‘Star Wars’: Did John Boyega Just Call Out Rose Actress Kelly Marie Tran?

Rose Tico is one of the most divisive characters in Star Wars. Played by Kelly Marie Tran, some found the character engaging while others felt she was pointless and dull. Sadly, Tran faced a huge, unwarranted backlash on social media because people didn’t like Rose. Tran’s co-star John Boyega recently made comments that some fans felt were an attack on Tran. Here’s what he had to say.

John Boyega | Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios

The disgusting attacks on Kelly Marie Tran

Many of the hurtful comments Tran received were directed at her race or appearance. According to The A.V. Club, Tran began to internalize these toxic messages because of the harassment she received, before ultimately rejecting them. After this backlash, she deleted her social media.

Fans are free to dislike Rose or any other Star Wars character. There is nothing wrong with expressing criticism of a movie or character online. However, this backlash clearly crossed the line into abuse very quickly. There’s no shame in Tran deleting her social media if that’s better for her emotional well-being.

John Boyega breaks silence

John Boyega in New York City | John Lamparski/WireImage

On Dec. 11, 2009, Vanity Fair mentioned the harassment to Boyega. He responded “Being in this position, you just understand the masses, how the masses think, you know. Through social media, we get to engage, we get to have fun.”

He continued, “But at the same time, for those who are not mentally strong, you are weak to believe in every single thing that you read. That’s, you know, it is what it is. I don’t know, for me anyway, when I see that [backlash], I’m like, well, that’s actually not true. But no, it is actually not true. So…it is what it is.”

Many fans were upset by these comments. Some felt Boyeaga was framing Tran as weak for deleting her social media. Others thought Boyega was framing Tran as the one with the problem, not her tormentors.

What was he trying to say?


John Boyega at AOL Studios | John Lamparski/WireImage

Although Boyega was asked about Tran’s harassment before making his comments, he insists he was not referring to his co-star. On Dec. 12, 2019, he said “In no way was I referring to Kelly when I made my comments although the interviewer mentioned her given the topic. I was really speaking from my own perspective throughout this franchise.”

He added “Sometimes I’ve felt strong and sometimes I’ve felt weak. Badly worded though. I apologize.” Some fans accepted Boyega’s apology as sincere. Others felt he was definitely talking about Tran during this interview and thought his apology was phony.

How John Boyega deals with harrassment

John Boyega in December 2015 | John Lamparski/WireImage

Boyega’s comments are notable given he’s also been targeted on social media. Specifically, he’s been attacked for being a black man in the Star Wars franchise. He told The Guardian he’s “fine” with this.

“I’m grounded in who I am, and I am a confident black man. I wasn’t raised to fear people with a difference of opinion…To get into a serious dialogue with people who judge a person based on the melanin in their skin? They’re stupid, and I’m not going to lose sleep over people.”

Online harassment is one of the most horrid aspects of the internet era. Everyone gets to choose if social media is right for them. Hopefully, Tran’s decision has helped her to avoid any further distress.