When it comes to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the unimpressive conclusion to Star Wars’ ill-fated sequel trilogy, there are many issues that really divided the audience. Even today, almost two years after its release, it still stands as the benchmark on how not to make the conclusion to an already crumbling trilogy. Of all the issues that it is still criticized for, one of the major ones is the severely diminished presence of the talented actress Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico after The Last Jedi faced severe online backlash from toxic Star Wars fans. But turns out, Tran amazingly dealt with the unnecessary hate and the unjustified removal of her character.
Kelly Marie Tran debuted as Rose Tico, a Resistance mechanic who is an inspiring soul with a big heart, in Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Throughout the film, her arc was a significant part of the film and established her as a prime character as she survived the Battle of D’Qar and joined forces with Finn to fight the First Order. It was obvious that she was going to have a more important role in The Rise of Skywalker. But then the Vietnamese-American found herself on the receiving end of a major backlash for playing the character and a shockingly diminished role in the conclusion to the sequel trilogy where her presence was even less than two minutes.
But while many are still majorly disappointed with the backlash she was unnecessarily subjected to and Star Wars’ decision to cut down her role, Kelly Marie Tran holds no such grudges. In a recent chat with Collider, the actress shared that while the events undoubtedly affected her at the time, she eventually learned to not invest too much into expectations and just living in the moment. She explained that an actor never really has control over how the story plays out and thus, the best she can do is not focus on her expectations and “try and be present in the experience.”
While Kelly Marie Tran could have easily remained bitter over her experience as a part of the Star Wars franchise, she prefers to see it from a positive perspective where she has only moved forward in life, from doing sketch comedy, improv, and indie theater to starring in a Star Wars film and now, garnering praise for voicing Raya, the lead character in Disney’s Raya and The Last Dragon.
“It’s nonsensical. It’s miraculous, nonsensical, magical stuff that, for me, I just want people to know and believe that you might go through certain times in your life that are hard and difficult, but coming out on the other side of that and having your support group and being with people who believe in you, there’s nothing like it in the entire world. And I think for me, moving from the Star Wars experiences to then going to Raya has been absolutely miraculous. Raya for me is about celebrating the parts of myself that as a child I was taught that I should hide and what a poetic healing experience that has been,” she added.
Kelly Marie Tran’s extensive resume in a short period of time is proof enough that instead of obsessing over her experience with Star Wars fans and how her character was wrongfully axed down in The Rise of Skywalker, the talented artist has continued climbing the ladder of success. We have already seen her in the TV series, Sorry for Your Loss, opposite Elizabeth Olsen, wherein she garnered immense praise for her portrayal of Jules Shaw, a recovering alcoholic. Apart from voicing Raya and The Last Dragon, she also gave her voice to the character of Dawn Betterman in The Croods: A New Age. She is also an executive producer on the highly-praised documentary Lily Topples the World as well as on Carlos López Estrada’s upcoming film Summertime.