Rose Tico, played by actress Kelly Marie Tran, was a prominent character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Journeying with Finn to spearheaded rebellion efforts, she was one of several arguing points from divisive fans of the movie. And now in the final movie of the trilogy, The Rise of Skywalker, Rose had only about a minute of screen time. While fans accused the writers of bending to racist online “trolls” for this movie, one Star Wars writer explains the reasoning.
Chris Terrio, co-writer for The Rise of Skywalker, explained that many of Rose’s scenes were shot with Leia. But after the death of Carrie Fisher, CGI needed to be utilized for these scenes, and the result was not what they were hoping for. Terrio stated:
We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. 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. I do think that TROS shows Rose changing, growing, evolving. Rose begins her journey in TLJ as just about the lowest person on the Resistance totem pole. In TROS, Rose is at the right hand of the general, working on military plans and helping to call the shots.”
Kelly Marie Tran faced enormous online hate, racism, and harassment after Star Wars: The Last Jedi. She eventually left social media altogether, sadly having to hide at a time that should have been a victory for non-white actors starring in blockbuster movies. Many viewers that disliked the movie lashed out at everything in sight, leaving fans that did enjoy it shocked. While this divisive base is no longer surprising for The Rise of Skywalker, it is disheartening to see a bend to the hate. Rose could have been in many scenes with Finn as he assisted the rebels’ efforts. It also would not have been hard to simply have Rose travel with our main group of heroes throughout the movie as they went from planet to planet.
Perhaps these deleted scenes will be included as bonus features for The Rise of Skywalker home release. For now, it seems like Rose’s story was simply dropped.