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America Young and Dove Meir Use “Hana Solo and Slave Leo” to Fight for Gender Equality and LGBTQIA Representation

If you follow the Internet’s favorite uncle, Mark Hamill, on Twitter, you may have noticed the above tweet, featuring actors America Young and Dove Meir cosplaying as “Hana Solo” and “Slave Leo.” The two Star Wars fans recently discussed the reasoning behind their pretty epic photo shoot.

In an interview with The Advocate, Young expressed that she was more fascinated by the questions this crossplay would inspire than in even the answers. She said:

“Some of the best changes and advancements come from the question “What if?” What if the characters in Star Wars were gender-nonconforming? What if all the male roles were played by women, and vice versa? What if Jabba were more interested in men as sex slaves than women? Then Hana Solo would be frozen in carbonite and Prince Leo would be dressed as the object. What if the biggest franchise in the world asked, “What if?””

And, of course, there was just the very practical reason of, “Also, I just wanted to be the smuggler and Dove is a good sport.”

When asked if they would ever “do drag” again, Meir was clear that they weren’t in drag, because they weren’t trying to make the characters the opposite genders. “We actually tried to make it look as if it were a man as a slave and a woman as Han Solo,” he explains. “So it wasn’t technically “drag,” but that was an option we were considering. We decided to focus specifically on gender equality in film for this particular project. If it were drag, she’d be wearing men’s clothes and I’d have a bra and a wig.”

Check out the full interview for even more insights about the social justice-y reasons for the photo shoot. As for me, I’m going to go back to looking at this photos for entirely superficial and deeply personal reasons, thanks.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.