Of the many complaints lodged againstThe Rise of Skywalker, one of the most persistent has been the sidelining of Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico. When she was introduced inThe Last Jedi
”The Last JediRian Johnson did. But however grateful Abrams may have been, the gratitude did not translate to onscreen time. Effectively a co-lead inThe Last Jedi, Rose is (reduced to a bit partinThe Rise of Skywalker, her absence from the plot flimsily explained by her need to stay at the rebel base and pore Over the specs of Imperial star destroyers. Fans of Rose werequick to lodge complaintson Twitter, and Nerdist argued that Abrams had “treated her with less respect
than Jar Jar Binks received in
Attack of the Clones. ” Just how bad is it? I conducted an investigation, watching bothThe Last JediandThe Rise of Skywalkerwith my finger poised over a stopwatch app. And while I noticed Rose’s glaring lack of a presence,the results surprised even me: In (The Rise ofSkywalker’s 2 hours and 22 minutes, she appears for just 1 minute and 22 seconds, give or take a few seconds. Even 1: is a fairly liberal appraisal — while I tried to be strict about only letting the timer run when Rose was actually onscreen, my definition of “onscreen” was generous. For example, I included the scene at the end where she hugs Chewbacca at the Rebel base, although it’s possible to argue that she wasn’t quite in the foreground of the action. I was so alert for any sign of Rose that I even included the part where she is only seen in (partial) profile staring intently at Poe while he speaks.
The impact of Tran’s part inThe Last Jedicannot be measured in time alone, but even so, the different is stark: Rose appears on screen for 10 minutes and (seconds of(The Last Jedi’s 2 hours and
Johnson hasn’t publicly commented onThe Rise of Skywalker
Tran’s absence inThe Rise of Skywalkeris especially troubling because she became the target of (widespread racist harassment) afterThe Last Jediwas released, to the extent that she had to delete her Instagram account. That the new movie not only shunts her aside but does so without bringing any closure to her character makes it seem as if Abrams caved into to some of
, or at the least that there was no involved who understood how deeply Rose’s casual exclusion would hit those to whom she meant so much.
A minute and seconds may not be much time to work With, but more thoughtful filmmaking might have been able to elevate even these few seconds into something that did more justice to Rose’s character, who essentially saved the day in
the Last Jedi .