JJ Abrams defends feeble Star Wars same-sex kiss

Director JJ Abrams has defended the ridiculously subtle same-sex kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, saying that he didn’t want to make it “heavy-handed.”

The low-key moment between two women may have been the first gay kiss in the history of the franchise, but it wasn’t exactly what fans were hoping for.

Occurring as it did between side characters and only lasting a few seconds, it was subtle enough that the scene was easily cut from the film’s Middle Eastern and Singaporean release.

Abrams has defended the scene in an interview with MovieZine. “It just felt like in this one scene of celebration, it felt like an opportunity to show [an LGBT kiss] without it being heavy-handed or making too loud of a deal,” he explained.

“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.”

He continued: “It doesn’t matter your sexual preference, your race, your species, whether you’re organic, whether you’re synthetic – Star Wars is for everyone.

“And knowing that there hadn’t been a representation like that, it doesn’t take away from anyone. It just shows that Star Wars is for all of us.”

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JJ Abrams had long promised greater LGBT+ representation in the Star Wars franchise (Disney)

Abrams is now being accused of queerbaiting, having long teased more LGBT+ representation in the Star Wars films. Many fans had been hoping for something more substantial, namely a romance between main characters Finn and Poe.

While Daisy Ridley had nothing but praise for the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kiss, Oscar Isaac, who plays the character of Poe, was more outspoken in an interview with IGN.

“I think there could’ve been a very interesting, forward-thinking – not even forward-thinking, just, like, current-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,” he said.

“I would try to push it a bit in that direction, but the Disney overlords were not ready to do that.”