When Kelly Marie Tran made her debut in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the lowly Resistance mechanic Rose Tico, she represented several things rarely seen in a Star Wars film: she was the first woman of color to play a lead in a Star Wars movie and she was the first character in the main feature film franchise to give a voice to the countless victims of the war raging throughout the galaxy far, far away. In a sci-fi franchise about princesses and smugglers and chosen heroes, Rose Tico was the normal civilian who rose to be a hero and articulated the overall message of The Last Jedi: “That’s how we’re gonna win. Not fighting what we hate. Saving what we love.”
But in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Rose was all but missing from action. Barely acknowledged by Finn, her presumable love interest with whom she had just gone on a planet-hopping journey, and reduced to looking at starship plans for two hours, she was badly sidelined in the movie (apparently due to technical troubles). But Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu has a solution: a Rose Tico TV show on Disney+. And he is offering to direct it.
Jon M. Chu is joining the masses who are decrying the sidelining of Rose Tico. The director of Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights has long been a supporter of diverse stories and creators, and he recently used his clout to show support for a character who had been the target of extreme, often racist, vitriol.
“Ok @disneyplus. Put me in coach. Let’s make this series happen,” Chu tweeted on Friday, adding the hashtag #RoseTicoDeservedBetter before tagging the @starwars handle.
— Jon M. Chu (@jonmchu) December 27, 2019
Nothing has come from Chu’s call to action yet, except for the tweet going viral and sparking another wave of sympathy for Tran’s character. Director J.J. Abrams‘ co-writer Chris Terrio lamely explained that the reason Rose was pushed to the background of The Rise of Skywalker was because of the “difficulty” in creating the CGI for General Leia Organa out of archival footage of Carrie Fisher. But Terrio didn’t address how the extreme racist backlash to Rose in the aftermath of The Last Jedi got so bad that Tran left social media — backlash that The Rise of Skywalker team inadvertently validated by sidelining Rose Tico. However, Disney could still make good if they gave the character a Disney+ TV show of her own — perhaps in the vein of the fan art that popped up in response to Rose’s absence from The Rise of Skywalker merchandise and marketing.
It wouldn’t be the first time characters from the Star Wars films made the transition to TV: Rogue One‘s Diego Luna is reprising his role as Cassian Andor in a Disney+ series, and there is of course the impending Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series starring Ewan McGregor. Tran is a talent waiting to be unleashed, and she would shine on Disney+, which would hopefully give Rose the justice she deserves.
Source: Slash Film