One of the screenwriters of newest Star Wars installment The Rise of Skywalker finally addressed the backlash about the lack of screen-time given to Kelly Marie Tran’s character, Rose Tico.
The character — and actress — received a plethora of abuse, particularly from alt-right trolls, after the release of the previous offering, The Last Jedi. Many fans saw the limited screen-time as a concession to the critics. However, Chris Terrio, who co-wrote The Rise of Skywalker along with director J.J. Abrams, suggested otherwise in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The character Rose Tico first made an appearance in The Last Jedi as a lowly mechanic who loses her sister at the start of the film. Some vocal fans did not connect with the character, and Kelly Marie Tran received so much negativity that she was forced to delete her Instagram account.
Many supporters of Rose Tico were accordingly curious about how her character would be treated in the next movie, considering the backlash she received. However, those who were rooting for Tran were disappointed that she received fewer than two minutes onscreen.
Terrio insists that the decision was purely due to editing, and that she had filmed several more scenes that did not make it to the final version.
“There were a couple of scenes that we shot with Rose that I wish had made it to the final cut,” Terrio explained.
“But it’s the nature of the process that certain scenes fall out of the film, and I very much respect the difficulty of the decisions J.J. had to make — especially given that I know for a fact that J.J. adores and respects Kelly and would have loved to keep every second he shot with her in the film.”
Terrio added that he felt as if Rose Tico showed character development in other ways, as she was now shown to be one of the leaders of the movement despite her humble beginnings.
However, many fans of the new trilogy voiced their disappointment with the decision, and the hashtag #RoseTicoDeservedBetter went viral on Twitter.
“Quite frankly, Rose Tico IS star wars. she is the common person of the galaxy, rising up in resistance and rebellion,” voiced one fan in a tweet.
So internet trolls bully Tran off of social media after The Last Jedi, and now #RoseTicoDeservedBetter is trending. Maybe the internet could just stop treating women so badly to begin with! https://t.co/rRvxvdHpi2— Tom D'Angora (@TomDangora) December 26, 2019
"Star Wars" fans are tweeting #RoseTicoDeservedBetter to support Kelly Marie Tran. She was the 1st woman of color to get a lead role in the series, but quit social media after racist and sexist harassment.— AJ+ (@ajplus) December 26, 2019
She had only a minor role in the new movie. pic.twitter.com/BtBbWvXOFd
Other Twitter users suggested giving the character her own spinoff show on Disney’s new streaming platform, Disney+.
The disapproval over Rose Tico’s character is not the only criticism leveled at The Rise of Skywalker. The movie, which currently has a 54 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was also slammed by Jake Cannavale, who stars in Star Wars’ spinoff The Mandalorian. As reported by The Inquisitr, he claimed that the film was the “worst” and a “failure.”