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Star Wars is inexplicably Anti-Horny, and we need to talk about it

"A long time ago" shouldn't mean "Puritan Massachusetts"

Image credit: Lucasfilm

The Acolyte is here, but we've already got the scoop on the next Star Wars movies, TV shows, and cartoons - including the highly-anticipated (and highly mysterious) Star Wars: Skeleton Crew. And in case you need a refresher on the High Republic, the possibility of Yoda showing up in The Acolyte, or even the entire Star Wars timeline, we've got those too. Amd tell us your favorite Star Wars show here!

Heads up - this article features A.) spoilers for The Acolyte and B.) talk about sex. Proceed accordingly.

I'm not a Star Wars expert by any means, but you know what I've noticed? None of the characters seem to be "making the Kessel Run," as it were ("Taking the high ground," perhaps; "nerf-herding," if you're nasty). I'll stop for fear of termination, but you see what I'm saying - in thousands of years worth of recorded Galactic history, almost none of it involves sex.

Now, I understand that Star Wars isn't Game of Thrones; there's a segment of the audience that's very young, and I can see why a studio would keep a tentpole franchise PG-13. But Star Wars isn't just choosey about where to put sex... they almost seem bent on stripping it away. Allow me to explain.

The Star Wars motto: you can make babies, but don't talk about it

Image credit: Lucasfilm

Part of the reason I'm writing comes from a piece I researched today, Will your favorite Star Wars character be on The Acolyte?. I noticed a curious trend in my reading: the glossed-over backstory for so many characters is also the time they spend making babies.

I thought it was a coincidence at first, but then I remembered: at C2E2 2024, Star Wars Rebles voice actors Freddie Prinze Jr. and Vanessa Marshall revealed that they were surprised to learn their characters had had a baby. And I don't mean they were surprised by finding it in the script - I mean the event happened after they finished recording.

Think about that - the pregnancy of Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus was so unspoken that their voice actors didn't even know about it! Then again, what happened to Freddie and Vanessa isn't all that uncommon for folks in the Lucasfilm orbit. After all, the primary spoiler of the Star Wars universe... is parenthood.

Whether it's Luke realizing he's Vader's kid, Snoke revealing Kylo Ren is a Solo, or even Rey learning she's got Palpa-genes, some of the biggest, heaviest-hitting emotional moments for core Star Wars characters revolve around them owing DNA to someone else. That's a pretty wild character choice to repeat across decades of storytelling, but you know what's wilder still?

Some of the characters actually don't fit it!

How many virgin births until they're just not special?

Image credit: Lucasfilm

When Star Wars does discuss the event of pregnancy (reluctantly, one assumes), they usually are quick to let an audience know - it wasn't because anyone was "bulls-eyeing womp rats" (ok now I'm done). The births of Anakin Skywalker, potentially twins Osha and Mae from The Acolyte, and perhaps even Grogu (if internet speculation is to be believed) were all the result of virgin pregnancies, miracles brought about by the Force in a way that's as Biblical as it is conveniently devoid of sexuality.

You could even stretch this idea by pointing out that, for much of the Star Wars history we've seen (that is, in the timeline of the Skywalker Saga), the primary method of human reproduction is cloning. Sure, Qui-Gon Jinn gets all "Lisan al Gaib" when he finds out Shmi's got a kid with no dad, but where was his shock when ten thousand kids with no moms started fighting for the Republic?

Ok, so he was dead, but my point still stands. Though Star Wars wants you to believe a sexless pregnancy is something special and messianic, the storytelling has ignored sex so long that it feels almost natural. Some of the most major childbirth announcements in the canon avoid sex entirely... with one notable exception.

"That's right," you pipe up, drenched in sweat, "One of the biggest moments in the prequel trilogy is when Padme reveals that she's pregnant with Anakin's child(ren)! And she's pregnant because her and Anakin had sex! Doesn't that prove that Star Wars isn't anti-horny?"

Friend, that is the proof that Star Wars is anti-horny.

Sex turns Anakin Skywalker evil

Image credit: Lucasfilm

If I asked you to tell me the moment Anakin Skywalker "turns into" Darth Vader, I bet you'd point to that scene in Revenge of the Sith when his eyes go yellow. Great beat, great visual. But you must admit, Anakin's podrace to the Dark Side has already started by that point. So what if I asked you tell tell me the moment it started?

No, it isn't when Palpatine tells him about Darth Plagueis, nor is it when the Council refuses to make him a full Jedi. It's not even when he kills those Tuscan Raiders. Anakin's first step toward becoming Darth Vader is when he realizes he wants Padme.

For all the anti-horniess of which Star Wars is guilty, there is one truly, gallantly horny character in Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker. He yearns for Padme, pines for her (awkwardly, sure, but that's the dialogue's fault). He would do anything to be with her in a romantic, physical way... and it's his downfall.

And that's just not me being harsh. The Jedi (who, remember, are meant to represent all that's good and noble in the universe) treat romance, and by extension, sex, as a temptation to avoid, not a natural part of life. That's not just Star Wars "keeping it PG-13," it's the movies telling you - if only Anakin had kept it in his pants, the Galaxy would have been saved.

Perhaps I'm getting too worked up about this (surprise, I'm the sweaty one!), but I think I have good reason. Sexuality is part of the human experience; it must be treated with reverance, yes, but to deny it in a story is to make that story less human. And if billions of dollars and so much more time are spent on one story, it better damn well be a human one.

PS - What about that shirtless Kylo Ren scene?

Image credit: Lucasfilm

What about it?

Not done with Star Wars yet? Dive into the films and TV shows with our Star Wars watch order, or debate on which was the best with our ranked list of the best (and worst) Star Wars movies. And since it's now upon us, follow along with Popverse's coverage of The Acolyte.

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Grant DeArmitt avatar
Grant DeArmitt: Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. As Povperses Staff Writer, he crisscroses the pop culture landscape bringing you the news and opinions about the big things (and the next big things). He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgement. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.
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