Will LGBT Star Wars fans get a gay Poe Dameron?
With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens last month, fans had taken over the internet talking about the movie with its new characters like Rey, Finn, Kylo Ren, and Poe Dameron– as well as old ones like Han Solo, Lea Organa, and Luke Skywalker.
Fortunately, LGBT fans of Star Wars may have a reason to get more excited after a fan theory that posited one of the movie’s characters, Poe, as possibly gay.
Poe Dameron: Rebel pilot and queer?
Natalie Fisher of the website Hypable laid it out on the table after gathering the clues a couple of weeks after the movie’s premiere. Fisher’s jump-off point was a recent interview of the stars of the movie in The Ellen DeGeneres Show: Daisy Ridley (Finn), John Boyega (Rey), and Oscar Isaac (Poe)
During the interview, Isaac said in a response to a question by Ellen on a possible romance in the movie: “I think there’s a very subtle romance that’s happening. You know, you just have to look very closely– you have to watch it a few times to see the little hints, but there was. At least I was playing romance… In the character that I was playing, there was a very deep romance.”
Fisher noted that Isaac was assiduously being vague about the people involved in the romance angle, avoiding being pinned down when Ellen asked him about it.
As she said: “Isaac could have easily been talking about the seeds of potential romance between Boyega’s Finn and Ridley’s Rey — only really hinted at when Finn asks Rey, rather worriedly, if she’s got a cute boyfriend to get back to– and maybe turned the heat onto himself as a joke to distract from Ellen prying at the others.”
However, she noted, “If you’ve seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens already, you’ll know that, if Isaac was being serious, the romance that he mentioned playing as Poe was directed towards his male, not his female, co-star.”
“Maybe I’m reading too much into this. Maybe I’ve interpreted it wrong. Maybe this is Isaac’s idea of humor. Maybe he just has the world’s best poker face. But maybe, just maybe, there’s something in this, and if it’s real, it’s going to change everything,” she added.
Who else picked on the Poe Dameron queer vibe
As with Fisher, Joe Glass of the website Bleeding Cool also noticed the queer vibe thrown off by Poe.
After watching the movie a second time, Glass said: “I came out of the second viewing of the film not only surprised to find that I actually enjoyed it even more the second time around, but I also feel even more sure of my queer reading of Poe Dameron.”
Fisher and Glass are not the only ones who noticed the more-than-bromance going on between Poe and Finn as hordes of fans have already produced a cascading slew of ‘FinnPoe’ fan fiction, meme ships, and Tumblr art posts on the dreamed-off relationship.
One fanfiction site has already 500 stories about the two as a gay pair. As Fisher noted, “Fandom is gonna ship as fandom always ships: with the glorious, transformative disregard for canon that has always been both its greatest strength (carving spaces for ourselves that were denied to us in the narrative) and its biggest downfall (no one takes us the hell seriously).”
Will Disney allow a queer Poe Dameron onboard?
Obviously, the big question here now is: will Disney allow a queer character in one of their biggest investments ever?
Helen O’Hara of The Telegraph said, “If Poe were to be gay, it would be a true landmark, and Star Wars would be the first major Hollywood franchise to have a central, heroic gay character.”
“Very few big films have any LGBT characters outside comedies and awards-focused dramas. Even JK Rowling’s revelation that Dumbledore is canonically gay came after the films were released and was not referred to onscreen,” O’Hara added.
“But the pressure to portray humanity as it is keeps growing. Right now, filmmakers– at best– leave the question of sexuality open,” she added.
The Star Wars franchise has a choice, she noted: “There could be a financial penalty for making Poe gay, but surely Star Wars of all franchises could afford it. And there would also be a quietly powerful statement that Disney– now by some distance the most powerful pop-culture force in filmmaking– values everyone and not just the straight, white heroes of yesteryear.”
In any case, we’ll see what happens to Poe Dameron when the next episode of Star Wars rolls out!