Kelly Marie Tran (born Trần Loan on January 17, 1989) is an American actress who portrays Rose Tico, a Resistance maintenance worker. She originated the role in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. and reprised her role in Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker. Tran also narrated the audiobook for The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron. and voiced Tico in the Star Wars: Forces of Destiny episode "Shuttle Shock."
As a young actor, Tran spent several years in Los Angeles honing her acting skills at the Upright Citizens Brigade, The Second City, and iO West. Tran has appeared in several CollegeHumor, the web series Ladies Like Us (2013), Ladies Like Us: The Rise of Neighborhood Watch (2015), the NBC sitcom series About a Boy (2014), and the Netflix film XOXO (2016). She is also a fan of Harry Potter.
The Last Jedi
Tran's casting in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi was first announced on February 15, 2016. Tran's character was first identified as the Resistance mechanic Rose Tico in a Vanity Fair article published on May 24, 2017.
Despite the critical and box office success of The Last Jedi, Tran received online abuse from people who disliked her character, Rose. This hostility manifested in racist vandalism to her character's Wookieepedia article and misogynistic remarks on Twitter by conservative vlogger Paul Ray Ramsey. In response, attorney Anthony Nguyen praised Tran for being the first "woman of color" to be cast in a leading role in the Star Wars franchise. Meanwhile, journalist Nicole Karlis condemned attacks on Tran as a manifestation of a fear of women who defied sexist stereotypes.
On May 6, 2018, Tran deleted all posts on her Instagram account following months of racist and sexist harassment and abuse. An anti-feminist Facebook group claimed credit for running Tran out from Instagram. In response, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, fellow Star Wars co-stars Mark Hamill and John Boyega, and The Late Show host Stephen Colbert also issued statements defending Tran. Tran subsequently penned an article in The New York Times describing her experiences as a "woman of color" in American society.
The Rise of Skywalker
Tran reprised her role as Rose Tico in Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, which was released on December 20, 2019. She also appeared at Celebration Chicago with other cast members to promote the film.
On December 9, 2020, Tran hosted a Star Wars YouTube video announcing the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Contest based on the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special, where she had reprised her role as Rose Tico. The LEGO building competition was sponsored by Star Wars: Force for Change, robotics builders club FIRST, and the LEGO Group.