Representation and Rose Tico

Representation matters.

I know. It’s something you’ve heard a lot and it’s something you’ve heard me say more than a few times about Star Wars. Yes, the franchise has been getting better about featuring more diversity over the years from the films to the comics to the books and more but it’s hardly reached parity. That’s why I’ve been lowkey losing my mind over Rose Tico since they first announced Kelly Marie Tran would be prominently featured in The Last Jedi. (And by losing my mind, I mean excitedly hugging my friend Lin in a freezing gas station parking lot because we were finally going to see ourselves in Star Wars on the big screen.)

That excitement only steadily grew as the months passed and Kelly Marie Tran herself certainly had plenty to do with that. Her own enthusiasm for the character was practically tangible in every interview she did about The Last Jedi and she definitely seemed to grasp what a big deal she was in terms of Asian representation. Her red carpet appearance for the premiere was the first time I’ve genuinely and unironically wanted to tell someone, “Sweetie, you’re doing amazing!”

Despite all of this, I didn’t expect to cry multiple times when I saw Rose Tico on screen in The Last Jedi. Continue reading