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Ask any fantasy or sci-fi fan: world-building is important. Would the Lord of the Rings have shined so brightly on-screen if not for the finely detailed sets and costumes? Would Star Wars have shot into hyperspeed if not for the zany cast of alien background characters? I think not. And neither does Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. And Tran recently explained why she likes Last Jedi's infamous Canto Bight scenes.
In an episode of Collider Ladies Night, Kelly Marie Tran described why she loved the infamous Canto Bight scenes in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans are divided: some feel that the scene’s message added to the overall arc of the film, while others thought the subplot was contrived and unnecessary. Kelly Marie Tran said:
I love that scene. I mean, I’m bias so I guess I can say that. But, it’s weird, when you’re in a movie, once the movie goes out into the world, your experience with - when I watch that movie, I remember how I felt that day. I remember John and I walking on set and being like, ‘This is the biggest set we’ll ever be on,’ and seeing all of the creatures moving and being part of this universe. These are the things I remember about being on set that day.
In the interest of world-building, I have to agree with Kelly Marie Tran. While the Canto Bight storyline didn’t add much to the general plot of the movie, it did serve a purpose. The scene further fleshed out the Star Wars universe, adding another layer of texture and color to a fantasy world. One of my favorite scenes in the original trilogy was the cantina scene: it was fairly short, and not a huge plot mover, but one look at that seedy alien dive bar and I knew exactly what sort of universe the story took place in. The cantina was a microcosm of the larger Star Wars world, a small look at the varied and wondrous creatures who called it home.
Star Wars fan can re-watch the Skywalker Saga on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
As Kelly Marie Tran, the Canto Bight scene reminded her that she was a part of the larger Star Wars universe, and that’s what it did for me as a viewer. The scene also illustrated another issue: that of the privileged few who were able to avoid the war. Kelly Marie Tran elaborated:
That scene does a lot for really recognizing how certain communities who are able to enjoy their privilege and live in a world where they don’t even have to address some of the horrible things other people are dealing with. I love that scene.
Like the Capitol citizens in The Hunger Games, the people of Canto Bight were so wealthy they barely knew a war was going on. It painted a stark contrast between the societal elite and the rag-tag rebels. And it reminded Rose Tico and John Boyega’s Finn why the battle they were fighting was so important.
If you’ve been missing Kelly Marie Tran since The Rise of Skywalker and her subsequent departure from social media, don’t fret. You can catch the Star Wars actress voicing Raya in the latest Disney animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon, now available on Disney+.