Star Wars 7 has gained Internet notoriety for many things. The opening crawl became a meme before the film was even released, and who doesn't love TR-8R? But one of the most surprising aspects of The Force Awakens to gain media popularity is a certain gay relationship, which may or may not be canon.
I'm talking of course of Finn and Poe Dameron, the ex-Stormtrooper and hotshot pilot, whose bromance has captured the imagination of many a fan.
But why do people ship this so much? Is it Poe and Finn's instant friendship, or the way their dialogue sparks? Maybe it's the fact that they share a jacket, or how when they see each other again they literally leap into each other's arms...
This relationship can be interpreted pretty much any way you want. But to many fans the strength of Finn and Poe's affection for each other implied that a romantic attraction lies beneath the surface. And for a while, it seemed like there might be some truth to this subtext...
Oscar Isaac Fans The Flames
Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron, has some very specific ideas about The Force Awakens' story. In fact, he invented a backstory for Poe Dameron that ended up becoming canon in the comic Shattered Empire. And it seems as though he had some ideas about Poe and Finn too — skip to 2:21 in this video! (Or watch the whole thing because it's great.)
"You have to watch it a few times to catch all the little hints. But there was. At least I was playing romance. In the cockpit I was playing... there was a deep romance."
But now it seems like this "romance" may have been one sided, if John Boyega's words are anything to go by...
The Tweet Which Sunk A Ship
To promote Shortlist's January issue, writer Chris Mandle has been tweeting snippets of his interview with John Boyega. And this Tweet in particular has provoked many a heated Internet debate.
To be honest, this shouldn't really come as a shock. Of course Finn/Poe isn't canon (yet) — there's nothing to support it within the film aside from Boyega and Isaac's undeniable chemistry.
Oh, and Finn is clearly crushing on Rey in Star Wars 7, though whether this will continue into an actual romantic relationship remains to be seen. Ultimately, the whole thing is rather tangled and actors' interpretations just complicate the issue. So what can we make of all this?
Calm Down, It's Only A Ship... Probably
What's odd about this is that the debate about gay ships and LGBT representation is usually confined to fandom websites. But thanks to the huge popularity of Star Wars, the Finn/Poe Dameron ship (a.k.a. Stormpilot) has been reported on a lot by the wider media. Ultimately though, it's just one interpretation of the characters which some fans enjoy.
Of course the issue of LGBT representation in Hollywood films is important, and it would be fantastic to see a gay character in the Star Wars movies (or bisexual or lesbian, etc). Even if Finn and Poe Dameron don't end up together, that doesn't mean Poe himself is totally straight. But that's beside the point.
When it comes down to the relationship itself it seems pointless to argue over which actors believe it or not: what matters is what you, the viewer, want to see. And no one decides that but you!