“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” features the series’ first-ever lesbian kiss, a fleeting moment during a celebratory sequence. While many LGBTQ fans criticized how brief the moment was, it was apparently still too much for some international theaters.
Censorship authorities in both Singapore and the United Arab Emirates cut the lesbian kiss from the new “Star Wars” film.
In Singapore, authorities say Disney cut the kiss in order to avoid a higher age rating. Without the kiss, the movie scored a PG-13 rating. Lesbian relationships are legal in Singapore.
In the UAE, homosexuality is illegal, along with any sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage. The country has previously banned movies that focus on LGBTQ plotlines, such as “Brokeback Mountain.” It has also censored large chunks of other movies; for example, around 40 seconds were removed from “Black Panther” and a full 45 minutes were cut from “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Most cuts are related to sex, profanity, drugs, and religion.
It’s thought that the UAE’s censorship of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” “will be replicated across the Middle East,” The Hollywood Reporter reports.
It’s not clear whether Disney cut the lesbian kiss scene in other countries.
However, the kiss definitely made it through censors in China, which has a history of censoring LGBTQ representation in films. The country banned “Brokeback Mountain” and “Call Me By Your Name,” for example. It has removed same-sex kiss scenes from some films, while keeping others. Chinese censorship authorities have “recently eased up” on censoring queer content, NBC reports.
The lesbian kiss scene in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is the first same-sex kiss in all 42 years of the “Star Wars” franchise. The brief moment takes place toward the end of the movie between two minor characters. Moviegoers report that it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene.