It has been a difficult time for the Star Wars fandom but it has been even more difficult for actress Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, as a great disturbance was felt in the Force when a group of online trolls corrupted her social media accounts with a torrent of abuse, spreading faster than the Millennium Falcon making the Kessel Run.
Following months of harassment from the vitriolic group of so-called Star Wars fans, the Vietnamese-American actress deleted all of her Instagram posts, presumably in a bid to fight back against the toxicity and hatred, though Kelly has yet to speak publicly on the matter. Regardless of whether cyber bullying motivated her decision to leave the photo-sharing platform, her departure has served to expose the full extent of the racist and sexist abuse that she has been unfairly subjected to.
But as we all know by now, light always overcomes darkness, thus we wanted to share our support for Kelly and her Star Wars character, who played an important part in Episode VIII. So, grab your lightsabers and channel the force into celebrating Rose Tico in our examination of her defining moments in the franchise.
Rose Fights For What Is Right, Not What Is Easy
Growing up in the shadow of the First Order, Rose has developed the deepest desire to defeat the military faction, fuelled further by the demise of her sister, Paige, who served as a gunner in the Resistance. Yet, in true rebel form, she maintains a genuine spirit and optimistic outlook as she actively tries to make the world a better place by doing what is right, not what is easy.
Aboard the Raddus, the plucky maintenance engineer prevents four Resistance deserters from stealing escape pods and stuns Finn with an electro-shock prod, despite being awestruck by his status as a “Resistance hero”, after she catches him trying to leave. However, once she learns more about the situation, she uses her extensive knowledge of mechanics to assist in the formation of a plan to shutdown the star cruiser’s tracking device so it can escape into hyperspace undetected.
Further on in their mission, Rose and Finn infiltrate the First Order accompanied by a shady computer hacker named DJ who demands a down payment for his services. With little hesitation, Rose offers her medallion, which is similar to the crescent-shaped pendant her sister clutched onto prior to her untimely death. Although this piece of jewellery holds great meaning to her, this gesture proves that she will stop at nothing to help to save the Resistance and defeat the opposition.
Rose Inspires A Spark Of Hope In The Galaxy
Rose and Finn’s excursion to Canto Bight may have been a failure from a mission standpoint, but they were successful in planting a new seed of hope within the stables of the coastal casino town. As the two Resistance fighters attempt to evade the police force, they encounter a small, grubby-faced boy tending to the fathiers, who are kept in captivity and exploited for their speed in the city’s racetracks.
Later on, we discover that Rose bestowed her Resistance ring to the young stable-hand, Temiri Blagg, as a symbol of hope for a new generation who may eventually join the alliance. In the movie’s closing moments, we return to the outskirts of the gambling resort and the camera focuses on the child, who grabs his broom with the power of the Force and then uses it as an imaginary lightsaber while the Millennium Falcon jumps to lightspeed above him.
Rose, in particular, understands what it means to be that kid, having grown up on an impoverished mining colony, which was once stripped of its resources and tested with weapons operated by the First Order. Trapped in a similar situation, the slave boy clearly treasures the ring, and consequently hope is very much alive in the galaxy.
Rose Saves Finn’s Life While Risking Her Own
During the major war between the First Order and the Resistance on the salt-covered planet Crait, Poe assesses the risks and places mortality over victory, ordering his squadron to retreat back to base in their high-powered ski speeders, but a hot-headed Finn charges ahead in the hope that his impending sacrifice will destroy their rival’s battering ram cannon.
However, at the very last moment, Rose saves him in an equal act of heroism, which leaves her severely injured at the scene. Before losing consciousness altogether, she teaches Finn an important lesson as she explains that the Resistance won’t win by fighting the things they hate – they will win by saving what they love.
Bearing in mind that Rose lost her sibling, who was perhaps the most precious person in the galaxy to her, right at the beginning of the movie, it is admirable that she still manages to find room in her heart to move forward in battle honourably, pushing back against the evil forces without allowing a thirst for revenge to cloud her judgement.
And for a character that was heavily berated by some, we think that’s impressive… wholly impressive.