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Star Wars Episode IX: The Emperor’s New Groove

Disney ended the decade with a conclusion to their Star Wars trilogy, and many fans and actors alike were hoping to see more diverse relationships. The concept of a Star Wars film including an LGBT+ relationship had gained a lot of traction amongst fans in the past several years, especially since these films had only ever included straight relationships. The latest Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker, did include an LGBT+ relationship, and left many fans and actors wanting more.

     After the 2015 release of Disney’s first film in their new Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens, fans responded almost immediately with support for a romantic relationship between characters Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). The support of a relationship between these characters gained so much support not only since it would have been the franchise’s first gay relationship, but because many fans picked up on a chemistry between them. According to the actors, their characters’ chemistry was not unintentional. “I mean, there was an absolute natural chemistry with him. [Boyega] …So it wasn’t actually a total shock [that] people, you know, saw that in there,” Isaac said during an interview with Variety. “ …neither of us shied away from that while we were shooting as well…”

      Despite the very vocal support for the franchise’s first potential gay romance, Disney’s next film in the trilogy did nothing to progess its potential. In Disney’s 2017 release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Finn and Poe were separated for the vast majority of the film and were given few interactions. Finn was sent off on his own separate adventure with a new female love interest, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran).

     Many fans were still holding out hope that the final film in the trilogy would finally have gay reprensentation. Although, before The Rise of Skywalker was released last December, Isaac said in an interview with Variety that Finn and Poe would not end up in a romantic relationship with each other. “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,” Isaac said. “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.” Boyega also acknowledged the missed potential of Finn and Poe’s relationship. “They’ve always had quite a loving and open relationship in which it wouldn’t be too weird if it went beyond it,” Boyega said. 

    Also before The Rise of Skywalker’s release, article headlines were contradicting Isaac’s statements, saying that the film would include an LGBT+ relationship. Said relationship ended up being a brief lesbian kiss between two unnamed characters. In the Singapore release of the film, the kiss was cut since films with LGBT+ content are restricted to people 18 and older in Singapore. 

     After years of support from both actors and fans, the disappointment is now setting in for a lot of people. Even when Disney tried to include some representation, it was so brief that when it was cut from its Singapore release it changed nothing. “I think there could’ve been a very interesting, forward-thinking… love story there, 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,” Isaac said in an interview with IGN. “I would try to push it a bit in that direction, but the Disney overlords were not ready to do that.”