The world is buzzing in anticipation for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” to arrive in theaters next week, and we’re more curious than ever — what’s the story behind Kelly Marie Tran’s Rose Tico?
We only know a few details about Tran’s character: she’s a Resistance maintenance worker; her sister Paige is a Resistance gunner; and she’s around Resistance hero Finn, played by John Boyega, a lot. Earlier this year, writer/director Rian Johnson called her the “biggest new part” in the film.
While Tran cannot spill too many details at the moment, she answered to speculations on whether her character will be in “Episode IX” during a press junket:
“First of all, I don’t know if I’m in IX or not (Hums Twilight Zone theme) but I would like her to,” she told ScreenRant. “First of all, I really, and Rian has said this before, I think his idea behind writing this character was the idea like in many of the other films that essentially someone who is kind of this nobody, this background player, can face the challenges that come up and nobody can turn into sort of an unlikely hero. Maybe. If the story were to move forward with this character I would like to hope that we further that idea, yeah.”
Tran, a 28-year-old San Diego native, was about to give up on her dream when she landed the role of Rose Tico.
“When I turned 25, I had been at it for some years and I was struggling to pay my bills,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “I was tired. I had been working [my day job] 40-plus hours a week, plus sometimes I’d have two auditions in the day and then I would write a sketch or do improv at night, or rehearse for the next auditions the next day. So, my days, I would get up at 5 a.m. and then I wouldn’t be home until 11:00 p.m. The days were like that for years.”
As the first leading Asian American actress in a Star Wars movie, Tran doesn’t take her role lightly. After auditioning for the role in June 2015, she went back to her day job and received the news in November. She had to keep the casting a secret and told her family she was filming an indie movie in Canada.
We will learn more about Rose Tico on Dec. 15, when “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” arrives in theaters.