No spoilers in this post, I promise, but can we talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi? Specifically about Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran? There are some people who weren’t into Rose and Finn’s part of the story. That’s one of the things the fanboys are complaining about, in addition to the humour (seriously). I have no complaints about Rose and Finn but, then again, I’m coming at Rose from a different perspective.
My cousin, Cat, and I grew up sharing Star Wars. We lived about an hour away from each other at the time and I’d only be allowed to sleep over at her place once a month or so. We were obsessed with Star Wars. Back then, for us, there was no seeing the movie 8 times in one week and there was no internet to fuel your obsession by yourself, in your bedroom, on your laptop. Our immigrant parents also weren’t about to go out and buy us every collectors’ item that the Star Wars franchise produced. All we had was the viewing of the movie and our time together afterwards, reliving the details and crushing on Luke Skywalker. It was her dad who took us to see Return Of The Jedi. That was when we decided we needed an ewok, they were so cute (even though a “true” Star Wars fan is now supposed to hate ewoks). I can’t imagine how annoying we must have been – around 8 or 9 years old – but I don’t remember Cat’s dad, my uncle David, denying us much that afternoon.
I couldn’t imagine, until just this weekend, what it would have been like for us, two Asian girls – around 8 or 9 years old – if we’d have been in the theatre and being able to see a face that was similar. This is why I have no complaints about Rose Tico. And no complaints about how Rose Tico’s story, specifically, was about how the world of Star Wars, and the Force, is welcoming those who were never invited to be part of the original. That kid with the broomstick lightsaber at the end? Rose and Finn are who he knows and remembers. An outsider brought in another outsider. As corny as it sounds, it felt like Rose was bringing in me and Cat.
Two years ago, Kelly Marie Tran wasn’t even sure if she’d stick with acting. She had student loans to pay, the opportunities simply weren’t there, and then Rose Tico happened.
A few days ago, Kelly went for coffee with some friends. Over at a nearby table, a group of people were analysing Star Wars. And they started talking about her. This is what she posted:
Rose Tico > BB-8.
Yours in gossip,