WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
The official Star Wars Facebook account is defending Star Wars: The Last Jedi's Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran. The actress made her debut as the Resistance maintenance worker in Rian Johnson's 2017 sequel to J.J. Abrams' 2015 film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While she started out as a mechanic who also prevented Resistance members from deserting, Rose eventually worked with Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) in an attempt to shut down the First Order's tracking device aboard the Supremacy.
Finn and Rose's subsequent subplot is among the film's top contentions. The duo's adventure on the casino planet Canto Bight - which ended with the retrieval of the code-breaker DJ (though not the master code-breaker they were originally sent for), played by Benicio del Toro - wasn't what many moviegoers were expecting. And DJ's betrayal eventually resulted in catastrophic losses for the Resistance, thus leaving them in shambles. That, in addition to preventing Finn from sacrificing himself from flying directly into the First Order's battering ram on the planet Crait, is partially why many moviegoers dislike Rose in The Last Jedi. But the Star Wars social media team has something to say about that.
The official Star Wars Facebook account released a video earlier this week showing Kelly Marie Tran's audition for Rose Tico. The video garnered dozens of hate-spewing comments about Rose, but one simply said she's anything but a hero. The Star Wars Facebook account fired back and replied with the following statement:
"Prevented four Resistance deserters from stealing escape pods. Assisted in the formation of a plan that would've allowed the Resistance to escape the First Order pursuit. Persuaded a fathier stable boy to enable her and Finn's escape from Canto Bight. Conducted an essential survey of available supplies available to the Resistance on Crait. Saved Finn from an inconsequential course of action that would've ended his life. For a character who did absolutely nothing, that's impressive... most impressive."
In an interview with Variety, Tran also discussed being part of a diverse cast and bringing more representation to the Star Wars franchise, specifically to Asians who've never had a main character they could identify with.
"A lot of Star Wars fans who are specifically Asian never had a character they could dress up like, or they would and people would always call them 'Asian Rey' or 'Asian fill-in-the-blank.' I get very emotional when I see people who are able to identify with this character. That means a lot to me and I don’t think it will ever get old. It feels like a big deal because it’s so rare, I wish it wasn’t. I wish that you and I could be having a different conversation. I wish that all different types of people of all races and all upbringings were all equally represented in this industry that influences so many people. But the fact is that’s just not true, so it is important to talk about it. I’m always thinking about that little girl that never saw herself in things."
Prior to landing her career-changing role in The Last Jedi, Tran said she almost quit acting altogether. Considering how Star Wars tends to change careers, for better or worse, Tran may soon find herself with numerous other opportunities, just as Daisy Ridley and John Boyega did after The Force Awakens first hit theaters. As for her future in the Star Wars saga, Tran is unsure if she's returning for Abrams' Star Wars: Episode IX, but her character is still alive, so anything's possible. We'll just have to wait and see.
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- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019