The Rise of Skywalker, a Kiss and Western Cultural & Literary Interpretations

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SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker featured a kiss between Kylo Ren and Rey. It wasn’t romantic or sexual, Rae Carson’s The Rise of Skywalker novelization revealed.

You may ask: What? How can a mouth-on-mouth kiss not be romantic?

As it turns out, most kissing is not romantic-sexual. And Western culture and literature have understood it to be the opposite.

So The Rise of Skywalker Didn’t Reflect Western Cultural And Literary Interpretations.

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Ben Solo & Rey kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. (photo credit: Disney)

In a study published in American Anthropologist, researchers William Jankowiak, Shelly Volsche and Justin Garcia took a look at 168 cultures across the globe. They discovered that the majority of those cultures do not do “romantic-sexual” kissing.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find willing, tender lips in parts of Central and South America, or in sub-Saharan Africa,” The Daily Beast’s Lizzie Crocker wrote, covering the study.

So Kylo And Rey Were Approaching Their Kiss Like The People Of Djibouti Would.

As the kiss wasn’t romantic or sexual, so is that reality.

Actually, socio-sexual ethnographers didn’t see any sensual lip-to-lip touch whatsoever among sub-Saharan Africa, New Guinea and Amazonian “foraging” peoples, Crocker added.

Additionally, the authors of the study deduced that “the romantic-sexual kiss is neither a human universal nor near-universal” and connect the misinterpretation to “Western ethnocentrism,” Crocker wrote.

“Ethnocentrism” means “the attitude that one’s own group, ethnicity, or nationality is superior to others,” according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

“Given how rampant kissing is in Western culture and literature, it makes sense that we would misinterpret the expression as a universal impulse,” Crocker wrote.

Also, hunter-gatherers are mostly impartial to making out. Researchers discovered a meaningful link between culturally cosmopolitan, first-class populations and an inclination to make out.

Further, the research supported prior studies that discovered that a few civilizations view kissing as strange or not permitted. Others, like the Mehinaku ethnic group in the Amazon, believe it’s simply disgusting.

“For those of you who think kissing is overrated—for those who sympathize with the Mehinaku tribe of Amazonia and think it’s downright disgusting—don’t believe the movies: most people in the world agree with you,” Crocker wrote.

It’s good that The Rise of Skywalker didn’t reflect Western cultural and literary interpretations. As awesome as Western culture and literature are, the world is bigger than that. And Star Wars, in all seriousness, should be a gift for the whole world, not just the West. (Because it’s meant to be enjoyed, and if we forget that, watch a child play Star Wars or watch the toy commercials.)

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