Kellie Marie Tran, the actress that portrays Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi was forced off of social media due to fan backlash, much of it directed towards her race and gender.
I contend that Rose Tico is the mirror Star Wars fandom needs to find itself again. I will explain.
When we first meet Tico, she’s doing her job in the bowels of the Rebel ship as it tries to make its escape from the First Order. She catches Finn as he tries to slip away and reminds him, as any true believer to a cause should, what he’s fighting for.
You see, Tico wholeheartedly believes in the way things were much like the fandom believes that only the original trilogy is truly Star Wars, even though all the movies are truly Star Wars.
Star Wars is more than Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, and Jedi Knights. It’s more than one story arc, which is what we’re seeing in the Episodes, what Disney refers to as Saga Films.
(Rogue One and Solo aren’t considered Saga Films even though they tie directly into the events (Rogue One) and characters (Solo) who are in the Saga Films.)
You see, Rose Tico wants Finn to be a hero. As the audience does. She expects him to be a hero by virtue of his presence on the Rebel ship. She wants a hero of old, like a Luke Skywalker, like a Han Solo, to help save the day and fight the First Order.
One of the unfair comparisons I’ve seen from fandom is how Finn doesn’t stack up to Han Solo or Luke Skywalker, chiefly because of his skin color. That is, of course, the laziest of reasons to dislike a character in existence. I’ve also seen such comparisons between Harrison Ford’s Solo and Oscar Issac’s Poe Dameron that are just as unfair.
Rose’s idea of what a Rebel fighter should be have been colored by the stories that she grew up on. (That WE, the audience, grew up on, as well) of what a Rebel fighter should be. She epitomizes fandom in the Star Wars universe.
Rose Tico is the mirror held up to fandom, a fandom that railed and attacked Star Wars: The Force Awakens for a multitude of reasons, not the least being Finn, the Black Stormtrooper (lazy reasoning from racists), Rey, the so-called “Mary Sue,” (I see their point. I don’t agree with it.) and the plot which was an almost straight rehash of Episode IV: A New Hope. (Agreed).
I feel Rose is there to remind fandom that, while not everything, or everyone, is exactly like it was when we were kids, there is enough of those elements in place to keep Star Wars really special to all of us for long time to come.
Give Kelli Marie Tran a break will ya? She did a good job. If there are faults with The Last Jedi, it comes from the script and not her performance. Leave her alone and stop being dicks to people.
Fan reaction like this proves that no one likes change on ANY level. Anyone who knows even a little bit about Star Wars knows that there were always meant to be 9 films. With the exception of the most recent two films – the ones you point to as the Star Wars Saga films (appropriately called in my opinion) – George Lucas was involved with the writing. This is his baby. His creation. I find a lot of the time fans feel that they can dictate what happens in a series/saga of this size and get pissy if they don’t get their way.
True, no one likes change, but for Star Wars to survive for future generations, it must change and adapt to the current social and political climate. Back in ’77 it would’ve been unheard of to have a black stormtrooper or an Asian woman. Heck, the only reason we even had a woman in the original is because Lucas needed a princess to be rescued in the first place.
These days audiences want a more nuanced approach to their stories. The children who lapped up the original trilogy have grown up and “joined a larger universe” to quote Obi Wan Kenobi.
It’s time our stories grew up with us.
Well to be honest, my friends and I absolutely hated her, because of how she pushed Finn away from causing an explosion: Absolutely no one knew Luke would appear and save the entire Resistance. She would have gotten everyone killed because of the ideal that “You have to save the things you love instead of killing those you hate”. However, I love Star Wars for putting that character in. The thing is, I believe that a female character is not a feminist icon because she is perfect, but because she is realistic and relatable. I read it on Times Magazine that Hollywood needs to make male characters to female to promote gender equality, but I think it should not be the case. I think Hollywood needs to write female characters with their own personalities, they make mistakes, they have their passion and flaws. The movie should be about their growth instead of how they save the day. One of my favorite example is Jules Ostin from The Intern. She has her own online business, a modern marriage with its own problems, she cares about details and want costumers to “feel like opening a present when they receive the clothes”, and she was a skeptic dealing with interns. That is a character we can love and feels like is a real person to learn from.
I am sorry this comment is all over the place. Long story short, I still cannot forgive Rose Tico for stopping Finn in the final scene, but I love her for unapologetically being herself, making her own judgement and isn’t afraid of following her beliefs. I think she is the realistic (female) character that we need to see on the silver screen. I don’t know if it makes sense, but I am glad someone bring her up in the discussion.
Thank you for your comment. Sorry it took so long for me to approve it. I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff of late and blogging has taken a backseat to it.
Thanks again for the comment.