Star Wars: The LGBTQ Forces Awaken

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Eli Keel speculates about Star Wars LGBT representation, noting that "People are hailing "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as a huge leap forward in onscreen diversity:"

This leaves a lot of room for people to read other possible romantic relationships blooming between the lines, and a legion of increasingly vocal fans believe they are seeing "Star Wars"' first onscreen LGBT+ representation in Poe Dameron, expressed by his special friendship with escaped Stormtrooper Finn.

The onscreen evidence that most fans point to is the reunion moment between Poe and Finn on the planet D'Qar. The two men had met and bonded briefly at the start of the film, when they escaped together from the First Order -- Poe as a prisoner and Finn as a defecting Stormtrooper who needed a pilot. They crashed, and Poe appeared to die. Finn wore Poe's jacket until the two are reunited through the Resistance, when Poe tells him, "Hey, that's my jacket. No, no. Keep it. It suits you."

But it's all about how Oscar Isaac delivers the line. Let's examine that moment again, with blocking.

POE: Hey, that's my jacket.

FINN: (starts to take off jacket)

POE: No, no. Keep it. (Gives FINN the once over.) It suits you. (Bites lip.)

Is it getting hot in here? Let's zoom in further.

(BITES LIP.)

GIF please.

20160106-lipbite.gif

That lip bite is everything. It's a look that caused fans to launch a thousand 'ships, and it's pretty suggestive all by itself. But even before "The Force Awakens" was released, the stars went on a publicity tour that included a stop on Ellen, where Isaac talked about his character having a love interest in the film. "I think it's very a subtle romance that's happening. You have to just look very closely, you have to watch it a few times to see the little hints, but there was. At least, I was playing romance."

Is there--or will there be?--some Poe/Finn slash fiction to parallel that of Kirk/Spock?

But even if these hopeful Poe/Finn 'shippers aren't just imagining the interaction, will the "Star Wars" brain trust do right and follow through? Or is this a big screen case of queer baiting?

Keel notes not only that "Backlash over queer baiting is public and loud," but that "sexy lip biting isn't enough:"

"Star Wars" has always supposedly been about the fight for freedom. Here's hoping the Resistance's best pilot will make that fight real, and bring even more representation to a galaxy far far away.


update (1/7 at 2:22pm)
Salon's Brendan Gauthier dashes hopes for an explicit PoeFinn romance:

This week a concerned subset of the Internet was abuzz with speculation over the likelihood of a pseudo-sexual relationship between Poe Dameron and Finn, two "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" leading male characters.

Gauthier remarks that "evidence of a gay relationship brewing in the foreground of a Hollywood blockbuster may have been a little too good to be true."

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on January 6, 2016 11:56 AM.

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