One of the criticisms of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—the latest and allegedly last entry in the so-called "Skywalker Saga"—is the lengths that director J.J. Abrams seems to have taken to reverse everything from the last movie. Rian Johnson&aposs Star Wars: The Last Jedi so divided audiences that some huffy, misogynistic fans went so far as to edit out every scene with a female character advancing the plot.
Without getting into spoilers, one seemingly inexplicable change is the near-absence of Kelly Marie Tran&aposs character, Rose Tico. Tran had a major role in The Last Jedi, and racist Star Wars fans were so incensed by her presence that they harassed the actress until she left Instagram entirely. Describing the harassment in the New York Times, Tran wrote, "Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories."
With Tran&aposs greatly diminished role in Rise of Skywalker, it seemed like the studio had caved to that same pressure. But in an interview with Awards Daily, screenwriter Chris Terrio claimed that her scenes were cut because of technical difficulty with CGI. Tran was supposed to appear in scenes alongside a Leia, portrayed by a digital version of Carrie Fisher, who died three years ago. "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," he said.
But, according to Terrio, the technology flopped: "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. 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."
That explanation may not satisfy some of the critics who think that Abrams and Disney wronged Tran by cutting her role so significantly. But John M. Chu, director of the 2018 hit Crazy Rich Asians, has a solution to make things right. On Friday, he called for Disney to give Rose her own spin-off, à, la The Mandalorian. "Put me in coach," he tweeted. "Let’s make this series happen."
Originally Appeared on GQ