Okay, let's talk about Star Wars ignoring Orka and Flix during Pride

Why would a franchise ignore its history making first on-screen queer couple?
Star Wars Resistance Season 1. Flix (Jim Rash) and Orka (Bobby Moynihan). Image Credit: StarWars.com
Star Wars Resistance Season 1. Flix (Jim Rash) and Orka (Bobby Moynihan). Image Credit: StarWars.com /

I've talked about Orka and Flix in other places and always scream about them multiple times in June during Pride for the last five years on my Twitter account. However, I don't think I've ever actually talked about them here on the Dork Side of the Force.

The duo personally means so much to me—not just as a Star Wars Resistance lover but also because of what they mean for the franchise. There's a reason I personally picked to play a Gozzo in a queer-cast Star Wars tabletop podcast. These two are historic and should be recognized as such. Orka and Flix laid the groundwork for Vel and Cinta in Andor, the queer characters in The Acolyte, and was much more fleshed out and realized than the blink-and-you-miss-it gay kiss in The Rise of Skywalker. It's not perfect queer representation, which we will get to because it's part of the reason Star Wars ignores them.

Still, they are the franchise's first on screen queer couple. So, why does Star Wars ignore them?

Who are Orka and Flix?

In case you have no idea who I'm talking about, Orka and Flix were two supporting characters in the animated series Star Wars Resistance. The Chadra-Fan Orka is played by Bobby Moynihan, and Flix the Gozzo, a new species introduced in the show, is played by Jim Rash. They were instant fan favorites, and those fans wondered if there was more between them. Orka and Flix seemed close, with Flix particularly playing within the realms of a queer-coded character. Then, in the Season 1 episode "Dangerous Business," the duo leaves the show's protagonist, Kazuda "Kaz" Xiono, in charge of their shop and pet gorg because the two were going to visit Flix's mother. You know, something you do with all your co-workers (sarcasm).

It turns out the fans were correct. There was something more. Between Season 1 and 2, the producers of Resistance revealed that Orka and Flix are a couple. This was a historic moment, making them the first on-screen queer couple in the Star Wars franchise.

Producer Justin Ridge gushed, “I think it’s safe to say they’re an item, absolutely. They’re absolutely a gay couple and we’re proud of that. We love Flix and Orka.”

Bobby Moynihan was excited to finally discuss it too, saying, “I have had a sentence prepared for a year and a half. If someone would finally ask me, I would say, ‘All I can say is that when Flix says I love you, Orka says I know.’ … They’re the cutest.”

Were Orka and Flix Good Representation?

Eeeehhhhh... not really. In fact, I would say it was more regressive representation than helpful. There's more than likely a reason for that, which we'll get to, but let's discuss the text we have in the show of why they're bad representation.

At no point in the show are Orka and Flix ever confirmed as a couple, and they are never confirmed on screen to be gay. In fact, five years later, we do not know if they are boyfriends or husbands.

The closest we get is the Season 2 episode "From Beneath." This should have been the couple's big reveal. There were two fantastic opportunities to confirm that Flix and Orka were a couple or married.
However, it fails at every chance because of the vague storytelling.

The first was when Orka and Torra Doza are trying to climb out of a mine shaft. Orka is ready to give up, but Torra encourages him to do it for Flix. Orka says, "I love the guy," before confirming he's going to keep going to save their friends.

The issue with this is how vague it is. This use of "love" can be used in other non-romantic ways. For example, I love my friends. I can say about any of my male friends, "I love the guy," which is in no way romantic. I can say this about Manny Jacinto's wonderful performance in The Acolyte, going, "I love the guy," and it's in a form of adoration. Not romantic at all. There have been people I've worked with in the past where I've been like, "Man, I love that dude. He's the best," which is another way this could be interpreted as Orka and Flix run the Office of Acquisitions. They could be seen as just co-workers.

The other missed opportunity was after Orka and Torra got out of the mine. Orka berates Flix's cousins for not helping their trapped family members. With that, Orka commandeers a shuttle with Torra to save their friends. After they leave, one of Flix's cousins quips, "Wow. I can see why Flix likes that guy."

It's the same problem. The lack of specificity is why this falls flat. Again, do you know what "guys I like" in non-romantic ways? My friends, my internet buddies, the nice dude at the grocery store who always greets me with a smile and is helpful. I like working with my male co-workers. My boss is nice, and I enjoy his guidance. "I like the guy," as he was very helpful with this article. All of this isn't romantic!

If Orka had been specific and said something like, "I love my husband," or if Flix's cousin said, "I see why Flix is dating that guy," Star Wars Resistance would have some of the best queer representation in the franchise. It's maddening how simple that a single sentence confirming these two were husbands or boyfriends was all that was needed. The creators were so close. That it was within grasp, and Resistance fails spectacularly at queer representation. And then, the same team did The Bad Batch, which was harmfully regressive in terms of representation. We don't have time for that today, but you can read all about The Bad Batch right here.

The only official confirmation we have is the producers telling us off-screen. They absolutely Dumbledore'd Orka and Flix. This has been followed up with Star Wars never mentioning their historic couple in the years following the show's ending. Each Pride, I wait to see if the official Star Wars accounts will say something about my favorite little history makers only to be disappointed.

And there might have been a reason why: Orka and Flix were never supposed to be confirmed as gay.

Why Star Wars Doesn't Recognize Orka and Flix

I must do my journalistic due diligence to say that what I am about to share is hearsay from a single source. However, as the source is someone who worked at Lucasfilm, I consider it a fairly credible source. As this person put it out publically, I am sharing it now.

It was another year of me griping at the Star Wars Swagmin on Twitter about another Pride passing with no mentions of franchise's historic couple. I got in a conversation with Jake Niemeyer, who worked at Lucasfilm Animation on The Bad Batch and Tales of the Jedi. He shared with me some insight about what happened with Orka and Flix.

In a series of tweets responding to me, he explained, "I think that's because there's still some tension there. Disney didn't approve of them being queer, and it was never made official or approved to be a public thing. They were queer-coded, and that was meant to be the end of it. Then a writer said something they weren't supposed to..."

Screenshot of tweet
Image courtesy Dork Side of the Force /

He went on to say, "As far as Disney is concerned, they're not gay. And until some execs leave the company, that likely won't change sadly."

Screenshot of tweet
Image courtesy Dork Side of the Force /

He finished the thread sharing with me, "When that was unofficially announced, it didn't exactly get easier to push for queer characters. We get punished if we have queer characters and punished if we don't. 'Hollywood' just isn't as liberal as their reputation."

Screenshot of tweet
Image courtesy Dork Side of the Force /

This is very telling for a lot of things. It would explain why "From Beneath" is so frustrating, as it misses the mark on its queer representation. It would explain why Star Wars' official accounts never recognize Orka and Flix during Pride or just, you know, ever at least in this context. And it's no fault of the Swagmin. They're just a social media worker doing their job. It's not their fault that executives suck. This isn't anything new, and I went into great detail in this article discussing Disney's treatment of not just Resistance but of other series, too, like DuckTales, The Owl House, and Gravity Falls.

I can see the reasoning executives thought this at the time Resistance was airing. This poor show was stuck in the dying wasteland of cable, having to complete its sequel trilogy story before The Rise of Skywalker was ever written. It had to be booted out before this fancy new streaming service called Disney+ was revealed. Resistance never got a chance to be a TV show, and it was easier to hide things like this. Again, more on this here.

However, it's years later and there's no excuse anymore because of one thing and one thing only:

Young Jedi Adventures

This preschool show which is made by a different team is unapologetically queer. It has a character with two moms, a non-binary Jedi, and several queer characters. It's also on cable, like Resistance, as it airs on Disney Junior. It's been celebrated for its diversity, and Young Jedi Adventures has two Emmys to show for it.

Why are we still ignoring Orka and Flix when a preschool series is doing it? It doesn't make sense anymore. I'm sorry you got bopped on the nose by a rogue writer, Disney executives. However, this isn't the way. Hiding your historic queer couple isn't how you do it. It's 2024. We got gay witches in The Acolyte, a non-binary Jedi in Tales of the Empire, Vel and Cinta in Andor, and, again, a preschool show full of queer characters going on brightly colored adventures for the kiddos to watch.

At this point, it's insulting to watch this happen, Star Wars. It's a slap to the face of Resistance fans. It's putting down your own groundbreaking history. And it's harmful watching you try to actively bury two of your space gays and ignore them ever happening.

Do freaking better.

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