Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker features the first gay kiss in the franchise’s history, it has been revealed.
In the wake of the film’s New York premiere, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that director JJ Abrams had made good on his promise of LGBT+ representation in the film, which is the ninth entry in the main Star Wars film franchise.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker makes history with Disney blockbuster’s first gay kiss
According to the outlet, a celebration sequence features two female members of the Resistance, who are not major characters in the film, sharing a kiss of celebration.
The low-key moment may not be the Finn-Poe romance that fans are yearning for, but it is definitely progress for a franchise that has previously eschewed depictions of LGBT+ people on screen.
It is the first time a Disney-owned blockbuster has featured a same-sex kiss, and will likely prove a test in markets where censors prohibit depictions of homosexuality on-screen.
Speaking to Variety ahead of the film’s release, Abrams had said: “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.”
The Rise of Skywalker seeks to avoid Avengers misstep
The moment is handed somewhat better than for Avengers: Endgame, which picked up flack for the way it handled a long-teased LGBT+ moment.
The film had featured a brief sequence involving an unnamed character, who was played by the film’s co-director Joe Russo, at a group therapy session where he speaks about going on a date with another man.
Marvel boss Kevin Feige later played down the significance of the moment.
He said: “That was never meant to be our first focused [LGBT+] character.
“That was just meant to be a matter of fact and a matter of life and a matter of truth. And I liked it that our hero, Steve Rogers, doesn’t blink an eye at that fact.
“It is just truth and is heartbreaking for his loss and for the life he’s trying to put back together.
“It was never meant to be looked at as our first hero. I guess it’s the first reference so it does, of course, get a lot of attention.”