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"I hope this isn't about boys."
"You know there's only one boy, Mother."
Jessa and Merei Spanjaf, discussing Merei's relationship with Zare Leonis[src]

Leia Organa and Han Solo, respectively female and male humans

Most beings in the galaxy belonged to one of two sexes, or genders—namely male or female—which determined sexual and physiological traits. However, at least five genders existed throughout the galaxy.[1][2] Neutrois was a term used within the Galactic Empire to describe individuals of a gender other than male or female.[3] In Galactic Basic, the neutral pronouns "zhe" and "they" were used by individuals including Eleodie Maracavanya[4] and Taka Jamoreesa to denote non-binary individuals.[5] Gender-neutral personal pronouns also existed in other languages, including Shyriiwook.[6]

Biological and cultural significance[edit | edit source]

"I'm going to freeze my choobies off."
"There are easier ways to switch genders, you know."
―Thane Kyrell and Dak Ralter[src]

Many sentient and non-sentient species had male and female sexes, with many biological and childbearing similarities between the two. Humans and other humanoid lifeforms generally reproduced by the coupling of a male and female, from which the female would give birth to male or female children. A female could have multiple children over her lifetime, and some were capable of giving birth to several at once. Complications during pregnancy could be disastrous for a female, and could possibly result in death. The children inherited the genetic traits of both their parents, and could also inherit Force-sensitivity.[7] Hybrids also occurred if a human and a humanoid were to reproduce, as exampled by the Lawquane children[8] and Jacen Syndulla.[9]

In more developed societies, nanny droids or other supervisors could care for children if their parents were unable to spend enough time with them.[10][11]

Not all species exhibited typical mammalian breeding and childbearing patterns. Some species, such as the Neimoidians, were born as grubs and forced to compete over a limited food supply.[12] Others hatched from eggs, such as the Geonosians, who all came from a single hive queen.[13] The Chalhuddan species had five sexes and transitioned through several at different stages of their lives. Their pronouns reflected their previous and possible future genders, as well as their present one, leading to a wide array of pronouns in their language that was often confusing to humanoid species.[2]

Steela Gerrera and Lux Bonteri, an example of a male-to-female attraction

While most individuals exhibited male-to-female or female-to-male attraction, a significant minority of the galactic population exhibited male-to-male, female-to-female, male-to-male/female, or female-to-female/male attraction. Some planets, such as Chandrila, were home to unprejudiced cultures, allowing such individuals to make public displays of affection free from the threat of physical violence. However, some still felt awkward and embarrassed when openly conveying such affection.[4]

Some individuals viewed sexual encounters as nonbinding, participating in them recreationally. Several such individuals existed within high society, such as Moff Delian Mors.[14] There were also individuals who did not identify as either male or female, and used different pronouns for themselves, such as Eleodie Maracavanya[15] and Taka Jamoreesa.[5]

Galactic impact[edit | edit source]

Throughout galactic history, the human species' ability to rapidly reproduce resulted in its dominance as one of the most populous races in the galaxy.[source?]

During the Clone Wars, male humans were cloned from the bounty hunter Jango Fett to form the Grand Army of the Republic. These clones were grown in hatcheries on the planet Kamino and were genetically altered to accelerate their growth rate[16] and to be more compliant to orders.[17]

Owing to geopolitical or economic hardship, many male and female members of a variety of species hired themselves as prostitutes or "mistresses" to a variety of clientele. Largely looked down upon, such activities often occurred in areas of ill repute, and could result in exploitation, rape, and slavery. Many who frequented such venues were gamblers, spacers, or spice-addicts who lacked stable relationships, or were rich and otherwise influential persons, normally in positions of considerable political power.[18][4] The Twi'lek species was largely regarded as one of the most beautiful species in the galaxy, resulting in numerous slavers capturing females from the Twi'lek homeworld of Ryloth.[14]

Among the Galactic Empire's military personnel, the euphemism "off-base recreation" referred to soliciting in cantinas or visiting various "mistresses." Popular locations for these activities included the Octagon in Ryloth's capital city, Lessu, or the Coruscant underworld.[14] During the Empire's reign, the Imperial Loyalty Officer Sinjir Rath Velus, in order to more effectively interrogate a subject, often sought to discover the subject's sexual companion.[4]

Droids, being machines, lacked a biological sex. However, in order to appear more lifelike, many droids were programmed with a "masculine" or "feminine" personality. Thus, even mechanical beings were designated either he or she.[19]

Starships were often referred to with feminine pronouns, although many people considered that habit old-fashioned by the time of the First Order/Resistance War.[20]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The 2016 novel Aftermath: Life Debt, written by Chuck Wendig, was the first Star Wars work to feature a genderqueer character who identified as neither male or female, the non-binary pirate Eleodie Maracavanya, whom Wendig referred to with the gender-neutral pronoun "zhe".[21] Following Maracavanya's introduction, zhe was followed by three non-binary characters: a Black Sun agent, Taka Jamoreesa, and Keo Venzee, who appeared in the 2016 novel Ahsoka, the 2018 novel Last Shot, and the 2020 video game Star Wars: Squadrons respectively.[22][23][24] In March 2021, in honor of the International Transgender Day of Visibility, the Star Wars Instagram account posted that Terec and Ceret, two Kotabi Jedi Knights from the Star Wars: The High Republic comic book series, are trans non-binary.[25] However, a description of this gender identity has yet to be revealed in official canon material.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

As sexes appear in almost every Star Wars work, this list only includes explicit mentions of sexes in text or dialogue.

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Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Bloodline
  2. 2.0 2.1 Leia, Princess of Alderaan
  3. "An Incident Report"—From a Certain Point of View
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Aftermath: Life Debt
  5. 5.0 5.1 Last Shot
  6. Doctor Aphra Annual 1
  7. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  8. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Deserter"
  9. Rebels-mini-logo.png Star Wars Rebels – "Family Reunion – and Farewell"
  10. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Children of the Force"
  11. Servants of the Empire: Edge of the Galaxy
  12. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  13. StarWars-DatabankII.png Queen Karina the Great in the Databank (backup link)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Lords of the Sith
  15. Aftermath: Empire's End
  16. StarWars.com Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones on StarWars.com (backup link) (slide 14 caption)
  17. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  18. Aftermath
  19. Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  20. The Last Jedi: Rose Tico: Resistance Fighter
  21. TwitterLogo.svg Chuck Wendig (@chuckwendig) on Twitter: "That would be the gender-neutral / non-binary pronoun used by human space pirate Eleodie Maracavanya." (backup link)
  22. TwitterLogo.svg E. K. Johnston (@ek_johnston) on Twitter: "AHSOKA has Kaeden Larte as queer and a non-binary Black Sun agent." (backup link)
  23. TwitterLogo.svg Daniel José Older (@djolder) on Twitter: "Thank you! I believe the first nonbinary Star Wars canon character is the great pirate Eleodie Maracavanya from @ChuckWendig's AFTERMATH series but proud to add Taka to the growing list #LastShot" (backup link)
  24. Bentley, Jean. Bex Taylor-Klaus Hopes Their Nonbinary 'Deputy' Character Will Save Lives (2020-02-14). The Hollywood Reporter. hollywoodreporter.com. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021.
  25. InstagramIcon.png (@p/CNFwI8oFhR-) on InstagramStar Wars A post confirming Terec's gender identity as non-binary. (March 31, 2021). "…exclusive cover highlighting Terec and Ceret, trans non-binary Jedi[…]" (Star Wars backup link)
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