Expect Rose To Be A Really Cool Character In Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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One of the biggest criticisms levelled at the Star Wars franchise over the past 40 years has been its lack of inclusion. Until The Force Awakens arrived in 2015, the films were largely led by white male characters, with token, white, brown-haired women alongside them – despite the story being a vast space opera set in a future filled with intergalactic senates and giant, planetary warfare. The character of Lando Calrissian was the token exception to that rule when he joined the cast in 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

The Force Awakens and Rogue One were more inclusive in terms of male characters, but women of colour were still only a marginal presence – which is why Star Wars: The Last Jedi represents some progress. Kelly Marie Tran stars in the movie as Rose Tico and while chatting with EW in a recent interview, she had the following to say about her new character:

“Rose is smart and she’s confident and she’s loyal. She’s going to be such a cool character because she’s someone who isn’t a model. She’s not a superhero. She’s just kind of an everyday person, and that’s something special about her. She’s someone who is able to face her fears in the face of adversity even though she kind of is a background player in the Resistance.”

In terms of the overall story, it’s been suggested that Rose and her sister joined forces with General Organa and the Resistance – with Rose using her skills as a mechanic – after their home was destroyed during the events of The Force Awakens. Beyond that though, and the fact that she will be undertaking a mission with Finn, little is known.

Still, this is a welcome, long overdue step forward for the Star Wars franchise – having previously relegated women of colour to background artists, or characters whose appearance is entirely augmented with CGI (such as Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata). We have, thus far, only seen white women saving the day in this galaxy far, far, away – so the arrival of Kelly Marie Tran in a pivotal role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi is good news indeed.

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