The Rise of Skywalker was hardly the epic Star Wars movie we all hoped for. The end of the Skywalker Saga isn’t as satisfying as we wanted it to be, and the movie ended up being highly controversial instead. It’s not just a major plot decision that might ruin Star Wars forever, it’s other, smaller decisions made along the way. And Disney has had a really tough time explaining one of the worst things about The Rise of Skywalker. Before we go any further, we should note that some spoilers follow ahead so only proceed if you’ve seen the movie already… or if you just don’t care anymore.
Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) was one of the great surprises in The Last Jedi, a breakout character we hoped we’d see more of in Episode IX. And we did see more of her, a full 76 seconds out of the film’s 142-minute runtime. The Rise of Skywalker moves at a break-neck pace, looking to tick as many boxes as possible, but Rose isn’t one of them. She’s just not part of the story, and Disney apparently never realized that fans would care so much about this detail.
A few days ago, The Rise of Skywalker writer Chris Terrio attempted to give a reasonable explanation as to why Rose was mostly absent from the film. “We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia,” Terrio told Awards Daily. “We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together. As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for.”
He continued, “The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly — so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”
Wait, so after decades of mostly leading the rebels against a huge empire, Leia needs someone to hold her hand all of a sudden? And Rose couldn’t have gotten more scenes that didn’t involve Leia’s presence at all? It’s not like Disney can fix things at this point, but Terrio had to amend his response because his comment wasn’t accurate.
“I badly misspoke if in an earlier statement I implied that any cut scenes between Rose and Leia were the fault of our VFX team and the wizards at ILM,” Terrio told Vulture. “In that earlier interview, I was referring to a specific scene in which Leia’s emotional state in Episode VII did not seem to match the scene we wrote for use in Episode IX, and so it was cut at the script stage before the VFX work was done. If we had chosen to use the scene, ILM would have made it look perfect. They always do. ILM performed actual miracles at every stage of the creative process in Episode IX. I remain in awe of their work.”