‘The Rise of Skywalker’: There May Only Be 1 Frustrating Thing Star Wars Fans Agree On

Once again, the Star Wars fandom is divided over The Rise of Skywalker. Some fans love it, finding it a thrilling conclusion to a nine-film saga. Other fans are severely disappointed, thinking the series finished with a half-baked mess that is deathly afraid to take any risks. 

Star Wars fans don’t agree on a lot these days, but one thing some can agree on is that Rose Tico was unfairly sidelined. After The Last Jedi created the new character, The Rise of Skywalker seemed to go out of its way to keep her offscreen. 

‘Rise of Skywalker’: What happened with Rose? 

The cast of The Rise of Skywalker
The cast of The Rise of Skywalker | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran,  was an integral part of The Last Jedi. She is a mechanic working for the Resistance whose sister dies heroically in the bombing run that opens the movie. She meets up with Finn, who is trying to get off the ship to find Rey, and she thinks he’s deserting. 

He explains the situation when it becomes apparent that the First Order is tracking the Resistance through hyperspace, something that had been thought to be impossible. Poe, Rose, and Finn figure out that the tracker can be disabled, but to do it, they have to find a codebreaker in an interstellar casino. Along the way, Finn and Rose kind of/sort of develop a romance. 

Rose is invited to go along on the mission of Rise of Skywalker, and she explains she can’t because she has to stay at the base to be liaison to Leia. The Verge clocked Rose’s screen time in the movie, figuring out that she’s onscreen for less than two minutes. Many viewers took note of her absence and cried foul, thinking the film was trying to appease racist trolls who chased Tran off social media. 

How do the filmmakers explain her relative absence?

The Rise of Skywalker filmmakers contended they had no nefarious motives. “One of the reasons that Rose has fewer scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie Fisher’s footage in the way we wanted to,” co-writer Chris Terrio explained. “We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia.

Carrie Fisher’s unexpected death soon after the completion of The Last Jedi hobbled the last chapter, because Leia was supposed to play a significant part. To bring her back, the filmmakers repurposed footage with her that had been shot but not used for The Force Awakens. Terrio contended the CGI required to make the scene work wasn’t strong enough. 

Critic Amy Nicholson didn’t buy that, writing on Twitter, “I hate that I’m even weighing in on this, but Carrie Fisher passed away 9 months before Chris Terrio and JJ (Abrams) were hired to write STAR WARS. Do they….not think we can fact check nonsense about being forced to scrap scenes they wrote for Leia and Rose?  Terrio later walked back the claim. 

Editor admits the movie was rushed

One of the reasons that Rose got mostly cut out of The Rise of Skywalker may be because the movie was being edited and reshaped up until the very last possible moment to make the December 20 release, according to IndieWire, who quoted editor Maryann Brandon.

She said the filmmakers had three fewer months to work than they had on Force Awakens, so the production was rushed. 

That may explain why Tran talked about there being scenes between Rose and Rey before the movie was released, but when the movie came out, those scenes were gone. The simplest explanation for Rose’s absence may be that much of her footage got cut out. 

“We were definitely still trying to figure out a lot of stuff,” Brandon said about the time crunch. “It’s a struggle. It affected everything.” 

It has been suggested that there could be #justiceforRose if Disney+ would have a series with her as the central figure. If Cassian Andor, a character from Rogue One who had a much lesser impact, can get a series, why not Rose?