Star Wars is a franchise that is set in futuristic space, based on various extremely diverse aliens warring with each other over peace in galactic empires. And somehow, the franchise has acted like literal aliens existing is apparently more believable than a romance between two characters of the same gender. As if that’s where the suspension of belief ends.
The Rise of Skywalker will hopefully change that.
J.J Abrams Confirmed The Latest Star Wars Film Will Have Some LGBTQ Rep
J.J Abrams has been promising LGBTQ representation for a while now, and we’re getting restless waiting for some kind of meaningful action. It seems that he may finally be delivering – Abrams told Variety that he wants the LGBTQ community to feel better represented by the films.
“In the case of the LGBTQ community, it was important to me that people who go to see this movie feel that they’re being represented in the film,” Abrams said. “I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie. But I did just say what I just said.”
Of couse, Abrams refused to give any more details than that – the storyline of The Rise of Skywalker has been jealously guarded, so no one actually knows what the premise of the movie is.
If LGBTQ Representation Is So Important To Abrams, Why Can’t Poe And Finn Be A Couple?
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Abrams talked quite a bit about the importance of queer representation.
“When I talk about inclusivity, it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity,” he said.
“So of course. I would love it. To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counter-intuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.”
Why then, do we not get a relationship between the most obviously queer characters in this franchise – Finn and Poe?
Intentionally or not, Finn and Poe have been written like lovers – Finn rescues Poe, Poe names Finn and gives him an identity, Finn is obsessed with Poe and wears his jacket, they constantly seem to have moments that reflect romantic chemistry, and they even have a scene that mimicked the main pairing in the first trilogy, Han Solo and Princess Leia.
It seems the romantic chemistry between these two characters is obvious, which makes me wonder if the lack of story arc is just queer baiting. When asked why Finn and Poe are being denied a romantic relationship, Abrams gave a pretty shitty answer.
“That relationship to me is a far deeper one than a romantic one,” Abrams said.
“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.”
WTF. Is this not the most BS answer ever? To talk about their deep bond and willingness of intimacy as more than friendship but not romance doesn’t make sense.
It hasn’t escaped anyone’s notice that despite refusing to label their relationship as romantic, Abrams can’t seem to find another way to describe a relationship between men that is more intimate than friendship. It seems that while these characters are daring and brave, Abrams isn’t.
The Actors For Finn and Poe’s Characters Were Disappointed By The Dismissal
The actors behind Finn and Poe themselves have said they are disappointed by the direction Abrams is going with their characters.
Just look at this dramatic eye-contact, with a shoulder touch resulting in explosive camera action. How is this supposed to be platonic?
Oscaar Isaacs, who plays Poe, said that the relationship should have gone deeper.
“Personally, I kind of hoped and wished that maybe that would’ve been taken further in the other films, but I don’t have control,” Oscar Isaac told Variety. “It seemed like a natural progression, but sadly enough, it’s a time when people are too afraid, I think, of … I don’t know what,” he said.
“But if they would’ve been boyfriends, that would have been fun.”
John Boyega, who plays Finn, also said that the progression would have made sense.
“They’ve always had a quite loving and open relationship in which it wouldn’t be too weird if it went beyond it,” he said.
Honestly, I’m not sure how much faith I have in the Star Wars franchise to deliver good LGBTQ representation, that isn’t tokenistic or just a side character that they feel won’t be controversial if given a non-hetero love interest. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Rise of Skywalker releases on 19th December, 2019.
Image Sources: Walt Disney Studios, Motion Pictures