Glover sat down with his fellow cast members to talk about Solo on Sirius XM Radio, and addressed Jonathan Kasdan’s recent announcement, son of prolific Star Wars screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan. The interviewer asked Glover whether he was surprised about the announcement — or was told about it during filming — to which Glover gave the most appropriate and obvious response.
“How can you not be pansexual in space?” Glover said. “There’s so many things to have sex with. I didn’t think that was that weird. He’s coming on to everybody. It just didn’t seem that weird to me because I feel like if you’re in space, it’s kind of like the door’s open ... this thing is literally a blob. Like, ‘Are you a man or a woman?’ Who cares?”
Glover’s remarks are slightly different from Kasdan’s own reasoning for announcing the character’s sexuality. Kasdan told Huffington Post he wanted to bring more LGBTQ representation into the Star Wars universe, and wish he pressed a little more to have that representation visible in Solo.
“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality,” Kasdan told the Huffington Post. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”
Kasdan’s announcement didn’t come without its fair share of backlash. Announcing a character’s sexual orientation without doing anything to represent that part of them on screen is an issue often referred to as queerbaiting. Carli Velocci, a freelance writer and Polygon contributor, refers to this as “Dumbledore’s Wardrobe.”
“When a creator says a character is canonically queer but there’s no evidence in the material itself,” Velocci tweeted. “The character is then still in the closet.”
It’s an issue that continues to plague media. Dumbledore’s sexuality, which J.K. Rowling announced in 2007, is often referred to as canonical material by Rowling. His backstory includes an infatuation with Gellert Grindelwald, one of the darkest wizards in the world and Dumbledore’s closest friend as a boy. Still, the character’s sexuality won’t be explored in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, even though Dumbledore’s sexuality is well-known and regarded as canonical by everyone, including Rowling.
If Lando is canonically pansexual, the question is whether Lucasfilm will find a way to portray that on screen in a future movie. Lucasfilm CEO, Kathleen Kennedy, told Premiere Magazine the studio would love to work on a stand-alone Lando Calrissian movie in the future, although there’s no confirmed project at this time.
That means Lucasfilm will have an opportunity to bring a canonically queer character into the canonical Star Wars universe if the company wishes. The everlasting question is whether that actually happens.