Despite lack of screen time, Kelly Marie Tran “grateful” for Star Wars role

There aren’t many things Star Wars fans collectively agree on, but most can admit that The Rise of Skywalker is one of the franchise’s most polarizing films, second only to its predecessor, The Last Jedi. And one of the most controversial aspects of the final movie in the Skywalker Saga has been the nearly nonexistent role it gave Rose Tico. This character inspired some heated discussion since her introduction in The Last Jedi, with some fans going as far as to bully actress Kelly Marie Tran over her inclusion in the new trilogy. And given how little screen time Tran had in the final installment, some fans have criticized J.J. Abrams for leaving her out, suggesting that the role may have even been reduced to please the enraged fanboys calling for her exclusion.

Whatever the reason for giving Rose almost no part to play in the final film, many fans — particularly those calling for more diversity in the Star Wars franchise overall — were disappointed with the decision to bench her. But it appears that Tran is taking the high road, expressing only gratitude when asked about Rose’s lack of screen time in The Rise of Skywalker on the red carpet at the Oscars this past weekend. “I mean, I think that I’m really just amazed at how J.J. [Abrams] was able to sort of wrap up all of these incredible stories,” she told MTV.

That doesn’t seem like a direct answer, but we can respect Tran wanting to remain neutral over the whole thing. “There were so many characters and at the end of the day I got to be part of something so much bigger than me, so that’s special.”

It’s also true that, with such a large cast of characters, many of those who appeared in The Rise of Skywalker didn’t receive the in-depth endings fans had hoped for. Even still, it seems the filmmakers could have written in a few more lines for the character Rian Johnson spent so much time developing in The Last Jedi.

If there is one thing Tran took away from making these movies, however, it’s that you can’t please everyone. “Last Jedi was my first movie, so I think I’m finally starting to realize that when you’re in something of that caliber, there’s so many people working to make something out of love, and no matter what you do, there’s always going to be people who aren’t happy with that,” she said. Unfortunately, that seems doubly true when it comes to Star Wars.

Tran isn’t the only cast member being asked about some of the criticisms fans had of The Rise of SkywalkerMTV also asked Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) if he was surprised by the divisive reaction. “Not really, you know, it was the same on the movie before that as well,” he said. “It means a lot to people.”

He also broke out some dry humor when asked if he thought the criticism was justified. “Yeah, look, was there some crying in the shower? Yes.”

He also says he wanted to kill The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda when he saw its face, which we can’t agree with but everyone’s got to live their truth, you know?

Finally, MTV asked Last Jedi director Rian Johnson what he thought of The Rise of Skywalker, and Johnson had only nice things to say. “I had a blast, man. Made me so proud seeing the heart and soul that J.J. [Abrams] put into it.”

And seeing my friends who were in the movie just, like, bring the whole thing to a conclusion. Yeah, for me as a Star Wars fan, it was a really special experience.

So people are keeping it classy all around, give or take a joke or two about Baby Yoda’s death.

Next: VFX reel for The Rise of Skywalker

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