19 Dec 2019 10:57 AM +00:00 UTC

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s Gay Kiss Passes China’s Censors and Baffles Audiences

Lucasfilm has been trying to make strides in diversity and representation the past few years, and the studio has just recently featured the first LGBTQ kiss of the Star Wars franchise in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The film's director, J.J. Abrams, had hinted at the kiss, which turned out to be a short kiss between two female characters in the film.

To everyone's surprise, the gay kiss managed to pass through China's censors, making it to screenings of the third and final sequel trilogy entry in cinemas across the country. What's even more surprising is that audiences seemed unfazed by the act of intimacy.

According to a report by Variety, Lucasfilm previewed The Rise of Skywalker in China yesterday, giving the East Asian country an early look at the highly-anticipated Star Wars movie. Viewers were surprised to see that the film had a gay kiss, wondering why it had passed through the country's censorship process.

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Censors are pretty strict in China especially when it comes to gay depictions on film. Critically-acclaimed LGBTQ movies like Call Me By Your Name and Brokeback Mountain weren't given releases in the country because of the gay intimacies in the film. Bohemian Rhapsody's LGBTQ scenes were cut from the film to fit the country's censorship requirements.

Having a gay kiss in The Rise of Skywalker in China came as a major surprise to viewers. Some welcomed the scene, knowing what it meant to the LGBTQ community in the country. Others, however, found the kiss a bit confusing, not because it was between two women, but because it really didn't have any place in the story.

Still, despite the slight confusion, we're pretty glad that the LGBTQ kiss managed to make it through censors in China. Another step in the right direction for everyone.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres December 20, 2019.

Read: Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Box Set Drops Online