A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….
…Asians finally became a key part of the STAR WARS saga.
TL;DR: The Tico Sisters rock my galaxy.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens in U.S. theaters on December 15, and in this installment of “Episode VIII,” we finally get to meet mechanic Rose Tico, played by actress Kelly Marie Tran.
I say “finally” because it has been more than 2 years since the infamous Comic-Con Q&A where Ryan and Corinne asked J.J. Abrams point-blank if there would be Asians in STAR WARS (see video and transcript in John’s original post).
And it has been over a year since Kelly Marie Tran was announced as a key member of the cast.
While there have been a number of other Asian faces in minor roles in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (Episode VII), Tran’s character– Rose Tico– is the kind of character who has the storyline and screen time that has previously only been seen in other STAR WARS films with other ethnicities, droids, or aliens of different kinds.
It’s actually because of her sister, Paige Tico (actress Veronica Ngo), that we actually meet Rose. But hey, I said there would be no spoilers here, so all you need to know is that both sisters are awesome and even if you’re not Asian, you might feel like cheering for them when they’re on screen.
Sorry to disappoint, if you’re here for an actual real review with no spoilers, this is all you get right now. I do think it’s worth it to go to the theater and see Tran and Ngo on the big screen, because aside from them, there are some fights and battles and stuff. In space… ooops, did I say too much? I will say that it is absolutely exhilarating to see an Asian American face on-screen with such a meaningful storyline and with some actual character development. And if you care about the non-Asians in that universe, yeah they’re there, too.
I’ll end this post with some of my favorite pictures from the world premiere which was held in Los Angeles, where stars Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro were joined by writer/director Rian Johnson and producers Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman for a walk down the red carpet where they greeted enthusiastic fans at the world premiere of Lucasfilm’s STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.