Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker featured the first on-screen inclusion of members of the LGBTQ+ community in a Star Wars film. As it turns out, the LGBTQ+ community was no represented in the movie in the film's Chinese release. A new report has surfaced, indicating that Disney and Lucasfilm had to cut the brief moment from the end of Episode IX as a means to avoid getting a more mature film rating in the Singapore market. China is a major player at the international box office, so a ore mature rating may have hindered families from getting out to the theaters together, prompting Disney to seemingly act in favor of safely hauling the box office dollars.
“The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the film classification guidelines would require a higher rating,” a spokesperson from Infocomm Media Development Authority said. More specifically, the scene was cut in the Singapore market. In Singapore, same-sex marriage is illegal and sex between men is considered a crime which can land participating parties in jail for two years.
Films in Singapore are classified under six different ratings similar to those of the MPAA: G, PG, PG13, NC16, M18, and R21. In Singapore, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is rated PG13 and may have been bumped up to NC16 or M18 if the scene were to have remained. Previous U.S.-made films to feature same sex activity had previously been rated R21 despite earning a PG-13 rating Stateside.
“In the case of the LGBTQ community, it was important to me that people who go to see this movie feel that they’re being represented in the film,” Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams said in an interview earlier this month. “...I will say I’m giving away nothing about what happens in the movie. But I did just say what I just said.”
While this Rise of Skywalker scene will be the first canonical LGBTQ moment in a Star Wars film, it certainly is far from the first in the franchise. Multiple Star Wars novels have introduced gay and lesbian characters in recent years, including confirming that Bea Arthur's Holiday Special character was a lesbian. The animated series Star Wars Resistance also featured a canonically gay couple earlier this year.0comments
Disney has not commented on the censorship.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20th.