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May 21, 2024 15 mins

Rose Tico's loyalty, skills and love was vital to the Resistance in the 2017 Star Wars film The Last Jedi. However, when the character was introduced, she was met with a lot of online hate and criticism that had major consequences. We break down the character and the reaction to her.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Hey, this is Anny and Samantha and welcome to Steffan
ever told you a protection of iHeartRadio, And welcome to
another edition of our sub sub sub segment Fictional win
around the world. Because this is May Star Wars, stuff abounds,

and today we are talking about Rose Tycho. You can
see the episode that we did on Star Wars sequel trilogy.
I've also been thinking, Samantha, I feel like we should
have a Star Wars playlist.

Speaker 2 (00:41):
Well probably at this point that in the last of us,
like you need two separate playlists, to be honest.

Speaker 1 (00:47):
Because I think it would be interesting to hear how
I went from like pre pandemic. I don't know too
much about this Star Wars too.

Speaker 2 (00:59):
Whoa who we are? Here we are?

Speaker 1 (01:02):
I think it'd be interesting, that's fair. But we'll see
about that. We'll see about that. But we haven't talked
about this before, so let's jump into it. Rose Tycho
is played by Kelly Marie Tran and was first introduced
in mainstream Star Wars media in the twenty seventeen film
The Last Jedi. If you somehow have not heard our

past Star Wars episodes, this was and continues to be
a very controversial movie people still like fighting about it woo.
Though of note, a not insubstantial amount of things like
review bombing was carried out by Butts. Again, you can
see that past episode.

Speaker 2 (01:42):

Speaker 1 (01:43):
That being said, and we'll get into all of this.
She was forced off social media due to the sexist
and racist hate she received for this role. The character
has nonetheless appeared in the Rise of Skywalker. More on
that too, Oh comics cartoons often voiced by Trent, which
is kind of rare that the actors from the movies

will do the voices in the cartoons, but.

Speaker 2 (02:10):
She has but okay.

Speaker 1 (02:14):
The last Edi starts with Rose's sister Page dying while
fighting for the resistance. Rose works in maintenance and engineering,
and through this Workshane counters Finn, which is John Boyega's character,
and is at first in awe of him since he's
viewed as a hero due to his actions in the
previous film, but she soon realizes he's planning on what

seems to be deserting, so she's not cool with that.
She stuns him and turns him in through a series
of events that largely involve Finn trying to contact Ray,
which is Daisy Ridley's character and Poe author Isaac's character.
Not trusting the Resistance leader, they make their way to
Canto Bite, which is basically like space Las Vegas, but

it's a whole planet because that's what Star Wars does,
and I do love that to make contact with the
master Codebreaker. I could, I could explain it more, but
it doesn't matter here. So Rose at this point shares
some of her past with Finn of seeing this excess

and being underpaid and coerced people making that excess happen,
never being seen, and they free the what we shall
call space horses to make an escape. A distraction, this
is that section. People complain about that section a lot.

Speaker 2 (03:43):
To me. That is like a video game side quest.

Speaker 1 (03:46):
I get why people are mad, but like, that's so
many big action movies do that now where they have
It's like it feels like a video game. You have
to go to this place and accomplish this thing and whatever.
So the Codebreaker betrays them to the First Order, which

is the Empire uh and they are tortured. They are
able to fight their way out, but the Resistance ends
up in a really dire situation. Finn goes out to
face enemy forces and certain death, but Rose stops him,
saying that's how we're gonna win, not fighting what we hate,
saving what we love, and they kiss. Rose is injured

during this whole thing, and in a mirror of her
previous saving of Finn, Finn saves her somewhere in her healing,
they decide to remain friends. A lot of this all
happens in the comics, so I would not blame you
for big Like wait what? So once healed, Rose helps

out Leah setting up communications, and she helps Ray with
the right that Ray is trying to complete, and she
is promoted.

Speaker 2 (05:01):
Okay, all of this.

Speaker 1 (05:04):
After all of this, she starts studying the technical specs
of star destroyers and is present during the assault on Exagal,
which is like the cult planet I guess we'll say,
against the resurrected Emperor and Imperial Remnant forces. So here

quick backstory. Rose's family grew up in an impoverished mining colony.
Her and her sister were very close and they enjoyed
holodramas and racing. Eventually, the First Order, which is again
the Empire, took over their mining colony and forced the
constituents to mind materials for their weapons. Rose and her
sister Page fought against them and eventually went on to

join the Resistance officially. Soon after this, they learned that
the First Order had killed their people, Essentially, General Leah
Organa approaches them and they decide to stay and work
with her. Thanks in part to her sister's meddling, Rose
proves herself to be a really great mechanic. One of

her first experiments didn't work at first, but she kept
trying with encouragement from Leah, and when it did work,
she and her sister went out racing. Page disappeared, Rose
blamed herself and set out in search of her. She
was able to find her, in part with the help
of birds that she named squawks. Rose saved Page and
discovered the reason why their communications were jammed, which is

really really important. Eventually, Page got assigned as a gunner
while Rose worked as a mechanic, but they remained close
and they wore matching pendance. That's in the last shot out.
It's a pretty big plot point. Rose helped save star
pilot po Dammarin in part due to reading something that

her bully mocked her for. Strange. Okay, so, as we've
discussed before, there is a lot of controversy and legacy

to this character. This is a character like people love
or hate, which I find fascinating. According to The Last
Jedi director Ryan Johnson, he created Rose to be someone
who would challenge Finn because he believes that Poe, who
was originally slated to go on the whole trip to
Canto Bite, would be boring. When it came to dialogue

from Tran, Rose is not an amazing pilot or a Jedi.
She's strong in a different way, and I think that's
kind of how she holds her own. She has this
fangirl experience. Then they started realizing the two of them
have abilities that nobody else has that they could really
help the Resistance if they were to work together. Interestingly,
some have complained she was too boring, but this is

what I liked about her. I liked that she was
normal quotes, she wasn't a Jedi, and she did these
amazing things, and she picked up and she still kept going.
And she also speaks to the hope that is so
key to the series. Some of you have written in
about this, and I think it was a really salient
criticism that in a lot of movies like this, the

martyrrism is really lauded. But when she has that line
with Finn after her sister died in this like sacrificial
act at the front, she's saying like, no, we got
to survive, That's what this is for. And I thought
that was really powerful and I liked that a lot. However,
there was a huge backlash against her character that again

pushed this actress off social media and resulted in her
character's screen time being greatly reduced to one minute in
the following film, The Rise of Skywalker. Now, the writers
have said this has to do with the cost of
putting cgi Carrie Fisher slash Leo or gone in the
film because she had died. The actor had and essentially

they had a lot of scenes together, but they couldn't
achieve the quality of photorealism that they wanted with Lea.
But at this point, Carrie Fisher had died several years earlier,
and they later clarified that these were rumors and weren't true.
So hmmm, and I really hate this explanation because reportedly
Carrie Fisher was super into working with Tran, even saying

that they needed space jewelry, which was part of the
inspiration between the pentons that rose in page where, So
I don't like her getting used in this way. Another
quote from Tran. It wasn't their words, it's that I
started to believe them. Their words seemed to confirm what's
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.
Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole
life that I was other, that I didn't belong, that
it wasn't good enough simply because I wasn't like them,
And that feeling, I realized now was and is shame,
A shame for the things that made me different, a
shame for the culture from which I come from. And

to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt
it at all.

Speaker 2 (10:11):

Speaker 1 (10:11):
Also, we did talk about this in our discussion of
the Seagull trilogy. But to be clear, the creators, like
jj Abrams, kept saying how much they loved her, but
really did not do anything to prevent the harassment she
was getting online. Right, and wrote, I mean you still
wrote the story.

Speaker 2 (10:28):

Speaker 1 (10:30):
Here's a quote from nerdist. But if inspiring her to
abandon Twitter felt like a petty victory for the franchise's
least deserving fans, the choice to minimize her role in
the Rise of Skywalker gave them a much bigger one.
They won't see The Rise of Skywalker as bad storytelling,
but as vindication they were right about the character and

the actress. In spite of insisting he was grateful for
the character, even as Kelly Marie had been extraordinarily generous
to him, jj Abrams rewarded the hostile and deeply insensitive
individuals who tortured her. Yep, and I thought this was interesting.
George Lucas recently ish said about his selling of lucasfilm

to Disney, Why would I make any more Star Wars
movies when everybody yells at you all the time and
says what a terrible person you are? This this I
mean if George Lucas, the white guy creator, is like, no, thanks.

Speaker 2 (11:27):
Yeah, I'm done with y'all. Y'all are the worst. I
don't work this anymore. This is a current meme in
Star Wars.

Speaker 1 (11:32):
I don't know if you've seen it, but it's like,
we love George Lucas until we hated him.

Speaker 2 (11:37):
We love Dave Filoni until we hated him. Like it's
all right.

Speaker 1 (11:41):
It was celebrated for about two seconds, and then when
half of us disagreed, we all hate him.

Speaker 2 (11:45):
Right exactly.

Speaker 1 (11:47):
When this character was introduced, she was seen as symbolic
of all the quote woke things wrong.

Speaker 2 (11:54):
With Star Wars.

Speaker 1 (11:56):
And I've spoken before about the difference between legitimate critique
between weak writing and just being a racist, sexist whole.
The storyline this character was given in the last Jedi
was uneven. It had its strengths and it had like
really interesting ones and its weaknesses. But that's not unique
to Rose. But she's the one right that gets this reaction,
her and Ray. When I was researching this, many of

the top results were people asking, I don't get why
people hate her, and the number one response was her
plotline uselessness. So again, I think that a section people
are complaining about which does as I said, full very
video gamy to me, is not something we should blame
on the character or the actor. I've been thinking about
this a lot lately about how male writers, when they

write women, we blame the women who are playing that character.
Right as opposed to the people who write them. But
that's not generally the case for male actors in my experience,
Like we weren't coming for like po damn.

Speaker 2 (12:57):
Rin right, they were all like why would they do that?
Then the exactly.

Speaker 1 (13:04):
They didn't do him justice. They didn't do him justice.
But for women it's like, how are you actress? Who
plays her right? And yes, you can see our episode
on Mary Sues and there's this whole section. It's one
of the final it's the final chapter of every book.
It's about Mary Sues for more on this and Ray

and all the heat.

Speaker 2 (13:27):
That character got.

Speaker 1 (13:29):
Oh, this is also an issue of all of the
other material that aren't the movies. I got a disagreement
with a friend about this recently, because most people only
see the movies and maybe some of the shows, and
I totally get that. So there's a lot of other
stuff explaining huge plot points that are in aren't in
the movies, which.

Speaker 2 (13:52):
It just I have been to me.

Speaker 1 (13:57):
Like, wait, in what comic did it happen that this
huge movie plot point you explained it a comic somewhere.

Speaker 2 (14:05):
That I haven't read.

Speaker 1 (14:07):
I love the comic, So I think there's also just
a mess of that happening on the very small silver
lining side. Fans at conferences have chanted her name when
Tran appears on a panel. She does still do a
lot of the voice acting for the character, and there
are despite all this negativity, there are plenty of people

a large contingent I would say, actually love her. It's
just sad that again these terrible fans who aren't really
fans in my get such a like.

Speaker 2 (14:41):
So much space and make things worse for all of us.
The yep wow.

Speaker 1 (14:49):
I would love to know if people have thoughts about this.
If you have read the comic of which I speak,
I please point me in.

Speaker 2 (14:59):
The right place direction.

Speaker 1 (15:01):
If you would like to email us, you can. Our
email is Stephandia mom Stuff at iheartdia dot com. You
can find us on Twitter at mom Stuff Podcasts, or
on Instagram and TikTok at Stephane Never Told You. We're
also on YouTube. We have a tea public store, and
yes we do have a book. Thanks as always too,
our super producer, Christina, our executive producer, my In, our
contributor Joey, thank you and thanks to you for listening.

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