One of the more polarizing characters of THE LAST JEDI was Kelly Marie Tran‘s Rose Tico. The spunky technician and Resistance fighter played a significant role in Rian Johnson‘s film, helping John Boyega‘s Finn track down a code breaker. While many loved Tico’s feistiness and determination others considered her a boring and forgettable character. Sadly some fans took their displeasure of Tran’s character to the extreme, issuing racist threats against the actress online and eventually forcing her off social media.
Regardless, one thing is for sure about Rose Tico’s character and THE RISE OF SKYWALKER – her role is very limited. With a grand total of just one minute and sixteen seconds of screentime, fans of Tran and her character felt betrayed. Not surprisingly, fans soon took to social media to voice their displeasure with the hashtag #RoseTicoDeservedBetter trending several days ago. A main focal point of that displeasure was screenwriter Chris Terrio. The Academy Award winner (ARGO) co-wrote THE RISE OF SKYWALKER with director J.J. Abrams.
Despite the declaration by many fans that Tran’s Rose was “sidelined” in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, Terrio insists there was no malicious intent. In fact the cause of Rose’s limited role had more to do with Carrie Fisher‘s General Leia than anything else:
“One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie [Fisher]’s footage in the way we wanted to. We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together. As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for. Those scenes unfortunately fell out of the film. The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly — so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”
While I understand Terrio’s reasoning, I don’t necessarily agree with him. Seems like a like of backpedaling to me. I don’t see how a principal character like Rose has to be an anchor for Leia. From my perspective it would have made more sense for Billie Lourd’s Lt. Connix to be the anchor or perhaps Dominic Monaghan‘s Beaumont Kin. It just seems passing strange that Tran’s Rose Tico would get less time in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER than her sister Paige had in all of THE LAST JEDI. Especially since she was so integral to the plot of the last film.
Despite the lack of screentime in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER, fans of Rose Tico’s character may be in store for more of the feisty Resistance fighter. CRAZY RICH ASIANS director Jon Chu proposed a Rose Tico television show to Disney+ just last week. Although the possibility of a Rose Tico show is probably small, one can hope. At the very least I’m sure Tran’s character will pop up in numerous novels and comics.
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is in theaters now.