Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has the cinema franchise’s first same-sex kiss.
But it’s not among the two characters you might expect.
Without giving away any spoilers, there is a scene in the final Skywalker Saga film where two unnamed female Resistance soldiers quickly embrace and kiss.
The shot fulfills director J.J. Abrams’ hint that he would introduce some LGBTQ representation in the film — but not among leads Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega), two charismatic friends who some fans have longed to see take things a bit further.
The kiss shot is very blink-and-you-missed-it brief, however, and some who have seen the film early via press screenings are chiding Disney for not doing more to increase representation.
“Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker follows Avengers: Endgame by gesturing vaguely at LGBTQ community with split-second shot of women kissing, claims film has queer representation,” wrote one. “Rise of Skywalker – two ladies kiss in the background of some scene. Avengers: Endgame – random guy in grief counseling says he went on date with a dude Beauty & the Beast. LeFou dances with a guy for like 3 seconds sO pRoGrEsSiVe!,” tweeted another. “Being a lifelong Star Wars fan, any representation is an exciting prospect. It doesn’t seem like they are committing to it, though. Disney has to make a decision. These 2-second cameos are enough to anger conservatives, but they aren’t enough for us…” wrote a third.
Talking to Variety, Abrams previously said it was important to him that the Star Wars universe “looked more the way the world looks than not. And 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.”
Yet in terms of Poe and Finn, whose strong friendship some have wished to see turn into romance, the director defended their relationship as is.
Their friendship, the director said, “goes far deeper than a romantic relationship,” and added, “it is a deep bond that these two have, not just because of the sort of trial by fire in which they met, but also because of their willingness to be as intimate as they are — as afraid as they are, as unsure as they are, and still be bold, and still be daring and brave.”
The Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20.