Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker has been met with middling reviews and significant backlash over its treatment of Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico. The character was introduced in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi and marked the first major role for a woman of color in the Star Wars films. However, in The Rise of Skywalker, her screen time was severely limited, and fans aired their grievances on social media, pushing hashtags like #RoseTicoDeservedBetter and #JusticeForRose.
One such person was director Jon M. Chu, who even went so far as to offer his services for a standalone Rose Tico series for Disney+. On Twitter, Chu wrote, "OK, Disney+. Put me in coach. Let's make this series happen."
Chu, who previously directed films like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Crazy Rich Asians, wasn't the only one calling for the streaming service to give Rose Tico her due onscreen. Prior to his tweet, the idea of a Rose Tico-centered show was being talked about by several fans who believed she deserved a more satisfying end than what The Rise of Skywalker had to offer.
Disney, the solution is simple:— Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) December 26, 2019
Give Rose Tico her own Disney+ show. Eight episodes. New adventure. Love interest. Story fleshed out.
From the perspective Star Wars needs: the working-class everyperson winning by saving what we love. pic.twitter.com/735snv3p2X
I think that of all the sequel trilogy characters, Rose Tico deserves a second life on Disney+. The Last Jedi did so much good with her character that a subset of fans raged about, so The Rise of Skywalker, in response, kept her from contributing at all. #RoseTicoDeservedBetter— Ant 🎄🎄🎄Gremlins is a Christmas Movie (@AGramuglia) December 26, 2019
ROSE TICO (Disney+ Series 2021)— Rob (@RobCabrera) December 26, 2019
After leaving an ungrateful Resistance behind, Rose Tico sets out on a personal journey to liberate every slave in the galaxy with sass, blasters & space horses. #RoseTicoDeservedBetter pic.twitter.com/uHpyLdJaBZ
According to Slate's research, Tran's Rose Tico only appeared in The Rise of Skywalker for 1 minute and 16 seconds of its 2 hour and 22 minute run time, which was a stark decrease from the 10 minutes and 53 seconds she had in The Last Jedi's 2 hour and 32 minute run time.
Fans were furious about what the role reduction meant for the character's story line in The Rise of Skywalker — or lack thereof.
rose tico deserved to be a main character. she deserved to lead the fight against the ones who ruined her childhood. she deserved to avenge her sister. she deserved to get the recognition she owns for her devotion to the resistance. pic.twitter.com/ETwwNFPnNk— emma ✨ ia (@forcepiIots) December 20, 2019
FIFTEEN LINES. Rose Tico got fifteen lines in The Rise of Skywalker. She deserved better than that. Kelly Marie Tran deserved better than that after what trolls on social media put her through. This is unconscionable. #JusticeForRose #TheRiseOfSkywalker pic.twitter.com/ACwOFlZ9CM— Stephen Tinsel 🎅🌟🎄🎁🔔🕯️❄️☃️👼🏳️🌈 (@StephenTissell) December 22, 2019
Many fans shared concerns that the limitation of Rose Tico's presence in The Rise of Skywalker may have been related to the intense harassment Tran received online after appearing in The Last Jedi — in 2018, Tran famously deleted her social media page after being bullied online by trolls, who attacked her with malicious comments about her race and gender. Tran later penned an op-ed for The New York Times about the decision, writing, "Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was 'other,' that I didn't belong, that I wasn't good enough, simply because I wasn't like them."
they really did rose tico and kelly marie tran so dirty in tros. cant believe a massive movie franchise got bullied by internet trolls and let it get it to them.— layla (@ratphoria) December 23, 2019
Aside from trying to just "nah nevermind" all of TLJ, @jjabrams owes a huge apology to Kelly Marie Tran. Caving to the worst trolls on the internet and erasing Rose Tico is absolutely shameful. #StarWars— doubled2520 (@doubled2520) December 22, 2019
The idea of a standalone Rose Tico series being a good fit for Disney+'s original content plans is not without precedent, of course. Disney+ recently aired the first season of its new Star Wars series The Mandalorian, which was met with much fanfare, and the service will also soon introduce a Rogue One prequel series and an Obi-Wan-centered series, both of which feature original Star Wars film actors returning to their roles.
Disney+ did not immediately respond to TV Guide's request for comment.
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