Audiences have reported that a same-sex kiss between two female Resistance members seen near the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been cut from showings in the Middle East while the scene surprisingly remains intact in China.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, several people who spoke to the outlet following showings of the latest Star Wars film in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, noted that the kiss was not present during their screenings. While the UAE is considered more tolerant and liberal than most countries in the region, it is believed that this cut will be used throughout the Middle East, where some countries still consider homosexuality to be outright illegal.
THR reached out to “Disney representatives and the regional distributor of Disney titles” for comment, but as of writing has yet to receive a response.
Conversely, audiences reported that the scene was left untouched during showings of the film in Beijing and Shanghai. This came as a surprise to many, as China has a notorious history of censoring depictions of same-sex relationships, removing said content from or outright banning films such as Brokeback Mountain, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Alien: Covenant.
However, another Disney production, the 2017 live-action remake of The Beauty and The Beast, was also shown in China with its quick depiction of homosexuality between Le Fou and an unnamed man left intact.
Abrams previously enticed fans with this representation, noting that it was “important” to him that LGBT fans felt “represented in the film.”
However, like Avengers: Endgame and the aforementioned The Beauty and the Beast, the LGBT representation found in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ultimately amounts to nothing more than a ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” moment much to the disappointment of LGBT fans.