diverse array of new characters and breaking new ground for LGBTQIA+ representation.
Back in 2021, Star Wars highlighted Terec and Cerec in celebration of Transgender Day of Visibility. Both are non-binary Jedi who call the galaxy far, far away home.
In their announcement post, they affirmed their commitment to transgender rights and broadening representation:
"In honor of #TransDayOfVisibility we're proud to unveil an exclusive cover highlighting Terec and Ceret, trans non-binary Jedi, currently featured in Marvel's The High Republic comic. We support trans lives and we are passionate and committed to broadening our representation in a galaxy far far way."
Why Star Wars Is for Everyone
In a galaxy full of aliens and sentient non-human species, should a transgender person be where the line is drawn?
To quote a popular phrase echoed by fans everywhere, Star Wars is for everyone. It should be a place where people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and identities feel welcome.
Fortunately, Lucasfilm seems to be listening to those who are positive forces and want an inclusive galaxy where everyone can feel a sense of belonging, and in doing so, honoring its word on broadening representation in this beloved galaxy far, far away.
New perspectives and voices have recently been uplifted by Lucasfilm, with Andor's Vel and Cinta becoming Star Wars' most prominent lesbian couple. The series stars Mexican actor Diego Luna and boasts one of the most diverse casts to date.
Of course, Disney has more work to do to help protect the lives of transgender people across the globe.
Last year, the company's now-ousted CEO Bob Chapek sparked a staff revolt when he refused to condemn Florida's Don't Say Gay bill. Following the CEO's dismissal from the company, Bob Iger was re-appointed to the position.
Since his reappointment, Iger has tried to double down on inclusivity in the company. During a recent shareholder meeting, he reaffirmed Disney's mission to entertain all types of families all over the world when he faced criticism for "agenda-driven content."
The world has become increasingly hostile to transgender people and others who challenge traditional gender norms.
As such, it's always heartening when popular franchises and powerful companies help normalize those who identify outside of the traditional gender binary even in the face of judgment and animosity.
The Acolyte is set to arrive on Disney+ sometime in 2024.