Kelly Marie Tran (born Loan Tran on January 17, 1989) is an American actress who portrays Rose Tico, a Resistance maintenance worker, in Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. Tran narrated the audiobook for The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron. She also voiced Rose Tico in the Star Wars: Forces of Destiny episode Shuttle Shock. She will reprise the role of Rose Tico for Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, set to premiere in 2019.
Family and education
Kelly Marie Tran was born on January 17, 1989 in San Diego, California. Her parents were Vietnamese refugees who had settled in the United States following the Vietnam War. Her mother worked at a funeral home while her father worked at Burger King. She studied at Westview High School and later majored in communications at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Early acting career
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 likened her detractors on Twitter to "manbabies." 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.
Work in Star Wars
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi (Rose Tico)
- The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron (audiobook narrator)
- Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (Rose Tico)
- LEGO Star Wars: All-Stars (Rose Tico)
- "Yub Nub!"
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker (Rose Tico)
Notes and references
- Kelly Marie Tran on Wikipedia
- Kelly Marie Tran thought she'd quit acting — then The Last Jedi put her dream into hyperdrive. Entertainment Weekly. ew.com (November 20, 2017). Retrieved on November 20, 2017.