Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
It’s the kiss heard ‘round the galaxy. No, not the long-awaited smooch between Ben Solo (Adam Driver) and Rey Palpatine… uh, Rey Skywalker at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While that was a “for #Reylo fans only” moment, the more consequential, and controversial, lip-lock happens in the final scenes of the film. As the Resistance is celebrating its triumph over the Palpatine-led Final Order, Commander Larma D’Acy (Amanda Lawrence) — previously seen in The Last Jedi as a Vice Admiral Holdo loyalist — finds her girlfriend, an X-Wing pilot, among the crowd and the two share the franchise’s first on-camera same-sex kiss.
It’s only a quick buss in terms of screen time, but it lasts long enough to register with the audiences that have been hoping to see LGBTQ romance represented in the far, far away galaxy that George Lucas created four decades ago. To be fair, the animated series Star Wars Resistance beat The Rise of Skywalker to the punch by several months, revealing in September that aliens Orka and Flix were an openly gay couple. And if you’re a devoted reader of the Star Wars novels, you’ll remember that Imperial deserter Sinjir Rath Velus — a hero in Chuck Wendig’s 2015 book, Aftermath — was similarly out of the closet, the first such character in the official canon.
Still, it’s no small thing that D’Acy and her lover, who isn’t identified by name in the scene, are the first same-sex lovers in the live action Star Wars realm. Reaction on Twitter so far is evenly divided between happiness that this particular barrier has been shattered and disappointment that director J.J. Abrams kept their love in the background.
this is my SPOILY review of rise of skywalker:— Lizzie Logan (@lizzzzzielogan) December 20, 2019
i sat next to two burly gays who held hands the whole time and when the Lesbian Kiss happened they smiled at each other and one cried and they are my dads now
there is a GAY KISS in Star Wars and I started sobbing... to see myself represented on a giant screen in a theater in my favorite movie franchise was one of the best moments of my entire year. Nothing else has to happen in 2019 my heart is happy— (g)ravelord 👁 (@cassidythewitch) December 21, 2019
Not a #spoiler at all but the rest of this tweet is about the #starwars movie.— alison becker (@thealisonbecker) December 20, 2019
It was rad how 2 women kissed. It was background actors, not main characters, but this is huge for a Star Wars movie and made me happy. I applauded and you should too. #loveislove
there was one (1) lesbian kiss in the rise of skywalker. wow the representation— ༓☾ ß𝖎𝖔𝖓 ☽༓ (@turntech_wave) December 20, 2019
RISE OF SKYWALKER SPOILERS, KINDA?— Your Friendly Neighborhood Stupid-Man (@chwineka) December 18, 2019
Wondering the big questions, like "Do the background characters involved in the franchise's first gay (lesbian) kiss have names?" I suppose it is a step above "Heterosexual director playing a character who talks about being gay."
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in a celebration sequence in the film, shows a lesbian kiss between two minor female members of the Resistance.— Queer Sci Fi (@QueerSciFi) December 18, 2019
THIS is what they said we'd be happy with?https://t.co/2rSxTuTpji#StarWars #TheRiseOfSykwalker #lesbiankiss pic.twitter.com/AgLIrQh2NZ
And then there are those who are disappointed that The Rise of Skywalker didn’t give us the One True Pairing fans were hoping for all along: Poe Dameon (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega). Instead, Abrams pointedly turns their romantic gaze in other directions: Finn spends much of the movie pining for Rey (Daisy Ridley), while Poe angry-flirts with old flame, Zorii Bliss (Keri Russell). The characters’ chemistry and obvious affection for each other has been oft-commented upon across the sequel trilogy, and both Isaac and Boyega have openly acknowledged that there’s something between them. “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,” Issac recently told Variety, adding, “If they would’ve been boyfriends, that would have been fun.” Finally, something Twitter can actually agree upon!
what makes me laugh the most is the fact that the writers and directors refused to input finnpoe into the star wars narrative when even the actors wanted it early on in the franchise so to make up for it they gave us a one second same sex kiss and called it lgbt representation🤢— 𝘮𝘺𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘦 (@psxchicbread) December 20, 2019
Of course the first same-sex kiss in Star Wars franchise is a lesbian kiss. Like is that all you got? You went wih two girls to please some boys instead of being progressive like you first made it out to be when you teased it?— lucoa (@pantsmode) December 19, 2019
I WANNA SEE TWO DUDES KISSING IN A STAR WARS FILM
last star wars tweeting for today and also tfos spoilers //— putra // commission open! ☀️ (@red_roast) December 20, 2019
disney not letting finn and poe be a thing but then introduce a love interest for poe AND have rey kiss kylo instead of maybe finn is real white and homophobic hour
Nothing was more jarring in the new Star Wars than watching the sexual chemistry between Poe and Finn and then including a kiss between two extremely minor characters in a split second moment as their step towards LGBTQ representation— demo (@demogakidis) December 20, 2019
Good bits of the new Star Wars— Paul Barr (@EazyPZA) December 19, 2019
- When it looked like Poe and Finn were gonna kiss
Bad bits of the new Star Wars
- When they didn’t
Whether it left them thrilled or disappointed, at least American audiences got to see a same-sex kiss in a Star Wars movie; the rest of the world may not be so lucky. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the United Arab Emirates censored the scene before The Rise of Skywalker premiered in that country, and Singapore followed suit. (China, meanwhile, is screening the uncensored version, but to box-office returns that are less than out of this world.)
Concerns about the global market are among the likely reasons that Disney has been slow to feature LGBTQ characters in their blockbusters. Avengers: Endgame was the first Marvel Studios film to feature an openly gay character (albeit in a decidedly minor role), while Frozen 2 notably declined to carry out the wishes of many moviegoers to #GiveElsaGirlfriend. While The Rise of Skywalker is a step in the right direction, the day when we’ll see an openly gay lead character in a Star Wars features still appears to be very far, far away.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is playing in theaters now; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.
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