Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams hints the new film might reveal the cinematic franchise’s first LGBTQ character — but it won’t be Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and/or Finn (John Boyega).
Talking to Variety, the director said it was important to him that the Star Wars universe “looked more the way the world looks than not. And 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.”
When pressed if that means the film will have a queer character, the director replied: “I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie — but I did just say what I just said.”
Yet in terms of Poe and Finn, whose strong friendship some have wished to see turn into romance, the director defended their relationship as is.
Their friendship, the director said, “goes far deeper than a romantic relationship,” and added “it is a deep bond that these two have, not just because of the sort of 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.”
When speaking to EW, Isaac expressed interest in having the two characters become more than just friends. “There is a deep, deep connection between the two of them,” Isaac said. “There’s a deep, deep connection between me and John … these guys love each other. As a performer, I could only do so much because I don’t get to write the scripts. But I would think that that would be a great way for the story to go, a much more original one.”
There have been queer characters in the Star Wars expanded universe of novels, comics, and videogames. But as for the films, Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy previously said in a 2013 interview that she would consider having an LGBTQ character in a Star Wars movie and promised more representation in the franchise. “The demographics within our business don’t reflect society, and they certainly don’t reflect the audience,” she said. “There should be many, many more faces of color, many more women, many more gay people.”
The Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20.