Rose Tico, a major character in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, has been silently removed from Star Wars merchandise for the next film in the franchise.
The character, played by actress Kelly Marie Tran, was the first woman of color in the Star Wars universe when she was introduced in 2017.
Tran is set to reprise her role in December for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”.
— caroline (@bensapologist) October 3, 2019
As one of the film’s leading stars, it is natural to expect her character to be among those in the new Star Wars merchandise line. It was no surprise then when fans immediately noticed that Rose was missing from leaked photos of “The Rise of Skywalker” merchandise.
Just a heads up @starwars the glaring lack of Rose Tico merch is really making it look like you caved to a bunch of racist misogynists who already were or weren’t going to buy ur merch regardless of her presence. Sidelining your first woman of color? Really bad look. #wheresrose
— ️ Bisexual Disaster #WhereRose Ren (@jakkugerblin) September 25, 2019
Fans who are enamored with Tran’s adorable portrayal of the character were even more shocked after no new Rose-themed merchandise was revealed during “Triple Force Friday.”
Rose is also missing on merchandise tied to the Resistance Heroes book and trailers for the upcoming film, prompting fans to ask via the new hashtag #WheresRose?
— Ale (@thegoblincity) October 3, 2019
The hashtag, which soon became viral, took inspiration from the #WheresRey campaign in 2015 when merchandise for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” also lacked representation for Rey, the main character of the latest Star Wars trilogy.
Fans saw the decision to not make her a prominent part of the merchandise then as blatant sexism.
I remember #WheresRey around the first Force Friday, but what makes #WheresRose more insidious is all the evidence of where she was designed into merch and then willfully removed. The fan conduct toward Rose/KMT was shameful and catering to those fans sends the worst message pic.twitter.com/D85iLBghos
— Jenny Nicholson @ Halloween (@JennyENicholson) October 4, 2019
Fans soon became increasingly concerned after more “The Rise of Skywalker” merchandise was revealed.
— (@reykyIos) October 3, 2019
According to some fans, Rose was also present in early designs for some merchandise, but was removed when they finally hit shelves.
Another for the thread – product reveal livestream vs final product image. You guys. pic.twitter.com/PNzXEUJJ29
— Jenny Nicholson @ Halloween (@JennyENicholson) October 5, 2019
— What the Force? & Fangirls (@Wtforceshow) October 4, 2019
Others have pointed out that her absence from merchandise and trailers could mean a smaller role for Tran in “The Rise of Skywalker”.
Regardless, fans are seeking answers as to why they aren’t seeing her on any promotional materials even if her role was reduced to a minor part.
Disney, where is Rose Tico?
The @starwars mythos owes so much to pan-asian mysticism & “aesthetic” that minimizing an asian character (one of the few big screen ones that even EXIST) in promo & merch stings in a specific way that other, equally terrible erasure of other POC characters doesn’t #wheresrose
— smols ¡¿#WheresRose?! darklighter (@SmolsD) September 28, 2019
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid and Billy Dee Williams.
To set your incorrect assumptions straight, I do not lie and normally do not spend time fueling the fire for conspiracies like this, however Rose has been in the artwork for over 5 months. The latest image was not done as an afterthought. check the dates on image file. cheers https://t.co/A6KpHudYnx pic.twitter.com/ghyFWFAsJ5
— Brian Rood (@broodone) October 1, 2019
Carrie Fisher will also appear as General Leia Organa through previously unreleased footage shot for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi.”
Featured Image via Twitter / JennyENicholson