At a pre-Oscars event, The Daily Beast caught up with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and asked a number of Star Wars related questions. Though Episode VIII will be directed by Rian Johnson and Episode IX by Collin Colin Trevorrow, Abrams will remain an executive producer and was a key member in charting out the direction the new trilogy is heading. While The Force Awakens has been universally praised for its diversity and female empowerment, the gay and lesbian community doesn't exactly have a clear representative in the Star Wars universe. In fact, with the Expanded universe being nixed by Disney, the new Star Wars universe introduced its first openly gay character in Paul S. Kemp's "Star Wars; Lords of the Sith". When asked whether the new Star Wars filsm would have more openly gay characters, Abrams stated--
"Of course! When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course. To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world. "
Star Wars: Episode VIII is currently scheduled for release in the US on 12.15.2017.