Among the many controversies that have kept the new Star Wars trilogy afloat in conversation is Kelly Marie Tran’s character of Rose Tico. She became a fan favorite to some and the target of hate to others following the release of Rian Johnson’s polarizing The Last Jedi. But 2018’s To All The Boys breakout star Lana Condor was close to being the one to deliver Rose's lines on the big screen.
Before nabbing her iconic role as Lara Jean Covey on the Netflix hit, Lana Condor was in the running for Rose Tico. So much so that she actually met with John Boyega for a chemistry read. Here’s what the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before star recently revealed:
This was before The Force Awakens came out, and they were already reading for the sequel. He was eating Sugarfish, and I had a meeting to just get to know him. I remember looking at him and being like, ‘He has no idea what’s about to happen to his life. He is going to be the lead in Star Wars. That is so cool.’ And then he blew up overnight.
Whoa! Before The Force Awakens hit theaters and John Boyega likely said goodbye to casually hanging out at sushi joints, Lana Condor met up with him as part of the casting process for The Last Jedi. Finn and Rose spent a good part of Episode VIII together, so one of the last passages into nabbing the part was making sure the two could click with audiences on screen.
Obviously Kelly Marie Tran got the role and Lana Condor didn’t, but the 22-year-old actress has a level head about the whole thing. In her words to StyleCaster:
Had I done Star Wars, I wouldn’t have been able to do To All the Boys, so that’s an example of one door closes and another opens.
Lana Condor got to lead her own romantic comedy that went on to become one of Netflix’s biggest hits ever. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before became a phenomenon that put her on the map, and her co-star, Noah Centineo, quickly became the internet’s boyfriend. She’s since made a recently-released sequel To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You and has already filmed the end to the trilogy, Always and Forever, Lara Jean.
The actress is likely kind of happy she’s not in Kelly Marie Tran’s shoes either. The actress received so much online hate for her role as Rose Tico in The Last Jedi that she quit social media and went to therapy. It was her first theatrical movie, though. Lana Condor’s first big-screen role took place on 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse when she appeared as Jubilee. (By the way, she’s completely down to play the mutant again, Disney.)
Following the backlash toward Rose Tico, the Star Wars character was given just one minute and 16 seconds of screen time in The Rise of Skywalker. Lots of fans of the character protested her tiny presence in the movie, but Kelly Marie Tran explained being “really grateful” just to be a part of the franchise.
Despite Lana Condor’s initial Star Wars rejection, she’s got a bright future of her own. If you're curious about what movies are arriving in theaters later this year, look through our 2020 release schedule.