Warning! Spoilers for Star Wars: Darth Vader #31 ahead!
Marvel’s Darth Vader comic series has given the LGBTQ+ community further representation in the Star Wars universe by confirming that one of Padmé Amidala’s handmaidens is queer.
Four of the late Padmé Amidala’s former handmaidens have temporarily allied themselves with Darth Vader recently in order to save their sister. In Star Wars: Darth Vader #31 by writer Greg Pak, artist Ibraim Roberson, colorist Federico Blee and letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna, the handmaidens are informed that they now belong to the Sith Lord and hear all the compromising information on them that he has obtained. Upon reaching Saché, Sly Moore, a subordinate of Vader’s sometimes known simply as the Umbaran, reveals that they know she has a wife and children and that she wants to keep them safe, a service that Vader can provide.
Saché’s Orientation Affects the Plot of a Darth Vader Comic
Although just briefly mentioned in a thinly veiled threat disguised as a proposed service, it’s still a welcome development that helps give the LGBTQ+ community more representation. In fact, it’s much more effectively thought out than some of Star Wars‘ earlier attempts at diversifying its expansive universe. Last year, Lucasfilm and Marvel revealed on Trans Day of Visibility that the bond twins Ceret and Terec from Star Wars: The High Republic are the first trans non-binary Jedi. Although the characters were featured on the cover of issue #6, their gender identity didn’t actually affect the plot and wasn’t actually mentioned in the story in any way.
This isn’t the case for Saché. She has a wife whom she clearly loves enough that Vader is aware of it and uses that knowledge to his own benefit. It’s important, too, that Saché has been able to successfully have children with another woman and also loves them deeply. Where Darth Vader or another Star Wars series still has room to expand upon in the future is by clarifying her sexual or gender orientation, as it is not fully stated. That said, keeping how Padmé’s former handmaiden Saché fully identifies partly ambiguous does allow for more LGBTQ+ readers to see themselves in her character. Hopefully Saché’s character will gain more exposure in not just other comics but other Star Wars media, especially if these instances explore her gender and sexual identity even more than Star Wars: Darth Vader does.
Luckily, Sache and the High Republic‘s Ceret and Terec are not the only Star Wars characters who identify as queer. Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith introduced a lesbian Moff, Charles Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy starred Disney’s first gay man in canon, and Star Wars Resistance featured the first openly gay couple in Star Wars, among others. These instances of diversification have, unfortunately, only occurred in books and comics rather than in movies or TV shows, which obviously enjoy more publicity and attention. But it’s still a step in the right direction, and it’s both gratifying and uplifting to see a series that centers on such a noteworthy and beloved character as Darth Vader be part of this necessary and crucial effort towards embracing LGBTQ+ representation and celebrating diversity in Star Wars.
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Star Wars: Darth Vader #31 is available from Marvel Comics.