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Fans of Rose Tico were dismayed that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sidelined Kelly Marie Tran’s character (with the filmmakers unable to provide a consistent or coherent reason as to why). But Tran has not publicly commented on her character’s screen time (or lack thereof) in the film one way or the other. Until now.
Speaking with MTV News on the Oscars red carpet, Tran was quite gracious and diplomatic about her character’s limited screen time in The Rise of Skywalker, letting the media outlet know that what really matters to her was being part of something special.
“Last Jedi was my first movie, you know? So, I think I’m finally starting to realize that when you’re in something of that caliber, there’s so many people working to make something out of love,” Tran said. “And no matter what you do there’s always going to be people that aren’t happy with that. But, I think that the best lesson I’ve learned, is just to have fun and be present in the moment. So, I’m really grateful that I got to be a part of it.”
When asked if she was satisfied with how her part ended up in the movie, Tran neither confirmed nor denied any disappointment, but instead offered this equally diplomatic (yet evasive) response: “I mean, I think that I’m really just amazed at the way that [director] J.J. [Abrams] was able to sort of wrap up all these incredible stories. There were so many characters, you know? And at the end of the day, I got to be part of something bigger than me and that’s really special.”
Check out the Q&A below.
Following her appearance in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Tran — the first actress of color to have a leading role in the franchise — was subjected to racist and sexist online harassment from toxic fans, which led her to delete her Instagram posts and write about the experience in an op-ed in the New York Times. In the theatrical release of the follow-up film, J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker, Tran’s character Rose was given a minute and sixteen seconds of screen time. This led to the hashtag #RoseTicoDeservedBetter to trend on Twitter.
Though, Tran was right about being part of something that’s really special. And Rose Tico definitely has a big fanbase. Hey, perhaps Disney+ could take Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu up on that offer to helm a spinoff series?