So quite a while back, I did a post on the Jedi and their sexual relations, but I feel the need to revisit this world. One nice thing about the prequel universe—depending on how you look at it—is that nothing is developed at all. Characters are personality-free vehicles going through the motions George Lucas wanted them to, and the universe itself certainly isn’t portrayed that well either. In some ways, this is a good thing, because it gave the Clone Wars a lot of space to work with. In fact, it gave just about anything dealing with this time period a lot of room to work with. But the Clone Wars is what I’m most familiar with, so we’re going to use it almost exclusively for the purposes of this post.
One thing that I always liked about Stars Wars, especially on the planet of Coruscant, is that there are a bunch of different sentient species all intermingling with each other. However, it doesn’t often appear that they are engaging in interspecies relations. We know that there has been and probably still are sexual relationships between people of different species going on in the universe. Every once in a while, characters will be revealed as being bispecies, and the Twi’leks in particular have a long history of being sold into slavery, with their women usually ending up as sex slaves. (The Wookieepedia article says that they usually were dancers or entertainers for their owners, because of how attractive people found them, but let’s be realistic: they’re used as sex slaves.)
However, the fact that there are interspecies relationships—outside of slavery—makes the Star Wars universe much more interesting.
As stated in an earlier post, interspecies relationships can run the risk of blurring the lines between two consenting adults engaging in each other and bestiality. It leaves us with the question of whether or not bestiality includes having sex with someone who is, for all intents and purposes, human or humanlike in mannerisms and cognitive capabilities, despite not being human on a genetic level.
The Star Wars universe seems to have gotten past this question for the most part. This is a universe where species had been living together for thousands of years. The character Darth Maul is actually half human. Ahsoka Tano and Lux Bonteri have a fling.
I think this last one was supposed to be humorous. (It does end in murder.) It has left me wondering how the relationship actually works between them. Is it entirely emotional? Because I don’t think the mechanics quite go together here. Although, I mean, Hagrid’s parents found a way, so anything is possible.
Okay, for the most part, almost all species are very humanlike in the Star Wars universe. Maybe not always physically, but mentally. No one’s going to call Ahsoka Tano an animal and say that any romance between her and Lux Bonteri is odd, unnatural, or indicative of bestiality. Ahsoka Tano is clearly not human, and her non-human traits are only going to become more apparent as she gets older. There is not, however, any moment in the show when she is denigrated for not being human. In fact, she is one of the more likeable characters. This is one of the things I love about the Clone Wars. There are whole episodes in which not a single member of homo sapiens is present, and yet it never feels as though the non-human characters are less than the human ones.
However, if this is a universe in which different species can intermingle freely, looking at a place like Coruscant, it should be filled with people who are bispecies, or with entirely new species that arose due to intermingling for thousands of years. There are some species that are believed to be distantly related to each other, so it is plausible. The universe, however, doesn’t seem to have as much intermingling as I would imagine. At least it doesn’t have a large amount of byproducts from intermingling.
This could be the result of two things. The first reason would be that maybe people like Darth Maul are incapable of procreating. The second reason would be racism. Indeed, I discovered while researching for this, that the Star Wars universe does carry a rather unhealthy amount of xenophobia. And there are even activist groups within the Star Wars universe that proclaim that humans are the dominate or superior species of everyone in the universe, and I’m sure there are radicals from every world who believe that about their own species. It would explain a lot.
While I believe this is explored a little bit in the comics, Clone Wars doesn’t touch on this at all. Most of the interspecies relationships either don’t work out, or we never find out what happens to those characters, which seems like a wasted opportunity to explore what would otherwise be an interesting dynamic. I’m not saying that Clone Wars should have devoted an entire episode or have a cheesy special to talk about the issue like it has done with other political issues that affect the real world. But if it had simply paid more attention to how the different cultures interacted with each other, it would have added another layer to the universe.
As it is, it kind of just brushes the issue aside. Watching the Clone Wars, I wouldn’t have even guessed that this universe still had some of these issues, considering that all the different species are so well integrated, they seem to have lost all semblance of their original culture.
Unfortunately, since the Clone Wars was canceled, this will probably never be explored in more detail. One of the reasons the prequels fail is because they focused on a relationship no one cared about, because no one could attach themselves to the characters. This isn’t the case in Clone Wars. Here, it’s just a lost opportunity when the show could have only benefited from it.