A brief moment shared between two background characters in the new Star Wars was cut from the film in Singapore.
Fans viewing The Rise of Skywalker in theaters missed out on the franchise’s first so-called attempt at LGBTQ representation as a rushed kiss between two female characters was censored by Singapore’s media regulatory body, The Guardian reported on Tuesday.
According to The Guardian, the movie was censored in order to keep its rating at a safe PG-13 since films containing LGBTQ themes or content have to be rated for audiences 18 years or older.
In Singapore, sexual intercourse between men is punishable by up to two years in jail although the same doesn’t apply for sex between two women. The nation inherited its anti-gay laws from the British Empire after it was colonized in 1819.
Censorship of this kind is still prevalent in countries that heavily crack down on homosexuality and don’t allow same-sex marriage such as China, Russia, and Dubai.
Just last year, the romantic drama Call Me By Your Name was pulled from the Beijing International Film Festival as it tells the story of a 17-year-old boy who falls in love with his father’s intern during one summer in Italy.
Surprisingly, The Rise of Skywalker kiss made it into Chinese theaters uncensored. However, the scene was removed from the movie in Dubai, according to The Hollywood Reporter, even though the city poses itself as a regional entertainment hub for the Middle East.
The infamous kiss had already received criticism from fans of the franchise, who criticized Skywalker’s director J.J. Abrams for scant representation of the LGBTQ community throughout the series, according to media reports.
Although Abrams teased the brief moment in an interview with Variety where he claimed that members of the LGBTQ community were going to feel represented with the latest edition of the Star Wars series.
However, critics pointed out that the kiss was too little too late as it was shared briefly between two insignificant characters in the film.
Read up on our recent coverage of The Rise of Skywalker: