Disney has removed Star Wars’ first same-sex kiss from Singapore screenings of The Rise of Skywalker. The country has rigorous laws when it comes to how they govern LGBTQ people. As such, the brief scene was cut to adhere to Singapore’s PG-13 rating guidelines.
The unexpected kiss between two women appears near the end of the movie and lasts for mere seconds. Earlier this month, director J.J. Abrams said he included the kiss as a way to depict an LGBTQ relationship within the Star Wars galaxy without it being “heavy-handed” or tokenizing.
“The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the film classification guidelines would require a higher rating,” an Infocomm Media Development Authority spokesperson told The Guardian. They did not comment on when exactly the scene was removed. Had this same-sex kiss not been cut in all showings across Singapore, The Rise of Skywalker would have been issued an NC-16 rating, preventing anyone under 16 from seeing the film.
Same-sex marriage is illegal in Singapore, in addition to the country’s other restrictive homophobic laws. Sex between two men is punishable by up to two years in prison, and sex between two women is punishable but by an undefined length of time. Singapore refuses to acknowledge its LGBTQ people officially, as there are no statistics on how many LGBTQ people reside in Singapore, via census or otherwise.
No word yet on if Singapore demanded Leia kissing Luke, her brother, in retrospective screenings of The Empire Strikes Back was cut from theaters too. After all, incest is illegal.