‘Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker’: Why Are Fans Debating Kelly Marie Tran’s Role (Rose Tico) in the Film?

The ninth and final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy premiered on Dec. 20, 2019, and fans have a lot to discuss. Critics are rating The Rise of Skywalker a 56% while audience reviews are much higher, at 86%, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

One thing fans are currently fighting over is whether or not Kelly Marie Tran’s role as Rose Tico should have had more screen time in the film. Let’s take a look at what happened to Tran after The Last Jedi, and what viewers say about her role in The Rise of Skywalker

Kelly Marie Tran
Kelly Marie Tran | Samir Hussein/WireImage

What happened after Kelly Marie Tran starred as Rose in ‘The Last Jedi’?

Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) is a rebel mechanic in The Last Jedi who meets Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). She then becomes part of a mission with Finn. She was the first Asian-American woman to play a significant role in a Star Wars movie. 

Tran has a supporting actress role in the movie. She was not in the first film in the prequel trilogy, The Force Awakens. For her work in the second movie of the trilogy, she received three nominations for awards. She was nominated for Best Female Newcomer for the Empire Awards, Best Supporting Actress in the Saturn Awards and Choice Breakout Movie Star in the Teen Choice Awards.

However, after all of the praise and success for her role, she received racist online attacks from people who did not like her character. The harassment was so terrible that Tran left Instagram and took down all of her posts. Director Rian Johnson, as well as co-stars Boyega and Mark Hamill, defended Tran.

Some fans are horrified by the small amount of screen time Tran has in ‘Rise of Skywalker’

After having a significant role in The Last Jedi, fans were shocked that Tran’s character plays a small part in The Rise of Skywalker. She has very few lines and does not go on the primary mission with Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe, and Finn. 

Some believe that she has less screen time because of the adverse reactions to her character in The Last Jedi

“There’s a lot to like and a lot to dislike in #TROS, but no matter how you feel, can we agree Rose Tico deserves better?” asked one Twitter user

Fans took to Twitter to complain that Tran should play more of a significant role in The Rise of Skywalker

“The way they did Kelly Marie Tran’s character dirty after all the backlash and racist harassment she received in TLJ making her character—a main part of the cast to a mere extra with two lines—is very sad,” tweeted another viewer. “Rose Tico deserved better.”

Many fans were offended that Rose was not part of the main cast in The Rise of Skywalker

Other fans disagree—stating that Rose was never a main character in ‘The Last Jedi’

No one should ever suffer from harassment the way that Tran did after The Last Jedi. However, fans argue that does not mean she should get more of a role in the next movie.

“Rose was never a main character because all the main characters were set up in The Force Awakens, which Rose did not appear in,” countered one fan. 

The Force Awakens was the first movie in the sequel trilogy. Fans believe that Rose is not an integral part of the plot.

“I think a lot of people let their liking for and defense of Kelly Marie Tran blind them to the problems with her character,” added another viewer. “I have nothing against Ms. Tran, but her character was ultimately pointless and useless to the story. And Rise of Skywalker needed her presence even less.”

It sounds like fans cannot agree regarding whether or not the character of Rose should be more involved in the plot in The Rise of Skywalker. At least they all agree that she was treated harshly online following The Last Jedi. Will Tran be in another Star Wars movie? We will have to wait and see if she is part of the new film slotted for 2022. Until then, let the fans continue the debate.