We’ll never know for sure whether Star Wars characters Finn and Poe were really in love, but hey… there’s a lesbian kiss in a background scene at the end of Rise Of Skywalker. For many fans, though, that’s not good enough.
The Star Wars fandom has simultaneous reason to rejoice and lament, as their favorite and most dreaded time of the year has returned — the release date for a new film in the franchise. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker was released on December 20 to moderate reviews, and as always, the fandom remains divided. One big reason for some fans’ disappointment is that we now know Finn and Poe’s potential romance will remain in the “will they, won’t they” pile indefinitely.
Since the release of the newest trilogy’s first installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the fandom has heavily debated the possibility of Oscar Isaac’s Poe and John Boyega’s Finn being a couple. Despite overwhelming supporting evidence present in the films for this claim (unlike evidence as to whether Rey is Han Solo’s daughter), current execs at the helm of the franchise have thrown in a hard and resounding “No.”
Both actors, Isaac and Boyega, have publicly supported the idea, Isaac even going so far as to call out Disney execs at corporate for the lack of support.
“I think there could’ve been a very interesting, forward-thinking… not even forward thinking, just like, current thinking love story there,” Isaac told PinkNews. “Something that hadn’t quite been explored yet, particularly the dynamic between these two men in war that could’ve fallen in love with each other. I would try to push it a bit in that direction, but the Disney overlords were not ready to do that.”
Director J.J. Abrams might be one of those Disney Overlords in question. He admits he never saw Poe and Finn as more than blood brothers.
“That relationship to me is a far deeper one than a romantic one,” Abrams told CinemaBlend. “It is a deep bond that these two have, not just because of the trial by fire in which they met, but also because of their willingness to be as intimate as they are, as afraid as they, as unsure as they are, and still be bold, and still be daring and brave.”
Despite this, Abrams was very adamant about having LGBTQ inclusion, even if it was only a minute token. During a celebratory scene in the background a lesbian couple can be seen sharing a kiss – that is unless you live in a market that cut it from the theatrical release. Specifically, markets in Singapore and the Middle East cut the kiss from final edits due to local laws preventing displays of homosexuality. Which is ironic, given the reason why Abrams wanted to include it in the first place.
“Part of the whole experience was to see a same-sex couple have a moment together that was explicitly saying in this galaxy, everyone is there and is welcome.” said Abrams.
It is always bitterly ironic whenever debates like this occur for one reason or another in science fiction franchises. Historically, science fiction has been a safe haven for marginalized communities. Whenever communities have to fight to stay in the picture and be represented in the genre’s most mainstream-friendly offerings, it just shows how much further there is to go — even in our own home.
Top Image via Lucasfilm