Star Wars Celebration Episode IX Panel: The return of Kelly Marie Tran


Today live in Chicago, JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy introduced the cast and teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The panel ended with the teaser, and though Rose Tico did not appear, Kelly Marie Tran had some moments on stage to shine.

As Star Wars Celebration continued, the live panel for Star Wars: Episode IX had a lot to offer. From appearances from Stephen Colbert to JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy, the whole stream is worth a look.

One attendee in particular whose presence stood out was that of actress Kelly Marie Tran. Understanding there are people who did not appreciate the character of Rose Tico in The Last Jedi, there were more than a few people who attacked Ms. Tran online, causing her to limit her online presence. The abuse was often misogynistic, racist, and pulled one of the most enthusiastic stars in promoting the franchise out of the public eye.

In August 2018, Ms. Tran released a public statement regarding the abuse and generally about fandom. Even with that brave statement, we have not seen a lot out of her or the character Rose since.

Until today.

Kelly Marie Tran joined the cast on stage today and about an hour into the panel Colbert as host turned to her.  She received a standing ovation and cheers of “Kelly! Kelly!” from the audience that left her visibly moved. It was a triumphant moment that hopefully demonstrated to Ms. Tran that she has a fanbase within this fandom, and we are quite glad to see her back.

When Colbert asked if “everyone” on stage would be in an adventure together, JJ responded that he was grateful to Rian Johnson (writer/director of Star Wars:The Last Jedi) for many things, but the “greatest” was in casting Kelly Marie Tran.

During the discussion a wonderful picture of Ms. Tran as Rose with Daisy Ridley as Rey was broadcast over the crowd, here captured in a tweet from Entertainment Tonight correspondent Ash Crossan:

The only disappointment was not seeing Rose Tico in the actual teaser, but it will be a joy to see the always enthusiastic Kelly Marie Tran back on the promotional circuit.  Perhaps this time people can separate their feelings about a fictional character from the real person, and actually demonstrate a bit of the decency the Star Wars films represent.

Welcome back, Kelly Marie!

Next. Star Wars Celebration: 6 can’t-miss panels for SWCC. dark

What role do you see for Rose Tico in the new film? Are there other characters you hope to see return? Was that sinister laugh in the trailer who we thought? Keep your eyes right here on Dork Side of the Force for more Star Wars Celebration coverage all weekend!