In what is fast becoming a new Star Wars tradition, speculation has emerged that two of the male characters in Rogue One are in a relationship – although one that’s implied rather than shown. Some on the web have wondered whether the closeness between Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen) and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) goes beyond friendship, and whether they’re actually gay.
It mirrors the speculation last year with The Force Awakens that Finn (John Boyega) Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) had a romantic interest in one another. With both films though, there’s nothing in the movie that definitively points to it being gay, rather than just a close male friendship.
However, director Gareth Edwards was asked about it, Yahoo! Movies, “I don’t mind people reading into [Chirrut and Baze’s relationship]. I think that’s all good. Who knows? You’d have to speak to them”.
One of the movie’s villains, Ben Mendelsohn, adds, “I think Chirrut and Baze are an enormously entertaining part of this film. I found them thoroughly enjoyable. Any [gay] subtext, I think, is certainly … people like to enjoy these films on many different levels, and if people are enjoying it on that level – that’s it.”
Force Awakens director JJ Abrams has previously said that he hopes the franchise can find room for explicitly LGBT characters, although the likelihood of that being Finn and Poe – despite Oscar Isaac mischievously hinting – still seems prety unlikely.