Kelly Marie Tran’s character, Rose Tico, occupies just one minute and 16 seconds of screen time in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.’ That’s about 10 times less than what she got for her ‘Star Wars’ debut in ‘The Last Jedi’.
It’s also comparable to what her sister received before dying in the opening sequence of Episode VIII.
But amid mounting criticism surrounding Tran’s limited material in the epic finale, ‘Rise of Skywalker’ screenwriter Chris Terrio says her demotion wasn’t purposeful, as some have suggested.
In a new interview with Awards Daily, Terrio defended Rose’s reduced storyline, blaming the situation on narrative issues and scenes with Carrie Fisher’s General Leia — revived in the latest instalment via archive footage.
“As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for,” he said Sunday. “Those scenes unfortunately fell out of the film. The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly — so much so that we anchored her with our favourite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”
Fans and critics alike were displeased with Rose’s barely there presence in the film, especially considering the toxic response to her introduction in ‘The Last Jedi.’ Some have accused ‘Rise of Skywalker’ director JJ Abrams of pandering to online trolls who infamously forced Tran off social media after attacking her with racist rhetoric and harsh critiques of her character.
Tran is Vietnamese American and the first actor of Asian descent to play a major role in a ‘Star Wars’ film.
Abrams’ treatment of Rose has been one of the leading complaints about the tepidly received sequel, which has courted backlash for undoing much of the work of ‘Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson. Johnson has continued to field nasty comments from the famously finicky fandom for his unconventional approach to the ‘Star Wars’ formula.
‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ is screening in the UAE.