Star Wars actress Kelly Marie Tran takes a stand against critics


The latest installment in the main Star Wars series became a controversial film for the saga’s devout base. While disagreeing with elements of the movie, some have taken the opposition to an extreme, and harassed those behind the film. Kelly Marie Tran was one of those targeted. Now she’s speaking up.

Without getting political, Star Wars has always been a saga of inclusion, whether intentional or not. We were first introduced to an impoverished farm boy and an elderly warrior. They met a pilot and his friend of a different species who was once enslaved by the Empire.

In a quest to stand up against tyranny, the unlikely team of allies went on a quest to save a captured princess. What could have been a standard damsel-in-distress theme instead was anything but.

Yes, Leia Organa was a princess, but she was strong-willed and defiant. She didn’t need a group of guys to save her. Instead, her quick thinking and fearless demeanor saved the boys.

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Our core group of friends was a collective of very different people, but they didn’t let it slow down. They ended up defying the odds and overthrowing the Galactic Empire.

It’s for this reason that it’s bizarre that persistent personal harassment continues.

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, actress Kelly Marie Tran discusses the harassment she has long endured in life. She has been judged because of her race and more recently hated for her role in a fictional film.

As Tran notes in her piece, she was the first woman of color to lead in a Star Wars film. This is something that should have been a cause for celebration. Instead, she was attacked relentlessly by a vocal minority of fans who had creative disagreements with the plot.

This isn’t the first instance of intense criticism leading a character down a dark path.

Jar Jar Binks was the first CGI supporting character in cinema history, but this is a fact that has been long forgotten due to the hatred of the character. The vitriol was so severe that actor Ahmed Best even contemplated suicide.

Even popular Star Wars author Timothy Zahn has noted it doesn’t make any sense to attack the actors and actresses, though George Lucas and Rian Johnson have also endured their fair share of fan abuse.

A number of people didn’t like Rose Tico. A number of people don’t like The Last Jedi. But regardless of creative disagreements regarding character development or the overall plot, Kelly Marie Tran did a great job in her role.

Like Best and others, Tran did the best job she could with the material given.

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Kelly Marie Tran in the end lives out the legacy of Star Wars. When faced with opposition, she doesn’t back down. Organa was a fighter all through the films, but original and in the sequel trilogy. Padme Amidala also wasn’t the defenseless type who constantly needed to be rescued.

In the expanded universe, Mara Jade Skywalker was a powerful figure who held her own.

She has done well overcoming her challenges through life. Overcoming adversity is a common theme in Star Wars.