This is the 26th post in a daily series. Read about it here and see the list of previous posts here. A new post about “Star Wars” will be posted every day for 40 days leading up to the franchise’s 40th birthday on May 25th.
At the US-Ireland Alliance’s Oscar Wilde Awards in 2016, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams said “Star Wars” movies would be diverse in their representations of characters. And that, he said, meant gay representing gay characters:
When I talk about inclusivity it’s not excluding gay characters. It’s about inclusivity. So of course.
…To me, the fun of Star Wars is the glory of possibility. So it seems insanely narrow-minded and counterintuitive to say that there wouldn’t be a homosexual character in that world.
By the time Abrams had said that, fans and writers had already speculated on the possibility that Poe Dameron and Finn would become a couple. Out.com offered “10 Signs Poe Dameron May Be Gay.” Fans had made their own art depicting Poe and Finn as a couple…
And even Rian Johnson, director of the upcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” shared some of that fan art.
Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe, helped stoke the rumors while visiting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Without going into details, Isaac suggested that a romance was unfolding in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”:
I think it’s a very subtle romance that’s happening. You know, you just have to look very close. You have to watch it a few times to see the little hints.
Isaac later said that “I was playing romance. In the cockpit I was playing romance.” But he might have been the only one playing romance. In an interview with ShortList, John Boyega — who plays Finn — dismissed the idea of Poe and Finn being a couple:
Yeah, I’ve seen that. It’s so not true. Oscar [Isaac] wishes it was though, it’s all in his head. It’s a brotherly love, a bromance, that’s for sure.
But Boyega later walked that back in an interview with RadioTimes:
As far as I’m concerned, when JJ sat us down to go through the script, it was a bromance… But now I’m learning what Mark Hamill said before when he didn’t know that Darth Vader was Luke’s father: you never know what they’re going to pull. I’m looking at the director Rian [Johnson] closely so he can get me involved early, so I can prepare myself. So who knows?
If that seems like a fishy, non-committal answer, that’s because it is. But that’s OK, because the folks that want Finn and Poe to be a couple are really, really committed to that idea. In addition to Out.com’s list, Movie Pilot offered its own reasons to believe Poe could be gay. But the most interesting theories about Poe’s and Finn’s relationships are the videos. The series “Are They Gay?” tackled the clues that might indicate Finn or Poe could be gay or bisexual.
Feminist and queer YouTube personality Rowan Ellis offered her explanation as to why Poe would probably not be portrayed as queer anytime soon.
And yet YouTube user Jasper Cresdee-Hyde said he was “95 percent sure that Poe Dameron is gay”.
But the best video about this topic is Edugaytion’s video, if for no other reason than the phrase “Poe ‘I’m too sexy for my jacket’ lip-biting Dameron the homosexual.”
You will probably not hear a better phrase in any video you watch today.
What these theories demonstrate is that those in the LGBTQ community are paying attention to these movies. Each theory, however nuanced, represents a desire for previously ignored people to see themselves represented onscreen. Queer main characters in the new trilogy could set a huge example for other film franchises.