It may be a galaxy far, far away, but the introduction of its first female and first black protagonists in Rey and Finn makes The Force Awakens more recognizably real than most movies set on Earth.
Yup, Star Wars has always been on its game when it comes to racial and gender diversity, which makes it even more of a faux pas that LGBT characters have been pretty much non-existent in its vast universe so far.
Except... maybe they haven't.
As you can see, Tumblr — ie. that weird and (sometimes) wonderful corner of the Internet where everything is gay in somebody's eyes — has been hard at work 'shipping Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), The Force Awakens's two next-gen male leads.
At this point you might be thinking "wait, I watched this film and at no point did I see Finn and Poe share a caramel macchiato at Starbucks while bonding over their mutual appreciation of Taylor Swift," and you'd be right — but according to Isaac himself while talking to Ellen Degeneres, a few seeds were sown, albeit in a subtle way...
You could call it a new hope for those who've been waiting 40 years to see something like this happen, but then you'd have made a terrible pun and you'd have to spend some time in the naughty corner.
You can watch Oscar Isaac and cast-mates talking to Ellen right here:
The "Pinn" (or #PoeFinn) movement started long before we really knew anything about the story of The Force Awakens, thanks to this small but potentially meaningful moment from one of the trailers...
Even in these five seconds taken from Poe and Finn's reunion at the Resistance Base, there are enough hints dropped to keep the Tumblrverse busy for the next 18 months: the unnecessary physical contact, Finn's prolonged look back at Poe, and the fact that Finn is wearing his friend's jacket.
I mean, how often do you share clothes with your bros?
Here's what the believers have to say about it...
And here's some beautiful fan art made by somebody with a lot of talent (and a lot of time):
Even Rey is totally 'shipping Pinn, you guys.
Obviously people will see what they want to see, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that J.J. Abrams has identified Dameron as a gay character, even if there's about as much chance of Pinn happening as there is of Hayden Christensen leading a Hollywood franchise ever again.
And though you might think it's fantasy, in a movie like this, guaranteed to find an audience in every corner of earth, an LGBT character is a pretty big deal.
Star Wars has always touched on issues bigger than space; it's always been about human interaction at heart. Maybe in Episode VIII another force will awaken.
(THE GAY FORCE)