Kelly Marie Tran has been making a name for herself over the past several years, with her turn as the titular heroine in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon earning her acclaim from critics and love from fans. Of course, it was the Star Wars franchise that originally put the actress on Hollywood’s radar, as she played Resistance member Rose Tico in 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While the role unfortunately garnered toxic responses from some across the internet, many people fell in love with the character. And just recently, a fan and poet penned a sweet tribute to Rose that has me a little emotional.
Kelly Marie Tran has been a significant source of positivity within the Star Wars community since joining the franchise, and she’s inspired a number of fans as a result. Her impact was especially evident on this past May the Fourth. Tran, who boarded the upcoming film Summertime as an executive producer, used the day to surprise the poets featured in the film.
During the virtual meet-and-greet (via an exclusive clip from EW), young poet MJ Park recited a poem she wrote about Star Wars’ Rose Tico, which expresses the character’s impact on her. Park’s beautiful poem sentimentally captures the essence of Rose and describes how “we are all but left to watch a small Asian girl tear apart the First Order with nothing but a heart made of scrap metal and a passion for rebellion.” Park goes even further, sharing thoughts on how some have found a connection with Rose:
Maybe we see ourselves in Rose. Maybe we see that, maybe, there is something in us that believes in a fate that travels beyond the cosmos, that maybe there is something within us that is screaming to become our own hero. Maybe Rose is our hope in a galaxy that seems so far, far away.
Some of us may not get in our feels that often, but MJ Park’s words are enough to get to you. And as you can imagine, Kelly Marie Tran was also moved by the poem and responded by speaking on the power of poetry:
There's a power that comes with poetry and words and when we use words to find ways to heal ourselves, and hearing your words was very healing.
The poem is powerful on its own, but it hits even harder when one remembers the sexist and racist backlash Kelly Marie Tran experienced after starring in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The actress took it all in stride, though, issuing a statement and choosing to leave social media. And since leaving the web, Tran doesn’t seem to regret the decision.
While Kelly Marie Tran is currently unsure whether she’d play Rose again, it’s clear there’s still plenty of love for the character. One can only hope the actress gets to suit up again and return to the galaxy far, far away.