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Comments for OpEd: Here’s Why Disney Couldn’t Allow “FinnPoe” in “The Rise of Skywalker”

finn and poe star wars

Credit: Lucasfilm

13 Comments

  1. Zachary

    I can’t help but disagree so much with your line of thinking in this piece.

    (1) Finn was established as interested in Rey, not as straight. Poe’s sexuality was not established. Oscar Isaac even admitted to playing Poe’s sexuality ambiguously to allow for both interpretations at the time. So I’m not sure where you get the “Poe also proves himself to be very straight” from. Did he prove himself by being strong, talented, and heroic, because in truth any one of any sexuality can be that. To think otherwise is reductive to the LGBT community. If you want to get more into stuff established in Force Awakens, the chemistry between the two character was there from the moment they met to the moment they reunited on the base. In truth, it could be argued either way; it is at least open for interpretation. To say they are established as straight ignores so much of what is presented on the screen. Either of them also could be interpreted as bi, but not even acknowledging that possibility contributes to the ongoing bi-erasure that the community is fighting against.

    (2) “We need movies of guys being guys”? I’m sorry but isn’t that the majority of the straight male action movies out there. Within the Star Wars universe we have so much of guys being guys. Also, what’s to say that the “guys being guys” can’t be queer. Why is it always that “guys being guys” means that everyone involved has to be straight. I feel like that comment comes off as completely tone deaf to what the queer community is asking for in representations in our fandom. It almost sounds like you’re saying we don’t belong here because when we’re here “guys can’t be guys”.

    (3) “Disney learned a lesson with Lefou”, and was that lesson not to have any queer representation? Lefou was half eaten scraps from the table of Hollywood that we in the queer fandoms were supposed to just eat up and go “thank you so much, this is what we deserve”. The lesson should have been to do better; to have better representation on the screen, not to lose it completely. With Finn and Poe, as Oscar Isaac had pointed out in many interviews for “Rise of Skywalker”, they had they chance to do something big, important, and better when it comes to representation on screen. It was something he was pushing towards, and I believe that the actor would know the character better than most of us (which this then serves as another example of not established straight, but I digress). Instead they back away from it completely and go back to giving the LGBT community scraps that can be completely edited out for their precious foreign markets. So in truth, I really don’t think they’ve learned much on that front.

    My overall point being as a gay fan of Star Wars myself is I wanted to see myself represented on screen in the universe in a big and significant way. Not as something that can be argued or edited out. They missed a big opportunity with this, again as Oscar Isaac has brought up in his interviews. I find it hurtful to have read an article that was so dismissive of the opportunity that had been presented in the films and by the actors. To believe it wouldn’t have fit the story feels again dismissive of what so many people, including the actors, were seeing with these characters.

    1. Lorenzo

      You wanted to see yourself in a fantasy film that is fake?

      How about just looking in the mirror and live your own real life?

  2. Darth Zir

    Wait, wait, wait…

    If “the internet” is really concerned about inclusion, one can make a bigger case that these guys are totally asexual. Finn seemed to want to take care of Rey more like a big brother and Poe wanted to help Finn more like a big brother too. Like, when Finn got kissed by Rose, he wasn’t all, “Yeah, I got kissed!” He was more nonplused. And Poe, heck, he’s hugging droids half the time. So being asexual would completely fill that absence that we’ve been missing in the Star Wars universe.

    Or… or!!… actually, perhaps Poe was pansexual, cause, first case above about robots and also when he was looking at Keri Russel, since she had a mask on the whole movie, he literally couldn’t see gender, and since Finn was dressed as a stormtrooper too when they first met, same deal! And Finn was probably an exhibitionist, seeing how he was willing to walk around half-naked in his hospital clothes in the middle of a space battle.

    Now that I’m babbling about it, I can see how the sexual preferences of side characters really DOES enhance the Skywalker saga.

  3. Harley

    I disagree bc finn loves rey they are even connected in the force thats why he was so anxious to tell her. Also poe backstory = han he even had a fling w keri russel (forgot her character name) and it was def like something heavy and he kept trying to get her back if they threw both those for a loop for a gay fling besides they were fighting w each other till the end when they came together for the team it would have been awkwardly thrown in there as fan service (what fans i dont know) that is reylo!

  4. Anonymous

    Y’all need to chill. Everybody knows Poe is already in a very monogamous relationship with BB-8

  5. Protector

    I agree. But I hope we never get a gay main character or couple in Star Wars.
    Leave Star Wars alone out of the LGBT agenda.

    1. Winks

      Screw you homophobe!

  6. lorenzo

    Or how about a strictly LGBTQ studio create movies of their own with their own money and solve the problem of being represented.

    Oh that would mean nothing to complain and whine about.

    Will never happen…

  7. Renan Abreu

    Who ever wrote this article forgot Bisexual people exist. Even if Finn had “shown” interest in Rey, which he had not, people can be interested in both men and women. I’m not sure why this article is siting Rey and Finn’s interactions as proof that they were into each other, their interactions are absolutely just friendly. In comparison almost ALL of Finn and Poe’s interactions seem to be romantically inclined, and even the actors have said that they had played up the romance. It would absolutely fit the story to have them get together because in the end none of the main characters really end up with anyone anyway so having Finn and Poe end up together would not change anything that actually ended up happening. Having had them be together it would have been a breakthrough in Gay representation and one that had been very well set up and had great payoff too and would not affect the larger story and would make sense with the characters.
    The fact that it didn’t happen is absolutely because cause Disney is still too scared to commit to LGBTQ+ storylines for main characters in their biggest franchises, relegating to small characters (like that easily edited out 2 second kiss in episode 9, or something like High School Musical the musical the series). Stuff like this is blatant queetbating and does more damage to the LGBTQ+ community and does not help further their acceptance to those who are still against the LGBTQ+ community

    1. Lorenzo

      Do you really think having a queer character in a fantasy Disney movie will change people’s mind?

      You should spend more of your time pestering Target to stop handing out plastic bags like they are candy.

      This is more of a worldwide problem than looking for a meaningless “gay” Disney character.

      1. Darth Zir

        C’mon, everybody! Star Wars is already full of LGBTQ characters!

        Gay: Bib Fortuna, Watto, Mon Mothma, Mace Windu, EV-9D9, Jawas (all of them)

        Queer: Obi-Kenobi, Biggs

        Pansexual: Jabba the Hutt, Rancor, Sarlacc Pitt, several Sand People

        Asexual: Lando (See, he talked a good game, but did we ever see actually him WITH anybody? Total charade.)

  8. rohan

    There was already a relationship between Rey and Finn. Finn practically asked if Rey had a girlfriend in the force awakens. Finn is always chasing Rey. Where is Rey in the entire movie

  9. Amélie

    It has already been mentioned, but while I do very much agree with it being a positive thing to show two grown men having close friendships without assuming that it says anything about their sexuality, the argument regarding them being “obviously straight” makes no sense.

    Although that is a fairly common mistake to make.

    For 7 years, my mother-in-law assumed I was straight, because I was, and still am, in an heterosexual relationship with her son.

    Bisexual and pansexual individuals tend to be mistaken for straight or gay, depending on the gender of the person they are with, or interested in, at any given time.

    If, say, Finn is interested in Rey, assuming he’s not polyamorous, it’s 100% normal and expected that his main focus is going to be on her, and you won’t see him showing open interest in other women or men.

    A common myth about bi/pansexuality is that we are driven to be in relationships with more than a single gender at a time.

    Personally, as a pansexual monogamous woman, the difference between being in a relationship with a man, woman, or other, is the same as being in a relationship with blue, green, or brown eyes.

    My partner has blue eyes. Sure, I’d be just as comfortable and at ease sleeping with someone with brown eyes; but that doesn’t mean I need a romantic and/or sexual connection with every single type of eyes color out there, just because the thought of looking into a pair of brown eyes during sexual intercourse doesn’t either excite or repulse me!

    I literally don’t feel like someone’s gender is more likely to make me feel attracted to them. It’s a complete non issue.

    When it comes to one’s gender, I have no specific sexual orientation.

    I like whoever I like, because I find them attractive, is all.

    But I don’t typically walk around going “Hey, I’m heads over heels about the man I’ve been with for over 15 years now, but he could have been a woman and that would have made no difference to me!”

    Just because I’m *really* into my partner, and don’t go around openly objectifying people of other genders I may find good looking and attractive (with no intent to act upon any of it anyway) doesn’t mean I’m straight.

    The Mass Effect fandom also had the same issue when Kaidan Alenko was revealed as a bisexual character given he’d always shown interest in women.

    Truth is, for bi/pan folks, it is often safer and easier being open about heterosexual urges and past relationships; especially in a military setting, where you don’t know how welcoming or at ease others are going to be with your orientation.

    Our bi/pansexuality will tend to come out among fellow LGBTQ+ circles, and/or trusted friends.

    What some saw as a retconing of the straightness of a character, hit home and made Kaidan’s reveal of his bisexuality all the more realistic and natural for actual bi/pan people.

    Finn behaves like a bisexual, Poe behaves like a bisexual, Luke behave like a bisexual, Rey behaves like a bisexual, Leia behaves like a bisexual.

    That’s how the bisexuals I know typically behave.

    Sexual orientation is about the potential for being sexually attracted to people based on their gender(s), or regardless of their gender(s).

    It’s about how we feel and what we find sexually attractive. It isn’t about the gender of the person we are dating or flirting with, or how we choose or feel comfortable to publicly express our sexuality.

    And while I agree it is important to show men caring for each other and openly being affectionate in their friendships, it isn’t like we never get such positive non-toxic male friendship models in fiction.

    Bromance has become the norm rather than the exception.

    Whereas I’m having a hard time finding examples of stories where deep feelings between two male characters that initially started as friends evolved towards something romantic.

    There’s tons of “queerbaiting” in fiction, but otherwise, when boys do end up truly being attracted to each other in canon, one typically gets killed off, it turns out to be one sided, and/or they aren’t free to act upon their feelings.

    FinnPoe would have been very refreshing, natural, and organic, exactly because they could have made it happen without making a deal out of it.

    Have them just spontaneously kiss and embrace during the celebrations, no big fuss.

    Show that romantic / sexual attraction can come from a sense of deep trust, intimacy, and friendship and develop between men that weren’t trying to get into each other’s pants from the start.

    There was a sense of missed opportunity, is all. Especially with the actors having been openly on board to explore that aspect of their dynamic.

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