News Round-Up: December 27, 2019

(image via Instagram/Chippendales)

Some news items you might have missed:

InstaHunks: My brother is in town for the holidays, and that means we have to head down at some point to see the world-famous Chippendales (above) at the Rio Hotel here in Las Vegas. The sold-out show totally rocked. If you can’t get to Vegas, the Chipps just announced a 30 city tour beginning in late January. Click here for dates and tix. #Grrr

JoeMyGod: A teenage boy who alleges sexual abuse by a priest killed the priest by shoving a crucifix down his throat.

The Gaily Grind: Disney has cut a brief scene featuring Star Wars’ first same-sex kiss from its new movie “The Rise of Skywalker” in Singapore, a country where same-sex marriage is illegal and sex between men is punishable by up to two years in prison.

KIT212: Kenneth has the lowdown on the what’s what in gay rags across the country like Chicago’s GRAB Magazine celebrating ‘The Men of Bullies and Biceps.”

Washington Blade: Amid speculation Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave his position to pursue his old job as U.S. senator in Kansas, Donald Trump is considering U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell –  who’s also the highest-ranking openly gay person in his administration – as a replacement.

NY Times: Foreign teachers at some private schools in Indonesia have been required to answer questions and many more like them in what has been billed as a psychological exam to determine teachers’ sexual orientation and attitude toward gay rights. A 2015 government regulation prohibits international schools from hiring foreign teachers who have “an indication of abnormal sexual behavior or orientation.”

HuffPost: Donald Trump likes to brag that he donates his $400,000 annual salary as president to charities. But according to folks tracking the Trumpster’s golf habit, his passion for the links has now cost taxpayers $118 million – or about 296 years of that presidential salary. Remember when he said if elected he’d “never leave the White House…?”

The Force Is With Them! Star Wars Characters Confirmed As Gay Couple

Flix and Orka in ‘Star Wars Resistance’ (screen capture)

During an appearance on the podcast Coffee with Kenobi, producers of the children’s animated series Star Wars Resistance revealed that two characters, Orka and Flix (voiced bu Jim Rash and Bobby Moynihan respectively) are a gay couple.

Producers Justin Ridge, Brandon Auman, and Athena Portillo sat down with the popular podcast to chat on what fans can expect in Season Two of the series.

Asked about the duo’s relationship, Ridge replied, “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item. They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that.”

Fans of the series had surmised as much, especially with the bit of foreshadowing of the relationship in Season One when Orka and Flix visited Flix’s mother bearing a gift of flowers.

Fans of the Star Wars franchise have long called out creators of the sci-fi flicks for the woeful lack of LGBTQ representation.

Back in 2015, the chemistry between Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) was palatable onscreen in The Force Awakens. But, no same-sex anything ever came up between the characters.

Well, except this fan video mashup:

And characters that are part of the LGBTQ community in the Star Wars comics and books don’t make it into the major feature films.

Reess Kairn, a villain in the 1999 comic book The Bounty Hunters: Aurra Sing, had transitioned from alien to a human woman.

Goran Beviin and Medrit Vasur-Beviin were the first confirmed gay couple in Star Wars literature appearing in the Legacy of the Force series.

Season Two of Star Wars Resistance (nominated for a 2019 Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Children’s Program’) premieres on the Disney Channel and Disney’s streaming app DisneyNow on October 6th at 10PM.

(source: The Guardian)

Guess Which “Star Wars” Character Is Pansexual?

Donald Glover as “Lando Calrissian”

In the trailer for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, the character of “Lando Calrissian” (played by Donald Glover) seems all friendly and flirty with just about everyone he encounters.

In one scene, Calrissian calls Han Solo “baby;” in another clip he says with a smile, “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”

In the film, his female droid L3-37 shares, “I’m sure you noticed that Lando has feelings for me.”

You may recall Billy Dee Williams brought a similar winking sexuality to the character in Episodes V and VI of the Star Wars saga.

With that in mind, Bill Bradley of the Huffington Post asked the father/son screenwriting team of Solo – Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan – in a recent interview if Lando is, indeed, pansexual.

“I would say yes,” Jonathan says. “He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules.”

“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s (portrayal of Lando’s) sexuality,” he continued. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality – that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”

While the writers may imply that Lando is sexually fluid, folks who have previewed the film say there’s nothing explicit to that point in the film.

Some of you may be wondering “What’s the difference between pansexual and bisexual?” Pansexuals are attracted to all gender identities (or are attracted regardless of gender identities) and bisexuals are attracted to more than one gender identity (but not all).

In the more than 4 decades of Star Wars films, LGBTQ fans have yet to see actual representation in the sci-fi films. It seems that as vast as the universe may be, there are only heterosexuals out in space.

Some Star Wars fans were hoping for more from Laura Dern’s character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.

Last fall there was talk that an official tie-in novel, Leia: Princess of Alderaan released in September 2017, revealed Holdo to be the Star Wars universe’s first queer character.

In the book, Holdo mentions in a conversation about sex with Leia that she enjoys “a pair of pretty dark eyes.”

“A pair of pretty dark eyes.” Then Amilyn thought about that for a moment. “Or more than a pair, if you’re into Grans. Or Aqualish, or Talz. Or even —”

“That’s all right!” Leia said through laughter. “It’s just humanoid males for me.”

“Really? That feels so limiting.”

But, eventually LGBTQ Star Wars fans were disappointed again as there was nothing in The Last Jedi that shed any light on Holdo’s romantic life.

Hollywood has been doing this forever it seems.

Audiences were teased in the lead up to the release of last year’s Beauty and the Beast that there would be an “exclusively gay moment” for one of the film’s characters.

In the end, though, all LGBTQ audiences got were vague references to an unrequited crush on Gaston by Le Fou, and a fleeting, momentary shot of Le Fou dancing at the end of the film with a man.

Back in 2007, CNN reported that J.K. Rowling always thought of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore as gay, a point that isn’t explained nor explored at all in the book.

Is it time for Hollywood to stop with the queer baiting LGBTQ audiences?

Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25.

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Tops Box Office For 2017

On the last day of 2017, Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” crossed the $1 billion threshold in worldwide grosses becoming the best-selling movie of 2017.

The top five films in terms of U.S. box office gross for 2017:

1. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – $517.1 million

2. “Beauty and the Beast” – $504 million

3. “Wonder Woman” – $412.6 million

4. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2” – $389 million

5. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” – $334 million

A Tribute To Carrie Fisher From The 40th Anniversary Celebration Of STAR WARS

This special tribute to Carrie Fisher was part of the kick off to the 40th Anniversary celebration of Star Wars kicks off in Orlando, Florida.

Quite perfect.

From CBS:

It wouldn’t be a celebration of 40 years of “Star Wars” without a touching Carrie Fisher tribute.

And that’s exactly what happened at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida, which also included a surprise Harrison Ford appearance, a John Williams performance and jokes about George Lucas’ dialogue.

Attendees were treated to that and more Thursday at the kick-off of the four-day fan event marking the anniversary of Lucas’ space saga.

“She was very strong, very smart, very funny, very bold and very tough. There were not very many people like her. They’re one in a billion,” Lucas said, recalling Fisher’s willingness to tell him when his dialogue was too difficult to say in portraying Princess Leia. “We’ll all love her forever and ever.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Cast Of STAR WARS Joins Jimmy Fallon & The Roots For A Cappella Medley Sing-A-Long

The cast of the new STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS joins Jimmy Fallon & The Roots for an a cappella medley of STAR WARS themes.

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford for an a cappella tribute to “Star Wars.”

They even get Harrison Ford to drop in for a bit. How about that?

And isn’t Carrie Fisher fab in everything she does lately?

Yule Log Video For The Hard Core STAR WARS Fan

Folks love their virtual fireplace/yule log videos during the holiday season – how very tech-y we’ve come.

But now, just perfect for the STAR WARS fan in your circles, here’s a five hour yule log video loop sure to please.

Clip description: “Cuddle up with your loved ones and bask in the warming glow of this five hour Darth Vader yule log. Perfect for holiday parties.”