J.J. Abrams Explains Why He Added That LGBTQ Moment Into Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

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At the conclusion of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, there’s a quick shot of commander Larma D’Acy (Amanda Lawrence) kissing a female pilot in celebration of the Resistance toppling the Final Order. It’s the first same-sex kiss in the 40-plus year history of the Star Wars franchise and while it’s not a terribly significant moment as far as LGBTQ representation goes, it’s still something.

Speaking about why he decided to include it in the film, director J.J. Abrams explained that he wanted to get across the message that no matter your sexual preferences, the franchise is for everyone.

“It just felt like in this one scene of celebration, it felt like an opportunity to show [a same-sex kiss] without it being heavy-handed or making too loud of a deal,” Abrams told Sweden’s MovieZine. “Sort of part of the whole experience was to see a same-sex couple have a moment together that was explicitly saying in this galaxy, everyone is there and is welcome. It doesn’t matter your sexual preference, your race, your species, whether you’re organic, whether you’re synthetic — Star Wars is for everyone.”

While Abrams’ heart is in the right place, it’s still a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene. D’Acy’s also a character we have no history with and the woman she kisses has no dialogue. Yes, technically it’s history-making, but it honestly felt like pandering rather than a positive representation of the LGBTQ community.

Of course, there was buzz of a possible romantic relationship between Poe and Finn before the movie released, but Disney and Lucasfilm wouldn’t dare go down that road. It was there if they wanted, too, though, as Abrams never resolves the Finn and Rey plotline (or even begins it with Finn and Rose). Poe gets a couple of scenes with Keri Russell’s Zorii Bliss character which hints at a romantic past, but he needed some backstory and they went with what’s conventional.

In any case, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has a lot more glaring problems than this one scene. Showing that kiss is a step in the right direction, sure, but it’s an extremely small step that only perpetuates the idea that small amounts of representation are sufficient.

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