I Am Not the Pirate Ruler of Wild Space: On Fictional Self Reflections and Kantam Sy

In 2016, we were introduced to the first canonical non-binary Star Wars character: Eleodie Maracavanya aka the Pirate Ruler of Wild Space. Featured in an interlude in Aftermath: Life Debt (and then subsequently in another in Aftermath: Empire’s End), Eleodie is seen leading a crew of galactic misfits who take control of a New Republic Corvette, filled with Ithorian artifacts (probably including some holy grasses and, like, a tree or something – never change, Ithorians!), and recruit new civilians into the pirate gang.

Also. Eleodie uses zhe/zher/zherself pronouns.

As a nonbinary fan of Star Wars, there’s a special kind of thrill when you first encounter a new character that shares, at least to some degree, your gender identity. Reading a sentence with a “zhe” pronoun fills me with a rush of excitement, fueled by the shared connection I suddenly feel to this individual.

But the thing is…I am more than my gender identity. Luckily, so is Eleodie! But where Eleodie is a confident and charming space pirate, I am……decidedly not those things. My similarities with Eleodie begin and end with our gender identities. So while I may relate to one specific aspect of this character, to say that I see a reflection of myself in this character isn’t true.

For years, we’ve heard a certain subset of Star Wars fans bemoan the “woke-ification” of the Star Wars franchise. “I don’t mind diversity, I just don’t understand why it has to be shoved down our throats,” they’ll tweet, as if a single character in a single chapter of a book who is doing nothing more than existing as zher authentic self is suddenly interrupting the opening crawl of the newest saga film with a heavy-handed PSA about trans sensitivity. Meanwhile, they feast upon a buffet neurotypical, cisgender, heterosexual, white, straight-sized, male, able-bodied characters, all of whom have complex personalities and roles, outside of those singular labels.

Per Wookieepedia, there are now 17 non-binary characters in the Star Wars canon. Altogether, still an embarrassingly small number (and being buffered by such fan favorites as Unidentified Black Sun Agent and Unidentified Slicer). But it is 17 more non-binary characters than we had in Star Wars when we recorded our first episode of Rogue Podron in 2015.

Reading about Eleodie was cool. As far as token representatives of an entire group of people go, you can do a lot worse than Badass Space Pirate. And since that time, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the stories of Taka Jamoreesa, the Traveler, and Ceret & Terec. Every time, though, I felt a similar experience to reading about Eleodie. As Jake Peralta would say, “cool [non-binary character], still [not really me, though].”

But then, I read Midnight Horizon by Daniel José Older and Kantam Sy entered my life.

Kantam Sy has a love and respect for the natural worlds around them, deeply in tune with the plants and animals and other living beings.

Kantam Sy tries to gain wisdom by listening to their elders.

Kantam Sy loves a good bar brawl, from time to time.

Kantam Sy can sometimes feel overwhelmed by decision-making, and otherwise insignificant decisions can feel daunting and disproportionately impactful.

Kantam Sy feels pressure to have their entire life planned out and the thought of not knowing what comes next fills them with anxiety.

Kantam Sy finds meditation to be frustrating, sometimes.

Kantam Sy feels emotions intensely and revels in them.

Kantam Sy has a deep well of inner strength, a resolve that they draw on to help steady themself through their darker moments.

Kantam Sy is a loyal and reliable friend.

Kantam Sy makes impulsive decisions for love.

Kantam Sy is non-binary, and uses they/them pronouns.

Unlike Eleodie, it isn’t just the gender identity that Kantam and I share. Do all of these above traits manifest exactly the same way in me? Certainly not! But I sure do find myself nodding along as I read this list – you could swap “Kantam Sy” for “Danni” in pretty much every sentence and it would still be a truth. That that character also shares my gender identity, sees the world through that similarly complex, at-times-frustrating-but-always-beautiful non-binary lens makes that connection all the more special.

There’s something unspeakably profound about seeing yourself reflected back at you in a fictional character. It’s a common experience to see shades of ourselves in this character or that; it’s much rarer to see a character who is you, who radiates you with every sentence they say, every action they take. And seeing yourself in a character, especially a character that is good and complex and flawed and heroic and funny is a powerful experience, one that opens a door for self reflection and invites an opportunity for self love.

That’s an experience everyone deserves. And an experience everyone can have, if we continue to populate our stories with characters as richly diverse and beautifully expansive as the people who are reading about them. Even the space pirates.


Danni (they/them) is Rogue Six on Rogue Podron. While they’ve never participated in a good bar brawl, they certainly like to think that they’d enjoy the idea of doing so. They tweet things at @dannipurrgil.

The High Repodlic: Marvel’s The High Republic #6-10 – “The Heart of Drengir”

Joined by guests Chris Werms and Wesley, we’re flashing back in time to catch up on what’s been happening in Marvel’s High Republic comics during the second batch of issues, #6-10. Join us as we discuss Keeve and Sskeer’s attempts to parse out Dark Side and Light, mis-pronouning representation in Star Wars, and snakes, bunnies, and raccoons, oh my!

Thanks to Chris and Wesley for guesting on this episode of Rogue Podron! Be sure to check out Chris’s Legends recaps on Mynock Manor and Wesley’s Star Wars Queers Watch Twitter account!

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Danny with special guests Chris and Wesley!

The High Repodlic: The Fallen Star

New years, new tears! Meg, Saf, and Danny are back to discuss the latest installment in the third wave of the first phase of High Republic stories: The Fallen Star by Claudia Gray! We talk full spoilers about all the reasons we are sad, all the reasons we are glad, and all the reasons why Leox Gyasi is the greatest character in the history of Star Wars (and not only because he remembered to pack a whuffa hide).

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Meg, Saf and Danny

The High Repodlic: the Edge of Balance, Volume 1

Meg, Saf, and Danny are joined by High Republic graphic novel aficionado Dillon to discuss the first High Republic original manga series: the Edge of Balance by Shima Shinya, Justina Ireland, and Mizuki Sakakibara. We discuss our feelings about this iteration of the drengir (scary!), this iteration of Stellan Gios (sexy!), our excitement around original Star Wars manga stories, and plentiful tangents about Baze, Chirrut, cannibalism, and Dexter Jettster (not all at the same time, though).

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Meg, Saf and Danny with guest host Dillon!

The High Repodlic: Tempest Runner

Despite the constant bullying, Byn and Dakota from the Skyhoppers have returned again to discuss their spoiler-filled thoughts about the Tempest Runner audio drama by Cavan Scott. We discuss how this compared to previous Star Wars audio dramas, Lourna Dee’s journey, the physiology of blurrg, and, of course, Marchion Ro’s mouthbreather of a voice.

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Danny with special guests Byn and Dakota from the Skyhoppers.

The High Repodlic: Marvel’s The High Republic #1-5 – “There Is No Fear”

Danny is joined by Podron friend and besalisk super-expert Dillon to discuss the first five issues of Marvel’s The High Republic comic series. Together, they talk about the tongue-twisting pair of Sskeer and Keeve, the strengths of using comics as a storytelling medium in the High Republic era, the joys of seeing the drengir in visual form, and much more!

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Danny with guest host Dillon!

The High Repodlic: Out of the Shadows

Meg, Saf, and Danny gather together to discuss the second YA release in the High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland. (Danny was on rugged internet, so sounds a little interrupt-y at times – sorry about that!!) We discuss the nerd squad, how we’re living for the aro/ace representation, and, you know it, Yaddle.

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

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Hosted by Meg, Saf and Danny

The High Repodlic: the Rising Storm

Danny is joined by Skyhopper sibs Byn and Dakota to discuss their spoiler-filled thoughts about The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott. We discuss all the characters, our leveler theories, and of course, Wet Bub.

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Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Danny with special guests Byn and Dakota from the Skyhoppers.

The High Repodlic: Into the Dark

Meg, Saf, and Danny sit down to discuss their spoiler-filled thoughts about Into the Dark by Claudia Gray. In short – this book ROCKS! (Although we are saddened to inform you that Yarael Poof has officially been cancelled.)

Contact Us: Tweet us @roguepodron or e-mail us at roguepodron@gmail.com.

Websitewww.roguepodron.com

Support us on patreon: www.pateron.com/roguepodron

Hosted by Meg, Saf, and Danny.