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Star Wars is one of the biggest film franchises of all time, with entire generations brought up on the galaxy far, far away. This passion for the franchise is why it keeps breaking records, but like The Force there can also be a dark side to this fandom. The release of Star Wars: Last Jedi saw a ton of backlash come from the fans, who were divided on Rian Johnson's subversive sequel. Rose Tico actress Kelly Marie Tran was the subject of racist and sexist comments online, causing her to leave social media. And now the actress has reflected on this choice, as well as some takeaways from leaning into therapy.
Kelly Marie Tran got the job of a lifetime when she landed the role of Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Unfortunately, Rian Johnson's take on the property rubbed some the wrong way, and a wave of backlash arrived online. Tran recently spoke about what it was like leaving social media as a result, saying:
What's interesting to me about working in this industry is that certain things become so public, even if you don't really mean them to be, [like] the succession of events in which I left the internet for my own sanity. It was basically me being like, 'Oh, this isn't good for my mental health. I'm obviously going to leave this.'
Fame is a tricky thing. And considering the giant platform of Star Wars, it has a habit of making household names out of each new addition. Kelly Marie Tran is no exception, which is why the public noticed when she suddenly deleted her otherwise very active social media accounts. But Tran ultimately had to do what was right for her.
Kelly Marie Tran's comments to THR come from her recent interview promoting Disney's Raya and the Last Dragon. Tran is voicing the animated blockbuster's title character, in another awesome gig for her career. Eventually the conversation turned to her time in Star Wars, and the way she coped with the sudden avalanche of online hate.
Star Wars fans can re-watch Kelly Marie Tran's time in the galaxy on Disney+, which will also be the home of Raya. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
Later in the same interview, Kelly Marie Tran went on to speak about what she learned about the online hate she received. She's been open about starting therapy in an attempt to properly care for her mental health. And during those sessions she took away a big revelation. As she put it,
If someone doesn't understand me or my experience, it shouldn't be my place to have to internalize their misogyny or racism or all of the above. Maybe they just don't have the imagination to understand that there are different types of people living in the world.
Talk about an "aha" moment. It looks like the time Kelly Marie Tran took caring for her mental health has paid off, and allowed her to approach being a public persona in a different way. Because while the amount of backlash she faced after The Last Jedi was extreme, most actors unfortunately face some form of hate online. We'll just have to wait and see how Raya and the Last Dragon is received upon its release.
Following Kelly Marie Tran's departure from social media, the Star Wars fandom did end up eventually rallying around the actress. She received a standing ovation when appearing at the Star Wars Celebration, and moviegoers also took umbrage over the size of her role in The Rise of Skywalker. Now her talents are going from the galaxy far, far away to becoming a bonafide Disney princess.
Raya and the Last Dragon will hit theaters and Disney+ March 5th. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your next movie experience.