‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’: Fans Protest Kelly Marie Tran’s Lack of Screen Time as Rose Tico
On Dec. 26, Star Wars fans trended #RoseTicoDeservedBetter on Twitter to protest the franchise’s treatment of actress Kelly Marie Tran. In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Tran’s character had just over a minute of screen time compared to her major role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Fans of ‘Star Wars’ trended #RoseTicoDeservedBetter in support of Kelly Marie Tran
To support Tran and her character, some Star Wars fans created the hashtag #RoseTicoDeservedBetter. With the hashtag, fans cited how little screen time Rose had compared to other characters in the franchise. Fans also pointed out that sidelining Tran’s character seemed to cater to toxic fans online.
“#RoseTicoDeservedBetter she showed the people that made up the Resistance. She wasn’t force sensitive, an amazing pilot, an ex-storm trooper. Just a normal mechanic stepping up to be an unlikely hero,” a fan tweeted.
“I really hate to hate on Star Wars but diminishing Rose Tico’s screen presence after Kelly Marie Tran was relentlessly harassed online by people who disliked her character just makes it seem like the bullies won… #SWRepMatters #RoseTicoDeservedBetter,” wrote a Twitter user.
“paige tico had more screen time in the last jedi than rose did in the rise of skywalker #roseticodeservedbetter,” one fan tweeted.
“quite frankly, rose tico IS star wars. she is the common person of the galaxy, rising up in resistance and rebellion. her message of fighting out of love, not hate, is THE central theme. it’s the main lesson george lucas was trying to teach us. #RoseTicoDeservedBetter,” wrote a fan on Twitter.
J.J. Abrams praised Kelly Marie Tran
During the Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration, Abrams praised Tran, saying her character “was the greatest thing” Rian Johnson did with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
However, the director’s appreciation for the character did not come across in the movie. Slate writer Violet Kim brought a stopwatch to her viewing of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The writer found that Rose was only onscreen for 76 seconds. In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rose had around 11 minutes of screen time.
“Rose Tico got 1 minute and 16 seconds of screen time in TROS. After punching her fist through Canto Bight, saving what she loves, and being a spark of hope… she got 1 minutes and 16 seconds. #RoseTicoDeservedBetter,” tweeted a fan.
It seems like Rose was nearly written out of the franchise
With only 76 seconds of screen time, Rose was merely a cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. This completely negated the milestone of Tran’s casting in the first place, and wasted both Tran as an actress and Rose as a character.
Rose was a controversial character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Tran faced sexist and racist harassment online which led her to leave Instagram. Because of this, screen time is not the biggest issue at hand. By phasing Rose out of the final film of the Skywalker saga, the franchise gave into peer pressure from toxic fans online who did not like the diversity Tran brought to Star Wars.
“Many people have argued that Rose Tico wasn’t just sidelined in The Rise of Skywalker, but completely erased. The character Johnson set up in The Last Jedi simply didn’t exist in the trilogy’s final film,” wrote Julia Alexander in The Verge. “Whatever Abrams’ reasoning may be for not incorporating more of Rose Tico’s character, the greater discourse around the extenuating circumstances has become a bigger issue.”