Today’s queerbaiting brought to you by Solo: A Star Wars Story.
In the grand tradition of modern blockbusters straight-washing their canonically queer characters or merely teasing at queer storylines that never arise, Solo has outed one of its main characters … as maybe pansexual, depending on how you look at it.
According to Jonathan Kasdan, a.k.a. the “son” part of the father-and-son team who co-wrote Solo, Lando Calrissian — played by Donald Glover in the film — is super pansexual. This suggests, of course, that Calrissian is definitively flirting with Han Solo in the movie — and that there might actually be some truth to the film’s joke that Calrissian would sleep with anyone, including a droid. Let’s play a quick round of “Is This Offensive?” … Equating pansexuality or queerness with a willingness to sleep with non-humans … Ready, set, go!
However, the father part of the writing duo — Lawrence Kasdan — refers to Calrissian’s possible flirting with Solo as a mere hypothetical: “Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t.” Great. So we’re supposed to congratulate a movie that is maybe making one of its characters sort of pansexual? This is a total cop-out and just a rehash of the same frustrating queerbaiting from The Last Jedi, The Force Awakens, Thor: Ragnarok, etc. etc. ad infinitum.
In other words, we won’t believe this news until Donald Glover and Alden Ehrenreich are full-on barebacking on top of AND inside the Millennium Falcon.
It could also be possible that Lando Calrissian is not meant to be anything, and Jonathan Kasdan is merely disagreeing with his father because he didn’t show up to Jonathan’s baseball game on that day he finally hit that home run … or some shit like that.
Anyway, the Huffington Post seems really optimistic that a queer character in the Star Wars universe is not so far, far away … but we remain cautious. Note to Star Wars execs: Do or do not. There is no try.