Will "The Rise of Skywalker" Finally Give Us a Queer "Star Wars" Character?

Also, what's going on with Finn and Poe?

Another year, another Star Wars movie, another promise of "maybe a gay character."

While the Poe Dameron/Finn romance introduced in 2015's The Force Awakens that the internet desperately tried to make happen has apparently been resigned to a galaxy far, far away, The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams has hinted that, you guessed it, there may be some queer representation in the latest installment in the seemingly never-ending franchise.

During a recent press junket for the movie, Abrams and stars Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) and John Boyega (Finn) discussed the end of an affair and the future of gays in space. Isaac seemed particularly bummed that FinnPoe's romantic potential went unexplored in 2017's The Last Jedi, and poured cold water over the idea of them crossing lightsabers this time around.

“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,” Isaac told Variety. “It seemed like a natural progression, but sadly enough it’s a time when people are too afraid, I think, of… I don’t know what.”

Well, Oscar Isaac, that's a good point. What are people afraid of? The entire Star Wars franchise has made more than $9 billion. That's right, with a B. The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi account for more than a third of that. Who's staying away from these movies?

Solo: A Star Wars Story is the closest thing to a flop this franchise has seen, and it still made nearly $400 million. They could have interspliced a gay porno in the middle of it and no one would've cared. And considering how people would've preferred to watch that version of Solo, it would've really lived up to its title.

Isaac added that he thinks the "ambiguity" between Poe and Finn could allow more people to see themselves in the characters. “But if they would’ve been boyfriends," he said, "that would have been fun.”

Boyega, for his part, seems to be on the same page as Isaac, saying Finn and Poe have "always had a quite loving and open relationship in which it wouldn’t be too weird if it went beyond it.” However, he added, "They are just platonic at the moment.”

Abrams, on the other hand, employed some Jedi mind tricks around the whole situation, calling the FinnPoe relationship "far deeper one than a romantic one."

“It is a deep bond that these two have, not just because of the trial by fire in which they met, but also because of their willingness to be as intimate as they are, as afraid as they are, as unsure as they are, and still be bold, and still be daring and brave,” Abrams told Variety.

Well, intimacy and romance are not mutually exclusive, but Abrams insists that he is and always has been committed to Star Wars reflecting the real world—that it looks "more the way the world looks than not.”

“And in the case of the LGBTQ community," Abrams said, "it was important to me that people who go to see this movie feel that they’re being represented in the film.”

The director stopped short of saying whether that means The Rise of Skywalker will rise to that queer occasion or has a gay alien or what-have-you, but at least we'll always (kinda) have FinnPoe.

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