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It has been over two months since Star Wars: The Force Awakens flew into theaters and made fans of the series rejoice. While much of the praise revolves around J.J. Abrams’ commitment to honoring and continuing the original trilogy, The Force Awakens was also commended for more political reasons. The newest Star Wars film contained the most diversity to date, including three main heroes who were not caucasian men. Additionally, many audiences members walked out of the theater questioning if Poe and Finn might be involved in an romance in future installments. J.J. Abrams recently answered a question regarding diversity and the possibility of LGBT characters in future Star Wars films, saying:
Of course! When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.
In this statement, which comes to us from The Daily Beast, J.J. Abrams doesn’t necessarily say the gay characters were specifically Finn and Poe, this is pretty huge news for the Star Wars franchise as a whole.
Fans of The Force Awakens have been speculating about the Poe and Finn’s relationship since the film was released in December. The two heroes appeared to bond extremely quickly throughout the course of the film. Poe literally gave Finn his name when the two were escaping from the First Order above Jakku. After their crash landing on the desert planet, Finn seemed rather distressed that Poe may have been lost. All that was left of the pilot was his leather jacket, and Finn wore it as he made his way through the planet.
Of course, Poe ended up being fine after all, and helped save his buddy and Han Solo at Maz Kanata’s cantina. The two were reunited at the resistance base and shared an embrace as if they had been old friends. Poe then bestowed his jacket upon Finn and told him he looked good in it.
Oscar Isaac added fuel to the theory in an appearance on The Ellen Show, where he revealed that, as an actor, he was performing a love story. Since he didn’t share much screen time with anyone else, fans speculated that it must have been with Finn’s character. While John Boyega denied any knowledge of a romantic relationship between the two, he has admitted that it’s a possibility since he hadn’t seen the new scripts, and that Star Wars is known for major plot twists.
Hollywood is currently in the midst of an important dialogue about diversity. After all of the Academy Award acting nominees were revealed to be white, there has been a bit of a magnifying glass on the institutionalized lack of diversity in the industry. Since the majority of Academy members, producers, and showrunners are white males, it is less likely to have diverse stories told in both film and TV. J.J. Abrams seems to be aware of this issue, and has made it a point to make sure the galaxy far, far away won’t be whitewashed.
Now it appears that this inclusion has been extended to the queer community. Only time will tell if the LBGT characters J.J. Abrams referenced will in fact be the two male heroes, or if new players will be introduced in future Star Wars films.
Our next outing into the canon will be Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will be released December 2016.