We’re getting more Finn and Poe bromance, but there won’t be a romance.
When Star Wars: The Force Awakens originally debuted, gay fans and fans of gay content celebrated. They instantly honed in on John Boyega’s Finn and Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron. Boyega once said that he believes the ship started because of Isaac’s acting.
“I think that Oscar is always looking at me with love in his eyes, and I guess that the fans saw it. And then they realized that either he needs to chill or come out,” said the actor.
He also shared that he’d be open to the idea, “We’ve talked about it, but I think you’re not going to see it in The Last Jedi (which he was promoting at the time). In the next six or eight months, we will have some meetings about the stories that we will develop next.”
Oscar Isaac shared a similar stance while talking to Collider.
“As to actually seeing how that manifests itself in Poe in this film, that isn’t necessarily going to be a clear story point,” Isaac said. “But as an actor, I’m very open to those storylines.”
And now, Force Awakens and Rise of Skywalker director JJ Abrams says there will be more Finn and Poe.
“[Finn’s history] is part of the story of this one,” Abrams told Variety Fair in a recent interview. “And it was alluded to in Episode VII, but there’s a bit more light shed on that in this one…I would say that each of the characters get more light shed on their histories. I’m not saying we get full, exhaustive downloads on all of their childhoods and every major step that got them to where they are. But there are a lot of questions about Finn’s past, about Poe’s past, obviously Rey and Kylo, and then some of the new characters we meet.”
But, Abrams is keeping himself protected from fandom hate. As such, he specified there will be nothing gay about the characters in the upcoming 9th Star Wars installment. Specifically, he said Finn and Poe’s relationship is “a far deeper one than a romantic one.”
But, no one’s surprised. Let’s be honest here, the writer/director did not intend to start a ship when he originally wrote the first movie’s script (alongside Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt). Again, it was Boyega and Isaac’s enthusiastic acting that got viewers’ attention. If nothing else, the writing just set up a friendship.
In addition, Abrams chose to leave the project instead of following up with the second film, and he only returned because of Star Wars‘ faltering reputation after The Last Jedi upset fans. A small part of that is due to writer/director Rian Johnson trying to stop Finn-Poe conversations by splitting the characters and throwing the Rose character in.
We also have to blame the now-infamous mismanagement over at LucasFilm by head producer Kathleen Kennedy. The very fact that this trilogy was created without a general plot idea for all three films paved the way for story and character inconsistencies. Though despite Kennedy and Johnson’s share of the fault, Abrams isn’t helping either.
The actors too are keeping themselves at a pleasurable distance from the issue. For instance, Isaac said in a recent talk with Variety.
“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. 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. … If they would’ve been boyfriends, that would have been fun.”
Boyega then agreed by saying, “They’ve always had a quite loving and open relationship in which it wouldn’t be too weird if it went beyond it. But at the same time, they are just platonic at the moment.”
In another attempt to calm fans down, Abrams noted during the interview that there will be some sort of LGBTQ representation in The Rise of Skywalker.
“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. I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie. But I did just say what I just said.”
But what form will this representation look like? Will it be like The Last Jedi’s which formed in an LGBTQ character mostly missed? It was later revealed, through a separate novel, that Admiral Holdo is gay. But given the fact that this was never revealed in the movie and that the character dies in the film, we’re not impressed.
Frankly, we’re keeping our excitement to a very low bar until we’ve seen the film. Otherwise, we would just fall for Hollywood’s queerbait trap (again). While they may have good intentions, even if just the slightest, we’ve seen too many lackluster attempts at representation. As such, this one shared information isn’t worth more than a quick glance. Especially considering the aggressive attempts at swerving away from a prime opportunity like Finn and Poe. Ironically, a franchise hounded by accusations of SJW mishandling is attempting its hardest to reject representation. And frankly, we’re tired of it. On to the next thing.
Note: This is the view of one Instinct Magazine contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or fellow contributors.