Sit down folks, ‘cause no one could have seen this one coming. It looks like the infamous lesbian kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been censored out in some international versions of the movie.
Earlier this month, film director JJ Abrams made an attempt at queerbaiting audiences into seeing the latest Star Wars film.
“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,” said Abrams after shooting down any possibility of a Finn and Poe Dameron romance. “I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie. But I did just say what I just said.”
We’ve seen the tactic before: make some lackluster attempt at representation (whether well-intentioned or not), share that some sort of representation exists with news sources, and hope that it gets gay butts in theater seats. While we hope that JJ Abrams actually meant to offer representation, we weren’t shocked by the realization that this representation was a single and quick kiss between lesbian background characters.
But now, it appears that even that small moment is too much for some anti-gay countries. According to BBC News, Singapore has cut out that lesbian kiss from its screenings of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
As the BBC writes, “Singapore’s media regulatory body told the BBC that Disney cut the scene so it didn’t get a higher age rating. ‘The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the film classification guidelines would require a higher rating,’ said a spokesperson from IMDA. Without the kiss, the film is rated PG13 in Singapore.”
Then the Hollywood Reporter shared that the United Arab Emirates, which is usually more tolerant than it’s Middle Eastern neighbors, decided to cut the moment. As such, many expect other Middle East countries to follow suit.
But weirdly enough, the country of China, which is known for its censorship of LGBTQ content, chose to keep the single kiss.