Josh Yehl lost his best friend, Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, the night of the tragic Orlando night club shooting. Now, Yehl is trying to honor his friend in the most inspiring way possible. He’s asking the heads of Lucusfilm and Disney to consider making Leinonen the inspiration for the first openly gay character in the Star Wars universe. He’s has lots of really wonderful reasons and tons of logic (not to mention clear emotion) to back up his request.
Yehl and Leinonen were best friends who bonded over their mutual love for science ficition. Specifically, they adored Star Wars and it would be a perfect tribute to him to have his character live on in a world he loved. Yehl makes the very valid point that Star Wars is a world where the theme of hope is strong and where J.J. Abrams has said, “The fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility.” Meaning, basically, that it’s a cluster of galaxies where anything could happen.
The face of the Star Wars franchise has already transformed dramatically with Daisy Ridley at the helm and John Boyega at her side. So Yehl says it’s time they showed even more diversity and have an openly LGBT character in the universe.
His plea is heart-felt and totally moving. He’s created a hashtag #PutDrewInStarWars that has already gotten a great deal of traction on Twitter, including some big name fantasy actors.
While he’s speaking directly to the people who currently control the intellectual property of that universe (aka the Big Wigs over in Hollywood), he says that we all can help his voice be heard by signing a petition to get an LGBT character in the Star Wars series.