For any sizeable fandom with a wide variety of characters like Star Wars, there’s always the risk of fans falling in one camp or another with regards to “character shipping,” or the romantic pairing up of characters according to fan opinion. Arguments involving different match-ups can be a common occurrence.
For the Disney-era Star Wars sequel trilogy, the “shipping wars” usually involve the “new-generation characters” Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Interestingly, the argument is whether Rey-Finn or Finn-Poe is better; that is, one of them is a guy-guy pairing with plenty of circumstantial scenes.
In 2015’s The Force Awakens, Finn and Poe form something of a strong bond after the former deserts from the First Order to help the latter escape capture. Fans who latched on to their “connection” don’t like how Finn later warms up to Rey, thus providing grounds for shipping arguments.
This isn’t helped either by statements from Oscar Isaac himself, who mentioned in a recent Q&A for The Last Jedi with BAFTA that he felt uneasy watching John Boyega doing a scene from near the movie’s ending: him kissing Resistance fighter Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), implying a newly-formed pairing.
In a move sure to spur shippers pushing for Finn-Poe, Isaac notes of the Boyega-Tran kissing scene, “Look, it was a little difficult to see my man kiss somebody else, but, you know, you gotta give up control…you got to watch some stuff you don’t want to watch some times.”
Another segment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy shipping community is also looking at the movie plot with some concern: the Finn-Rey shippers. They too have their own beef with new fans calling for Rey with Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).
While they’re somewhat relieved that Ren’s Dark-Side-fueled ambition would sour prospects of pairing him with Rey, they also see the new Finn-Rose dynamic potentially leaving the new heroine of the Force single by the time Episode IX comes in 2019.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is still running in theaters, though its last major premiere in China has been abysmal.