‘Star Wars’ Fans Got ‘Rose Tico Deserved Better’ to Trend on Twitter… But Did She?

Now that the Star Wars sequel trilogy has wrapped we can say, with certainty, that it is absolute garbage. Just awful. I didn’t even mention this in my review, but the new movie has a scene where the Millennium Falcon crew is stuck in quicksand and then the droid gets pulled under and they’re all like “BB-8!” because they’re worried the robot will suffocate.

Still, perhaps the worst of the five new movies Disney has made is The Last Jedi. There’s a good reason that The Rise of Skywalker didn’t really pick up any of the plot threads left from that film, but Rose Tico, played by Kelly Marie Tran, made a strong impression on fans. Many of those fans were disappointed that instead of being the hero who blows up the Death Star like Lando Calrissian, Rose Tico only has around a minute of screen time in the new film, and they took to Twitter and got the hashtag “#RoseTicoDeservedBetter” trending.

And that got me wondering… does she?

Looking at the hashtag, a lot of people mainly seem upset because Rose is the first Asian main character in a Star Wars movie. I’m sympathetic to this and it might actually be the strongest argument in favor of the character, given that a lot of the political messaging behind Star Wars was born out of George Lucas’s opposition to the Vietnam war. And everyone wants to see themselves in movies, especially popular movies. Sure, it would be better if those movies were actually good but let’s not get too greedy.

Less convincing to me is arguments that the character was particularly good. She was arguably the best part of The Last Jedi, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. Kelly Marie Tran did the best she could with the hand she was dealt, but it was a really bad hand. Most of the movie was her, Finn and Poe learning a valuable lesson about listening to old white ladies and then saying “Love Trumps Hate.”

I suppose the question here is whether or not an expanded role in Episode IX would actually be “better.” I have trouble believing it would be. It’s not a good movie, and having a bigger role in a bad movie is not really doing right by someone.

There’s a joke that Woody Allen tells in Annie Hall (an actual good movie) that goes “Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.” That’s what this hashtag is; complaining that something you like was it more prominently featured in something terrible.

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2 years ago

If they want asian characters they should do a spin-off prequel on the two ‘monks’ from Rogue One. Those guess has chemistry and a mysterious backstory worth mining.

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