Queer fans aren't happy about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker's same-sex kiss

From Cosmopolitan

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker features the first same-sex kiss in the entire franchise

  • But gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer fans aren't happy and have accused the film of queerbaiting

  • Director J.J. Abrams massively teased same-sex representation in the run up to the films release

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has just made (kind of) history by being the first film in the entire series to feature a same-sex kiss - and it's two female (who could be lesbian or bisexual, because we mustn't jump to conclusions) characters. Yep, the franchise has been going since 1977 and finally, in 2019, we get some LGBTQ+ representation!

Director J.J. Abrams had got queer fans of the Star Wars franchise all excited in the run up to the new movie being released. He'd told Variety that it "in the case of the LGBTQ_ community" it was important to him that "people who go to see this movie feel that they’re being represented in the film."

And, when speaking about fan favourite characters Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega), he said their relationship “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.”

Photo credit: Christopher Jue
Photo credit: Christopher Jue

Naturally, gay Twitter latched on to this (you give an inch, we take a mile) and took this to mean maybe we'd get to see these two characters hook up, fall in love, we'd take anything TBH.

After the movie was released at midnight on Thursday December 19, queer fans were quick to take to the Internet to shout about the same-sex kiss. Without spoiling the film for you, what we can say is the kiss is kind of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment. Two female characters who are part of the Resistance kiss during a celebratory moment.

Obviously, some people were chuffed with the representation, however brief it was. But others felt it was over so quickly, it barely counts as representation. Especially considering how much J.J. Abrams bigged it up.

"Congratulating Star Wars for a 'historic same sex kiss' is on par with congratulating the MCU for Joe Russo's unnamed cameo. Fuck off," wrote @rustypolished. They added, "Representation requires more than just showing me a picture of a stranger and saying they're like me. Do I want queer background characters? Sure, absolutely, but that is HUGELY secondary to wanting queer characters who, you know, are actually developed characters."

Queerbaiting - a "marketing tactic" used to hint at LGBTQ+ plot lines or characters by films or TV shows that then don't actually deliver - was also brought up.

"LGBT representation is not hard, Disney baited us with hope and what did we get? Two background characters that we don’t even know sharing the first on scene same sex kiss in starwars. But I guess that’s all we are to Disney, an after thought. We should just be happy with scraps," wrote @JaXdron.

"Ah yes, the classic movie trope of including a background same-sex kiss so str8 people will assume your movie is inclusive and progressive. Booooooring!" wrote @high_kicks.

And as @acereject pointed out, the franchise is pretty far behind. "Sorry Star Wars, you don't get to pat yourself on the back, Star Trek aired a same-sex kiss 25 years ago."

Whether you're chuffed with this glimmer of representation or pissed off it wasn't more, let's hope this paves the way for more queer women in mainstream cinema. PLEASE.

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