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This obscure ‘Star Wars’ character is suddenly a queer reaction meme

The 'Rise of Skywalker' alien Klaud is going viral thanks to a joke about the franchise's first same-sex kiss.


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 24, 2022   Updated on Feb 24, 2022, 11:20 am CST

The first same-sex kiss in Star Wars was kind of a flop.

Grabbing headlines during the release of The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kiss starred two background characters, taking place during the film’s closing montage. As an example of queer representation, many fans found it rather disappointing. Three years later though, it’s inspiring a weird yet delightful meme.

This meme has nothing to do with the couple doing the actual kissing. Stemming from a viral tweet, it’s all about the couple’s co-star Klaud, a slug-like alien who works as a mechanic for the Resistance forces:

“All acts of queer love should immediately be followed by a slug monster reaction,” @PinkRangerLB added in a follow-up tweet.

Klaud is one of those obscure Star Wars characters who is functionally a background extra, but has an outsized impact in fandom because he’s memorably goofy-looking. And yes, he does appear in the same montage as The Kiss—although this Twitter user misremembered his role. We actually see him before the (extremely brief) kiss between two Resistance women, and then the camera cuts to some other characters.

So while the concept of a slug-monster reaction shot feels—how do we put this?—spiritually appropriate for Disney’s attitude to queer representation, it didn’t actually happen. That being said, it’s very funny. And so the “live Klaud reaction” meme was born, riffing off the widely-derided live Tucker reaction memes starring conservative TV host Tucker Carlson.

Live Klaud Reaction is quickly picking up steam in fandom circles this week, coupled with queer/trans Klaud memes in general. A fitting legacy for this absurd moment in Star Wars canon history.

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*First Published: Feb 24, 2022, 8:08 am CST