Disney: The ‘Star Wars’ LGBTQ+ Couple That Should Have Been Canon

Screenshot of John Boyega as Finn and Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’. Copyright goes to The Walt Disney Company.

Hey! Hallie here!

We haven’t made a post for Pride Month on this blog yet, so happy Pride Month! While I feel like we should be celebrating the LGBTQ+ community all year round, it’s still nice to have a month dedicated to all the amazing people in this community and the way they embrace themselves! In honor of this I’m going to talk about what is probably my favorite queer couple that was never explored, Poe Dameron and Finn. Or StormPilot, as many fans call them. These two didn’t just win fans over because of their on-screen chemistry. There’s some genuine sweetness behind their relationship in the movies. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega have even voiced their support for the couple. So let’s look into exactly why this couple should have been confirmed on the big screen.

Movie Interactions:

Their first interaction occurred in ‘The Force Awakens’, when Finn decided to defect from the First Order after refusing to participate in the slaughter of a village. Coincidentally, Poe was there too, sent to get some important information for General Leia Organa. Kylo Ren discovered him, however, and took him captive to attempt to torture Resistance secrets out of him. When Finn realized he needed a pilot to escape the First Order, he riskily decided to break Poe out of his cell. Poe was all too happy to help Finn the instant he asked for his help. Poe and Finn became fast friends in the span of only a few minutes during their escape attempt and Poe even gave Finn his name. These two had insane chemistry from the start, and a lot of that is thanks to the flawless way John Boyega and Oscar Isaac bounced off each other in this sequence. And their chemistry only grew throughout the movie. The next time the two are united in the film, Finn believed Poe was dead. He was distraught too, and he made a point to grab Poe’s jacket just before the TIE Fighter they had been in burst into flames. When Poe sees Finn, he embraces him tightly and insists that Finn keep the jacket. How is that not adorable? In ‘The Last Jedi’ Poe and Finn’s paths diverge, meaning they don’t get much screen time together. We do get to see Poe’s concerned reaction when Finn wakes up from the coma he was in at the end of the last movie. Similarly, after the ship the Resistance is in is attacked, Finn runs to Poe to make sure he isn’t injured. There’s also a deleted scene where Poe gives Finn his jacket back, which he personally repaired after it was damaged in the previous movie. Aside from these moments of obvious care, Poe only sticks around to give Finn permission to go on a mission with Rose early in the movie, and give some commands at the end of the movie. ‘Rise of Skywalker’ is perhaps even worse. Poe is exasperated with everyone in the movie, including Finn, and moments that could be touching, like Poe giving Finn the title of general, are skimmed over. There are some cute small interactions, but nothing else. But for a lot of the dismal parts of their relationship, subtext is key.

The Actors:

The subtext, which can mostly be described as things like longing looks or lingering touches, are all provided by the actor. Any scene can be seen as flirtatious based on how the actor chooses to play the scene. And Oscar Isaac has been incredibly open about the flirtatious way he played Poe in his scenes with John Boyega. Oscar Isaac stated that he intended various scenes in ‘The Force Awakens’ specifically to be seen as flirtatious, which explains why Poe reuniting with Finn in that first movie came off as such to so many fans. John Boyega hasn’t made any statements like that himself, but he has voiced his support of the couple. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega continue to interact on social media to tease the relationship despite the fact that the movies have ended. And with the trilogy now complete, Oscar Isaac has expressed how disappointed he is that Disney refused to make Poe and Finn’s relationship romantic. He apparently pushed for the relationship to become canon, but he noted that Disney didn’t seem ready for that. Which is a shame because the flirtation and chemistry came across so well, it seems out of character for them to remain apart by the end of the trilogy.

Disney’s Slip Ups:

Here we get into all the awful ways Disney decided to ignore this relationship. So if you don’t care to read about the blatant homophobia, I suggest you stop here. To carry on, ‘The Force Awakens’ set up the bones for two relationships between the main cast. The first was Poe and Finn, though that was more of an actor choice than the choice of Disney. The second was Rey and Finn. Though there is clearly a strong friendship between them, there are several scenes that suggest that Finn in particular might harbor feelings for Rey. When Rian Johnson took over in the next film, this relationship was completely wiped away. Finn and Rey interacted less than Finn interacted with Poe. Instead, Finn was given a partner-in-crime in the form of Rose Tico, who kissed him for no reason at the end of the film. This seemed like it might be a romantic set-up, but the way it played out certainly didn’t seem like it. Finn was more shocked by the kiss than pleased by it, and he didn’t seem all that happy as the scene ended. Meanwhile, Rey was given a more romantic storyline with Kylo Ren. With the failed relationships between Finn and any female character, plus Rey’s new interest in Ben, it seemed like the perfect time to actually get Finn and Poe together. But instead, the next film played off Finn’s relationship with Rey as unrequited love, allowing Rey to get together with Ben just before his death and Finn to remain straight. And the plot also threw in a possible female love interest for Poe just for fun. The lengths this movie went to apparently prove that Finn and Poe were only interested in women was ridiculous. Not only that, but Disney thought they could throw a kiss between two women in the background of one incredibly short scene to fix the issue. They even went around praising themselves by talking about how “historical” this kiss was. Meanwhile, they had shied away from the actual LGBTQ+ couple so many people, including those working on the movie, were advocating for.

There really isn’t an excuse for Disney here. Poe and Finn have obvious chemistry in all of their scenes, and they had it even at the beginning of the trilogy. And between the actors and the fans loudly advocating for this couple, there was clearly enough incentive for them to move forward with the relationship. Especially because Disney has a terrible track record of representing any minority group at all, let alone the LGBTQ+ community. But Disney resisted it all the way until the end. That said, neither Finn or Poe ended up in any clear relationship by the end of the series. So what’s to say we as the fans can’t just assume they got together anyways?

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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