JJ Abrams hints Rise of Skywalker could contain an LGBTQ character

Ever since STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS blasted onto the silver screen in 2015, audiences have taken special note of the relationship between Finn and Poe. The characters’ initial encounter was a spectacular trial by fire, as the two had to elude the clutches of the First Order in a hair raising tie fighter escape. When a first encounter like that is so harrowing, it’s not uncommon for an intense friendship to blossom, perhaps even a romantic relationship. That’s certainly what many STAR WARS fans were hoping for, as numerous people championed a Finn/Poe romantic relationship on social media.

Alas for Stormpilot fans, a Finn/Poe relationship is not to be as both Oscar Isaac and John Boyega revealed at a STAR WARS press junket yesterday. Of the missed relationship opportunity Isaac expressed regret saying, “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. But if they would’ve been boyfriends, that would have been fun.” Boyega also felt a romantic relationship would have been a natural progression but it’s just not the case in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, “They’ve always had a quite loving and open relationship in which it wouldn’t be too weird if it went beyond it. But at the same time, they are just platonic at the moment.”

However, despite a Poe/Finn romantic relationship being deader than Jabba the Hutt, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t have an LGBTQ character in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. J.J. Abrams has historically expressed a desire for STAR WARS films to look “more the way the world looks than not” and apparently that extends to the LGBTQ community. Speaking at the same press junket, the director strongly hinted that the final entry in the Skywalker saga could contain an LGBTQ character saying, “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.” Abrams and Disney have been decidedly tight-lipped about ANYTHING regarding THE RISE OF SKYWALKER’s plot but Abrams did add coyly, “I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie. But I did just say what I just said.”

Representation on film has been a hot-button topic for quite some time now. Historically science-fiction has often pushed major social issues forward such as race relations, gender, and cultural identity. Star Trek for example had the first bi-racial kiss on air, something so incendiary at the time that many stations in the American south refused to run the episode. In addition, Ursula K. Le Guin’s landmark 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness was one of the first novels to explore non-binary gender identity. If THE RISE OF SKYWALKER does in fact contain the STAR WARS universe’s first LGBTQ character (at least on film) it will probably feel more natural than shocking at this point. As long as it makes sense in the context of the film and isn’t blatant virtual signaling I say bring it on.

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER drops out of hyperspace and into theaters December 20.

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