The final film features a small kiss between two unnamed women.

The final film in the current Star Wars saga features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kiss between two women in the Resistance. The kiss has garnered both praise and criticism, praise for being the first same-sex moment in the films, and criticism for how minor the characters involved are.

Speaking to MovieZine, JJ Abrams defended the decision, saying: “It just felt like in this one scene of celebration, it felt like an opportunity to show [a same-sex kiss] without it being heavy-handed or making too loud of a deal.

“Sort of part of the whole experience was to see a same-sex couple have a moment together that was explicitly saying in this galaxy, everyone is there and is welcome.

“It doesn’t matter your sexual preference, your race, your species, whether you’re organic, whether you’re synthetic — Star Wars is for everyone.”

JJ added: “And knowing that there hadn’t been a representation like that, it doesn’t take away from anyone. It just shows that Star Wars is for all of us.”

Despite the kiss being so minor, with it even passing Chinese censors, areas in the Middle East and Singapore have removed the scene. A spokesperson from Singapore’s media regulatory body told the BBC the scene was cut so the film could retain a PG-13 rating in the country.

“The applicant has omitted a brief scene which under the film classification guidelines would require a higher rating,” they said.

Although the kiss had its many detractors, one of its defenders was Daisy Ridley, who played Rey in the recent trilogy.

Speaking to Newsround, after attending the film premiere with John Boyega and two of his lesbian friends, she said: “To see an initial reaction for someone who hasn’t been represented properly, seeing how that really made people feel, was awesome!”

Related: Disney confirms these two Star Wars characters are a gay couple