Monday, December 30, 2019

Chris Terrio Explains Why Rose Tico Is Barely In 'The Rise Of Skywalker'

By: Dominic Jones

As the finale (for now) to the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker gets a lot of things right (the final show down between "all the Sith" and "all the Jedi", for instance).  It also gets several things wrong (Rey being a Palpatine is, in my book, a huge misstep).  And while most of these distinctions will fuel fan discussions for decades to come, one area where the film undeniably gets it wrong in a way doesn't lead to fun debate or fan theories is how underused the character of Rose Tico is.

Rose was a main character in The Last Jedi, who best summed up one of the many lessons of the entire Star Wars saga in one line when she said, "that's how we win, not fighting what we hate, saving what we love."  Sadly, in The Rise of Skywalker, she is left out of the main adventure and reduced to a tertiary character (at best) with, according to Slate, only 76 seconds of screen time in the entire film.

What makes this even worse, however, is the treatment Rose actress Kelly Marie Tran received from certain "fans" following The Last Jedi, whose racist and sexist comments led to her deleting her social media presence. Tran struck back later in 2018 with a powerful New York Times editorial about the harassment she received and her place as an Asian-American woman in Hollywood.  And many hoped that her involvement in The Rise of Skywalker would serve to rebuff some of the negativity she received following the previous film.

While neither Tran nor director JJ Abrams has yet to comment on any of this, The Rise of Skywalker co-writer Chris Terrio did explain the thought process behind leaving Rose out of the main adventure in the film, while also revealing that more was shot with the character but those scenes wound up on the cutting room floor.

Terrio told Awards Daily,

"Well, first of all, J.J. and I adore Kelly Marie Tran. One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie’s footage in the way we wanted to. We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together. 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. 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 favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia."

As a fan of the character, it's hard not to be disappointed by her reduced role in the film.  And honestly, Terrio's answer does little to change that feeling.  What happened to Tran was a low point for Star Wars fandom, and it would have been so satisfying to see the character in a prominent role once again.  And while I hope to see those deleted scenes with Rose on blu-ray or Disney+ release of the film some day, it doesn't change the fact that the character was basically given nothing to do in the final release of the film.

Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now!  You can read our review here, and listen to three different podcasts we've produced about it here, here, and here!

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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