The Rise Of Skywalker Co-Writer Explains Kelly Marie Tran’s Tiny Role

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After dividing fans with 2017’s The Last Jedi and last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm seemed determined to deliver a more straight-ahead crowd-pleaser with The Rise of Skywalker—but it seems that they failed. While the film has received some praise from fans and critics, several aspects of Episode IX have inspired widespread criticism. For one, admirers of The Last Jedi have taken issue with Kelly Marie Tran’s (Rose Tico) tiny (roughly one minute) role in the film. Asked about this controversial decision, co-writer Chris Terrio offered a somewhat credible explanation linked to Carrie Fisher’s posthumous presence in the film.

“First of all, J.J. and I adore Kelly Marie Tran,” he told Awards Daily. “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’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. 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 favourite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theatres now. Check out the trailer below.