Singapore cuts same-sex kiss from Star Wars movie 

Moviegoers dressed as Star Wars characters take a selfie picture before entering inside the cinema hall to watch "The Rise of Skywalker" at a mall in Beijing on 20 December, 2019. (AFP Photo)

A brief kiss between two women in the new "Star Wars" movie was cut from the version released in Singapore, local media said.

"The Rise of Skywalker", the conclusion to the nine "Star Wars" films that stars Daisy Ridley, was released in the Asian city-state on Thursday.

The film contains a brief scene where two minor female characters share a kiss – but the moment is omitted in the version screened in Singapore, according to Yahoo Lifestyle SEA.

The news site reported on Friday that the women were seen embracing but not kissing.

A spokesperson from Singapore's media regulatory agency told Yahoo and other local online media that a short scene had been cut from the release, but did not specify which one.

"Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker has been rated PG13 for theatrical release in Singapore," the spokesperson said.

"The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the Film Classification Guidelines would require a higher rating."

Highly conservative

The agency did not immediately respond to enquiries from the media. 

Under the guidelines, films containing LGBT themes or content as a subplot may be restricted to viewers aged 18 and above, while films focusing on homosexuality may be hit with a 21-and-over age rating.

Although open support for gay rights has grown in recent years, official attitudes towards homosexuality are often highly conservative in Singapore.

Sex between men remains technically illegal under a colonial-era law, albeit one that is not actively enforced.

The scene in "Rise of Skywalker", the first same-sex kiss in the franchise's history, was hailed as historic by some, but the fleeting moment between two peripheral characters was criticised as tokenism by fans hoping for greater LGBT representation.

Disney did not immediately respond to enquiries from international media. - AFP