It’s official: there’s a gay Hutt in the new Star Wars cartoon, The Clone Wars. And props to Shawn Adler from MTV for getting to the truth.

Last week I flew up to San Francisco to see The Clone Wars and do press for the movie. The film was screened for the press at ILM’s new home in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio – truly a beautiful presentation, and with life sized Darth Vader and Boba Fett costumes in the lobby, you couldn’t ask for much more Star Wars atmosphere. When the assembled press wasn’t being bludgeoned with the excruciatingly dull action that makes up 95% of the movie, we were howling in laughter at the garbage presented onscreen, and the biggest laugh getter was Zero the Hutt. Living in ‘downtown Coruscant’ (what does that even mean on a planet that is one big city?), Ziro is Jabba’s ‘uncle’ and owns his own club. He’s also purple, wears feathers and body paint and talks like Truman Capote as voiced by Eric Cartman.

Going back to our hotel, my group, which included Shawn, was hyperventilating with laughter as we all did our Ziro impressions. Todd Gilchrist created one for the ages – if you ever hear me doing Zero, it’s me doing Todd’s impression of a gay Southern gentlemen. What was interesting is that everybody came up with the Truman Capote comparison. Shawn, who was doing one on ones and a video interview with Lucas the next day, said he’d ask about it. I never thought he would.

He did.

“Zero, Jabba’s uncle, originally spoke in Hutt-ese, like Jabba and then he had a different sluggish voice just like Jabba, and then George one day was watching it and said ‘I want him to sound like Truman Capote.’ He actually said that and we were like ‘Wow!’” director Dave Filoni told him. “It’s a hybrid of it but the inspiration is definitely there on Capote. It’s one of those things that takes him from being an interesting character and I think really does put him over the top and does something. He’s a favorite among the crew here.”

Congrats, George, you’ve offended yet another minority with your prequel movies. While The Clone Wars doesn’t have the opening crawl or anyone saying ‘I have a bad feeling about this,’ it does have a repugnant stereotype affixed to an alien. Chinese people, Jews, blacks, move over and let the gays get on this bandwagon.

So Zero is a gay character, but is he the first? I spent some time debating this with the delightful Annalee Newitz of io9 whether Zero really was the first gay Star Warsian. Is C3P0 gay? Does his lack of genitalia matter (for the record, aren’t Hutt’s supposed to reproduce asexually, making Zero also a neuter homosexual? Jesus, George)? Is R2D2 gay, and is he in fact a male? Annalee argued that R2’s extender arm that he uses to open doors and shit could be a strap-on, while I believe he was born with it (it emerges from within him! Like a boner!).

What do you think? Discuss it here.