Kelly Marie Tran Responds To Backlash Over Rose’s Small Rise Of Skywalker Role

Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
(Image credit: (Lucasfilm))

It’s been a few months, do those Rise of Skywalker wounds still sting? The final Star Wars movie in the Skywalker Saga seemed to deepen the divide between fans of the franchise. One gripe some audiences have taken with J.J. Abrams’ conclusion is the lack of Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico after making a stunning debut in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Tran’s role spanned just 1 minute and 16 seconds.

During the 92nd Academy Awards, Kelly Marie Tran was in attendance to present and sing all the words to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” during his surprise appearance. As fans pointed out, she actually had more to do during the award show than in the Star Wars conclusion. (Oops!) While she was on the red carpet, the Rose Tico actress was also asked about the “Where’s Rose?” controversy that sweeped the internet back in December. Check out her thoughts:

Last Jedi was my first movie, you know? So I think I’m finally starting to realize that when you’re in something of that caliber, there’s so many people working to make something out of love. And no matter what you do, there’s always going to be people that aren’t happy with that. But I think the best lesson that I’ve learned is just to have fun and be present in the moment. So I’m really grateful that I got to be a part of it.

How classy is this answer? Kelly Marie Tran has a level head on her shoulders about the whole thing and it really showed during this red carpet interview with MTV’s Josh Horowitz. Back when Rise of Skywalker hit theaters a couple months ago, there was a viral response to Rose Tico’s shortened role in the movie. After having one of the most quotable lines in The Last Jedi, she was reduced to a glorified extra, staying back on the rebel base while Rey, Poe, Finn and C3PO adventured across the galaxy.

Some fans took to Twitter to say Rose Tico’s role in Rise of Skywalker had them “livid”. Kelly Marie Tran was the first woman of color to star in a live-action Star Wars film and a lot of people latched on to her character’s story and wanted to see more. However, Episode IX did seek to wrap up an over 40-year franchise. Tran continued with:

I think that I’m just really amazed at the way that J.J. was able to sort of wrap up all these incredible stories. There were so many characters. And at the end of the day, I got to be apart of something bigger than me, and that’s really special.

Since the role of Rose Tico initially caused social media harassment for the actress that led to the actress leaving the platforms once and for all, it burned a bit more for fans of the character to not get to see her relevance in the franchise continue. Tran went to therapy after the online backlash for The Last Jedi that was also directed at Rian Johnson as well.

After fans spoke out about Rose Tico’s small role in Rise of Skywalker, the film’s co-writer Chris Terrio explained that her role ended up being smaller than they intended due to the difficulty with placing unused footage from Carrie Fisher in the movie.

Fan response aside, it sounds like Kelly Marie Tran is just happy she is part of Star Wars, no matter how small the role was!

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.