Star Wars is one of the biggest franchise in film history, and it therefore carries a great deal of pressure and sky high expectations. But since George Lucas' epic space opera has been passed down across the generations, the excitement for the property can sometimes go to the dark side-- just like the powers of The Force. There's no better example of this than Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which subverted fan expectations last December, and hasn't stopped being dissected since. Because the film took so many risks, it received quite the backlash-- with director Rian Johnson and actress Kelly Marie Tran being at the center of it. The latter received so much hate that she fled social media, recently opening up about this process for the first time. Mark Hamill has been on Tran's side from the jump, and posted a new message of support after her explosive New York Times op-ed broke the internet.
Mark Hamill is not here for any of the hate being thrown at Kelly Marie Tran. Because while she made history as a leading Asian character in the Star Wars franchise, her race, weight, and appearance have all been under attack since Rose Tico showed up and joined the galaxy far, far away.
Mark Hamill's recent Tweet is the latest in a line of posts the Star Wars legend has penned in support of Kelly Marie Tran. When the actress mysteriously left social media a few months ago, fans theorized that it might be due to the online harassment she'sdsuffered in the months since The Last Jedi arrived in theaters. This wasn't officially confirmed until Tran published her response yesterday, although Hamill, director Rian Johsnon, and co-star John Boyega have all written letters of support for the actress.
While The Last Jedi received plenty of criticism from the Star Wars fandom, extreme hate thrown as Rose Tico isn't something we could have predicted. The reasons for this reaction are mixed. The Canto Bight sequence is considered one of the film's weakest aspects, as it was a somewhat random distraction from the film's main narrative. Plus, it was all for naught due to DJ's betrayal, so ultimately Finn and Rose's mission wasn't integral to The Last Jedi.
Of course, there also seems to be racism factoring into the social media harassment Kelly Marie Tran suffered. Many of the trolls attacked Tran's Asian heritage-- something the actress admits affected her psychologically in the time after The Last Jedi's release. But she seems to have distanced herself from the toxic parts of the fandom, and is hard at work filming J.J. Abrams' untitled Episode IX.
All will be revealed when Episode IX arrives in theaters on December 20th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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