How To Move On From Lackluster Gay Rep Like Star Wars IX

Image via Lucas Film and Walt Disney Studios

Did Finn and Poe ever have a chance?

It’s the end of the new Star Wars trilogy and many fans are left feeling pretty disappointed. That is, of course, for many reasons. One of them being the missed opportunity of Finn and Poe Dameron. And funny enough, one of the biggest advocates for making that bromance into a full-fledged romance was Oscar Isaac.

In a recent interview with IGN, Isaac shared that he would have loved to go with the “forward-thinking” act of making Poe Dameron gay. Even better, he wishes Poe fallen in love with Finn.

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

Again, this isn’t the first time that Isaac has shared his support of a romance between Finn and Poe. And many Star Wars fans took notice.

But did Finn and Poe ever have a chance? As we have shared countless times before on this site, the real issue is Hollywood’s need to appeal to international box offices. When sharing their films with conservative and anti-gay areas like the Arab nations and China (which has the second-largest box office after the U.S.), most gay content is censored out. We’re already seeing evidence of this with the latest Stars Wars movie. So having a gay romance smack dab in the middle of a series is a hard sell.

So as I predicted back when Abrams shared news of LGBTQ representation, Disney’s effort was minimal at best. And unfortunately, it seems like that will be the status quo for big blockbuster movies.

So now the question becomes, what will it take? Will it take political and/or social change in countries like China first? Or, will bigger gay roles appear before that thanks to risk-takers like Oscar Isaac. If so, we really need the support and passion of risk-takers with more executive power.

Keep in mind, movie juggernaut Marvel Studios is attempting to focus heavily on representation and diversity in its Phase 4. Not only is there an openly gay superhero in the upcoming The Eternals movie, though there is some question over how large that role will be, but there is a supposed hunt for lesbian love in Thor: Love & Thunder. Other LGBTQ characters are set to appear on Disney+ like Miss America, Hulking, and Wiccan. Hollywood rumors also say that Captain Marvel may be officially confirmed as a lesbian in her second movie. Though, that film is several years away.

So can Marvel Studios do it? Bring LGBTQ representation in big-budget media like never before? And will it then create change so that situations like Finn and Poe will never happen again? We’ll see.

In the meantime, what we can do is put our money where our mouth and keyboards are. Support films that support the upcoming Marvel films like The Eternals that include prominent gay representation. Support smaller projects like comics and games with our money. Then, Hollywood can know that there is money waiting there. Maybe then, we’ll eventually get the kind of movie representation we want.

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