Star Wars has cast its first transgender actor - Abigal Thorn - in The Acolyte.
If you think about it, Star Wars has always been an inclusive franchise on all fronts. Not only are we taken away to far off galaxies and introduced to unique characters ranging from Jedi, Sith, and sentient robots, to alien races of all kinds, but the prevailing sentiment among fans is that Star Wars is for everyone. In an extraordinary effort to keep up with the times, it has been revealed through United Agents that actress Abigail Thorn will be introduced to the cast of The Acolyte as the first-ever transgender actor taking on a non-minor role in the franchise.
We can’t think of a better figurehead to represent the LGBTQIA+ community than Abigail Thorn. Not only has Thorn shown an incredible amount of grace over the years on her YouTube channel in regard to her transition, but she now has the potential to do the same with her role as Ensign Eurus in Star Wars’ The Acolyte.
Thorn will be joining The Acolyte alongside Amanda Steinberg, who also identifies as non-binary, which just goes to show you that it really doesn’t cost anything to be inclusive, and the payoff has the potential to be massive in the sense that other franchises and studios may follow suit when it comes to their casting choices.
The Star Wars universe has always been one that makes us root for the underdog in the face of adversity. And given how under-represented the transgender community is in 2023, we can only hope that that this rising tide of inclusion will be instrumental in representing those who challenge gender norms in a way that viewers will be receptive to.
In other words, the simple virtue of giving a trans-woman a crucial role in a Star Wars series will only continue to help the transgender community get a leg up in an industry, and society that is often hostile toward them due to lack of exposure and understanding.
Abigail Thorn came out as trans on her social media in a video entitled Coming Out As Trans – A Little Public Statement in 2021, and bravely talked about her initial apprehension toward publicizing her transition. But we’re glad she did, because in this statement she makes it apparent that despite her initial discomforts, she is at peace with her identity, and makes it clear that she is an advocate and ally for those in a similar situation who are also struggling with their own transitions.
Just like The Acolyte will redefine our concept of good and evil in the Star Wars universe in non-binary terms, Thorn and Steinberg’s contributions to representing trans and non-binary communities will redefine our expectations of inclusion in cinema and television.
The Acolyte will continue to expand the Star Wars franchise, and will be set about 100 years before the events that occurred in The Phantom Menace. Not only will The Acolyte introduce new characters and concepts, but it will also enlighten us to how the High Republic and Jedi Order operated long before the canon that we’re familiar with at this point in time. The eight-episode series will be released on Disney+ sometime in 2024, but an official date has not been announced at the time of this writing.