Kelly Marie Tran, one of the newcomers in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, does not know if her character Rose Tico will appear in Star Wars: Episode IX. In their Disney era, Lucasfilm has become known for their penchant for secrecy, keeping crucial bits of information about their films under lock and key. Many will recall that they did not unveil the final cast list for Episode VIII until long after The Force Awakens had opened in theaters, which was an act on their part to preserve the shocking surprise of Han Solo's death. Going by that, it was reasonable to presume that would be the plan for Episode IX - even before the creative team was massively overhauled.
Initially, production on the sequel trilogy finale was set to begin next month, but that was before original director Colin Trevorrow left the project due to creative differences with Lucasfilm. Force Awakens helmsman J.J. Abrams returned to the galaxy far, far away to finish what he started, co-writing a new screenplay with Oscar-winner Chris Terrio. As a result, Episode IX will now begin production in June 2018 so it can meet a December 2019 release date. Because the script is still being written at this point in time, even the actors involved with the series have no idea if they'll be back.
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While sitting down with Screen Rant during the Last Jedi press junket, Tran was asked where she wants to see Rose go in the sequel. In a display of PR savviness, Tran claimed she didn't know if she was in Episode IX before elaborating on her hopes:
"First of all, I don't know if I'm in IX or not (Hums Twilight Zone theme) but I would like her to. First of all, I really and Rian has said this before, I think his idea behind writing this character was the idea like in many of the other films that essentially someone who is kind of this nobody, this background player, can face the challenges that come up and nobody can turn into sort of an unlikely hero. Maybe. If the story were to move forward with this character I would like to hope that we like further that idea, yeah."
It would be a bit unexpected if Rose was one-and-done, considering she has the most significant role out of all the new Last Jedi characters. She is accompanying Finn on an important mission that sees the two (with BB-8) travel to casino city Canto Bight and infiltrate a First Order Star Destroyer. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has stated Rose is someone he's very excited for audiences to meet, so if she becomes an instant fan-favorite like Rey, Finn, and Poe before her, Abrams would certainly want to use the character in his film. Despite having an unfamiliarity with Star Wars, Tran is very enthusiastic about joining the Lucasfilm family, and would most definitely be game for another go-around if called upon.
There is, until the studio officially confirms an Episode IX ensemble, a sliver of a chance Rose dies in The Last Jedi. As can be seen in the third act of Rogue One, Lucasfilm isn't averse to killing characters off if the narrative warrants it. It didn't matter that the spinoff's K-2SO and Chirrut Îmwe (among others) earned raves; their time in the films had to be short-lived. Depending on what Johnson came up with, something similar could be in store here, although the safer money is on Rose living to fight the First Order another day.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018