Another Controversial Film
Well, it's safe to say that Star Wars fans have had strong opinions since the first film cane out in 1977, but with the advent of social media, those complaints and praises have become amplified to astounding levels. With the release of the final film in the Skywalker Saga, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, that divisiveness in the fandom is once again at the forefront of nerdy internet discussion.
While the professional reviews have taken a dive after the critical darling The Last Jedi, many regular fans have their own issues with the film as well.
Where Was Rose Tico?
After The Last Jedi, actress Kelly Marie Tran faced a racist backlash online that was so intense that she quit social media and wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about her experience. Her character, Rose Tico, was introduced to the saga in the second film, and many fans were delighted by her everywoman charm and hoped to see her take on a more substantial role in The Rise Of Skywalker.
Unfortunately, Rose ended up being largely removed from the action, getting only one minute and 16 seconds of screen time in the 2 hour and 22 minute film. Fans voiced the displeasure on Twitter with the hashtag #RoseTicoDeservedBetter.
The Screen Writer Explains
The frustration became so prominent in the discourse around the film that Rise Of Skywalker screenwriter Chris Terrio addressed the backlash. He explained to Awards Daily that he and director J.J. Abrams "adore" Tran, but that they were written into a corner because Tico's planned storyline was linked to General Leia.
Terrio explained that they ran into technical difficulties in recreating the deceased Carrie Fisher for all of the scenes that they had hoped for.
"One of the reasons that Rose has a few less scenes than we would like her to have has to do with the difficulty of using Carrie Fisher’s footage in the way we wanted to.
We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together … 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."
Some Fans Are Speaking Out
Terrio continued, claiming "The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly — so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia."
Does this explanation feel sufficient? Considering the points made by people on Twitter, signs point to no.
"the treatment of rose in tros sends the message that if you, as a woman, do your job as an actress...and men don't like it and proceed to attack you online, the writers of the next movie will listen to that and totally erase you from it. what the f*ck?! #RoseTicoDeservedBetter"
"quite frankly, rose tico IS star wars. she is the common person of the galaxy, rising up in resistance and rebellion. her message of fighting out of love, not hate, is THE central theme. it's the main lesson george lucas was trying to teach us. #RoseTicoDeservedBetter"