It seems that the “woke” empire that is Disney only cares about LGBTQ representation so long as it doesn’t impact the bottom line. In the United States, the studio is happy to oblige the proddings of GLAAD by shoehorning into the “Star Wars” franchise a brief one-second lesbian kiss between two characters nobody cares about; in the Islamic-majority Middle East, however, Disney has allowed that scene to be left on the cutting room floor.
“The first ever same-sex kiss in Star Wars history happens in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,’ but fans in the Middle East won’t be able to see it,” reports ScreenRant. “One aspect which was given away very early on in production was that the film was set to reveal the first true display of homosexual affection in the ‘Star Wars’ universe, something which had gone unrepresented in films up until now. While the full version of ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ does indeed feature a kiss between two members of the same sex, it’s beginning to look as if not every country saw the same cut.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), news of the cut came from several people who had seen the latest version of the film in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates — a country more liberal than most of the others in the Middle East, indicating that the cut most likely extends across the whole region where homosexuality is illegal.
“[This] isn’t the first time that local censors have made edits to movies to suit the strict sensitivities of the Middle East, where homosexuality is — officially — illegal in most countries and almost never portrayed onscreen (titles such as ‘Carol,’ ‘Freeheld’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ faced an outright ban).”
“While violence largely passes Middle East censors, the majority of cuts are related to scenes containing profanity and references to sex, drugs and religion,” continued THR. “It is currently the ‘Year of Tolerance’ in the United Arab Emirates.”
Oddly enough, the original cut of “The Rise of Skywalker” will be released unedited in China where the censors have allowed it to play. The big moment comes during a celebration sequence in the film between two minor characters and happens for only a brief second.
“In a celebration sequence in the film, two female members of the Resistance share an exuberant kiss during the joyful moment. They are minor characters and not heavily featured in the film,” reports THR.
Leading up to the film’s release, J.J. Abrams promised that the LGBTQ community would feel represented in “The Rise of Skywalker.”
“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,” Abrams told Variety. “I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie. But I did just say what I just said.”
Writing at The Daily Wire, Christian Toto of Hollywood In Toto argues that the kiss scene essentially exists to throw a cheap bone to the woke-minded and will ultimately satisfy nobody.
“Does anyone think the LGBTQ community will be satisfied with a second or less of inclusion?” wrote Toto. “Everyone else will read the Abrams’ quotes and figure ‘Skywalker’ cared more about virtue-signaling than solid storytelling. (And, after seeing the actual film, they’ll have a point).”