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Same-sex kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker goes uncensored in China

Emma Powys Maurice December 19, 2019
Star Wars

Star Wars director J.J. Abrams had long promised greater LGBT+ representation in the franchise (Disney)

The historic same-sex kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has not been censored in China, despite the country’s previous record of suppressing LGBT+ content.

The latest Star Wars film features the first gay kiss in the franchise’s history when two female members of the Resistance, who are not major characters in the film, share a kiss of celebration.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in China in 1997 but the subject is still taboo in many areas, and films with a significant amount of LGBT+ content – such as Brokeback Mountain, Call Me By Your Name and Deadpool – are banned entirely.

With Star Wars being hugely popular in China, it was expected that the gay scene would be edited out of the film for the Asian market, as has been done previously for Western films including Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman.

But according to Chinese moviegoers who watched preview screenings on Wednesday, this hasn’t happened with The Rise of Skywalker. 

One Weibo commenter exclaimed:Don’t know if I saw it right, the final group sequence has a one-second shot of a pair of women kissing that wasn’t cut!”

Whether or not the kiss will be kept as the film goes to general release remains to be seen.

Fans have been hoping Foe and Pinn would get together for years (Disney)

It is the first time a Disney-owned blockbuster has featured a same-sex kiss, and will likely prove a test in markets where censors prohibit depictions of homosexuality on-screen.

The gay kiss in Star Wars came after director JJ Abrams promised to include better LGBT+ representation in future, responding to fans’ persistent pleas for a romance between Finn and Poe.

Sadly that wasn’t on the cards for the characters, but Abrams was keen to throw in at least a small amount of LGBT+ subtext.

Speaking to Variety ahead of the film’s release, Abrams said: “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.”

More: China, Chinese censorship, Disney, lgbt representation, star wars, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

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