Rose Tico in Rise of Skywalker

‘Star Wars’ Fans Are Sticking Up For Rose Tico After Her Treatment In ‘The Rise Of Skywalker’

by Ani Bundel

It is part of the nature of Star Wars for fans to be disappointed in the new films when they first arrived. Believe it or not, some fans didn't like Empire Strikes Back in 1980. It was too dark, too depressing, and Luke's dad was who now? So there were always going to be people disappointed in Episode IX. It's tradition! And yet, some of these letdowns felt more significant than others, such as the reduced role of Kelly Marie Tran's character, Rose Tico. These tweets about Rose Tico in Rise Of Skywalker sum up how hurt fans were that her part wasn't bigger.

Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker follow.

Rose Tico was not in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was J.J. Abrams' first film in the trilogy, reintroducing the world of Star Wars to fans. She was created out of whole cloth by director Rian Johnson for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Had Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gone to a third new director as initially planned, who would have inherited all these characters equally, Rose might have fared far better. But by giving the story back to Abrams, who was far more focused on the characters he originally created, like Poe, Finn, Kylo, and Rey, Rose wound up short shafted. Instead of joining in the adventures at hand, she was left behind with Leia, where she had little screen time and fewer lines.

This might not seem like a big deal, as Rose wasn't part of Abrams' original core trio. But Rose's character meant so much, because she was the first significant character in Star Wars of Asian descent.

Also, Rose was a female character who wasn't a willowy white brunette with a British accent. She was an engineer, a grunt, a role that very few movies of any stripe cast women in, let alone Star Wars. She didn't fit the typical Hollywood mold of a romantic heroine, and yet, she was one anyway.

Moreover, The Last Jedi set up Finn and Rose as Star Wars' first significant interracial couple, which The Rise of Skywalker ignored.

And it felt like an insult to Kelly Marie Tran. The actress was harassed to the point where she left social media following The Last Jedi's premiere. Disney and Lucasfilm never acknowledged these trolls, hoping they would go away. But by reducing Rose's role, it felt like Lucasfilm was letting them win.

Even director Rian Johnson joined in on the Rose support by tweeting out a photo of Tran with the crown emoji. Hopefully, Rose Tico will live on in Star Wars novels and TV series on Disney+. Both Kelly Marie Tran and fans deserve as much.