Star Wars is becoming more diverse on the big screen with The Force Awakens being led by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac. But it’s Star Wars’ literary galaxy that’s light years ahead in terms of diversity. Following this spring’s introduction of a LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) character, lesbian Imperial officer Moff Delian Mors, in Paul S. Kemp’s Lords of the Sith novel, author Chuck Wendig is introducing a major gay character (and hero!) in his new novel Star Wars: Aftermath. Meet the Imperial traitor Sinjir Rath Velus. 

Aftermath, which chronologically takes place after Return of the Jedi, is a part of the The Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens book series which will fill in the events leading up to Episode VII

Sinjir Rath Velus is an AWOL Imperial officer who’s now sided with the rebels after witnessing the battle of Endor.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Wendig called Lucasfilm “gracious and accommodating” in response to Sinjir. 

He also said explained the importance of diverse characters like Sinjir:

“I think fiction has sort of a value and an opportunity to speak to audiences beyond both the author and beyond what you “expect” that audience to be. And it allows people to see themselves in stories where, before, they hadn’t. I don’t think it’s necessarily the responsibility of storytellers to do that, because everybody’s free to tell the stories they want to tell, but I think there is a value and opportunity in doing so.”

Wendig is set to write two other novels as a part of the The Journey to The Force Awakens series.

[via Entertainment Weekly]