Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker disappointed many fans in some key ways. Chief among them though was the total lack of any romance between Finn and Poe, something many had been counting on happening ever since The Force Awakens. Sure, there was a very brief bit of LGBT representation, but the pairing of the redeemed Stormtrooper and the ace pilot had a huge amount of popularity, so there’s been a lot of blowback against the decision to sidestep their connection in TROS.
It’s doubly disheartening to find out, then, that the original plan was to make them a couple before studio execs got involved. At least, that’s what the latest chatter on Reddit and Twitter are saying, with multiple reports surfacing today that say not only did Lucasfilm make Abrams cut a lot out of the film, but that FinnPoe was one thing in particular that they weren’t on board with.
Speaking with our own sources – the same ones who told us Ewan McGregor was returning as Obi-Wan back in May, and that Rey was Palpatine’s [SPOILERS] in September, both of which ended up being true – WGTC has confirmed that what you’ve been hearing on social media today is indeed true, and that it was Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy who ruled out the idea due to the way this would affect the movie’s overseas releases. In particular, there was a belief that countries such as China and Russia would have banned the film if it had featured openly gay leads.
As frustrating as this is to hear, it’s hardly unexpected. Sure enough, that easily-missed aforementioned lesbian kiss was removed from Rise in regions such as the Middle East, seemingly confirming that the FinnPoe version would have faced serious cuts in some quarters. Interestingly, though, the same-sex kiss actually managed to evade Chinese censors, which is a small but encouraging step. Hopefully, in a few years’ time, we won’t have Hollywood execs scared to better diversify their films for fear of censorship.
In any case, as mentioned above, what we’ve been told about Abrams’ wish to deal with Finn and Poe’s relationship echoes separate info shared on Reddit, which has gained a lot of traction online today. True, the Redditor’s scoop differs slightly from what we’re hearing, but it’s getting harder to dispute the central fact that the creatives were fully behind a prominent gay relationship in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Lucasfilm/Disney weren’t. After all, Oscar Isaac has already started to spill the beans, so maybe the cast and crew will open up some more in time.