- "That's how we're gonna win, not fighting what we hate, but saving what we love."
- ―Rose Tico, to Finn
Rose Tico was a female human who served in the Resistance as a maintenance worker during their conflict with the First Order, whom Tico had hated since she was a child. Tico's older sister, Paige, was a gunner in the Resistance.
Rose Tico, her older sister Paige and her parents Hue and Thanya grew up on Hays Minor, a impoverished mining colony in the Otomok system. Rose and her sister trained in their grandmother Etta's Z-95 Headhunter simulation. During one of their simulations, Rose crashed. She and her family would watch holodramas, some of which included fathiers.
Joining the Resistance
The First Order took over Hays Minor's mines and forced Rose's people to mine their planet's resources to feed their war machine. Rose and Paige protected their parents and fellow citizens from the First Order and their mining pollution. Rose was able to blow up twelve OreDiggers and stop the First Order's mining operations for three days. Her parents told her that she and Paige had to find the Resistance and join them in their fight against the First Order. Rose and Paige were welcomed into the Resistance by Admirals Gial Ackbar and Amilyn Holdo. The two of them joined the Reistance's Cobalt Squadron. Rose eventually received news that the First order shelled her people to test the results. Having lost everything they had to the First Order, Rose and her sister committed themselves to the Resistance to avenge their homeworld. The two of them were approached by General Leia Organa, who offered them her condolences for the First Order's genocide of Hays Minor. Organa told Rose and her sister that she would let them go after First Order on their own. However, the two sisters decided to stay, knowing, they could make a bigger impact on the First Order. Rose and Paige promised themselves that they would stop the First Order from pillaging and destroying other worlds.
Helping Poe Dameron
After being transferred to the Resistance cruiser Raddus, Rose spent a long time reading through how it worked. Another mechanic named Lazslo mocked her by saying she never did any hard work, just sat there and read. Paige then told her to go to sleep, but Rose continued, stating that she had to keep reading as some commands were even in Calamarian. When First Order ships appeared and Poe Dameron was trapped outside the ship with the hangar door being unable to open, Rose helped him by figuring out the problem and opening the door. Everyone thanked her and in the end, all the reading paid off.
Evacuation of D'Qar
Rose Tico and her sister were both active fighters in General Leia Organa's Resistance. Her older sister Paige was a gunner on the Resistance bomber Cobalt Hammer, which served as part of Cobalt Squadron. While Rose was a mechanic, both siblings were very close; they each wore matching pendants around their necks at all times. Paige died in the Battle of D'Qar, which greatly upset Rose, who was aboard the Raddus during the evacuation.
She was stationed in the Raddus' escape-pod bay to prevent any deserters from escaping during the ensuing battle between the First Order and Resistance fleets. Finn, in an attempt to warn Rey of the critical danger that the Resistance now faced, attempted to leave the Raddus and make contact with her by stealing one of the escape pods.
When Rose caught Finn trying to escape she was initially flustered at meeting a "Resistance hero," not realizing his intent to leave. When she did finally notice his packed bag, she stunned him with an electro-shock prod, put him on a cart and attempted to drag him to the brig, believing him to be one of many attempting to desert in light of the overwhelming odds the Resistance was facing.
When Finn came to, he tried to convince her that he was not merely a deserter but was trying to warn his friend of the direness of the Resistance's situation, pointing out the fact that the Raddus would be tracked by the First Order through hyperspace, chasing them down until they ran out of fuel and were destroyed.
Rose realized that the First Order must be using a tracking device aboard the Supremacy. With Rose's knowledge of mechanics and Finn's knowledge of First Order ships, the two devised a plan to shut down the tracking device and allow the Raddus to escape into hyperspace. They informed Dameron of their plan to infiltrate the Supremacy, although they did not know how to decrypt the ship's computer codes to be able to gain access to the ship itself. Dameron called Maz Kanata, who referred them to a "Master Codebreaker" that they would be able to find on Cantonica.
Without permission from acting commander Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, Finn, Rose, and BB-8 took a ship and traveled to the casino city of Canto Bight. While Finn marveled at the superficial beauty of the city, Rose understood the darkness hiding underneath. She pointed out that many of these rich people and gamblers had come into their fortunes by selling weapons and goods to the First Order, or otherwise had profited from war and the suffering of others. She also pointed out to him the blatant abuse of the fathiers and their child caretakers, expressing a desire to shatter their hollow and selfish town.
Rose and Finn continued to search for the "master codebreaker," and thought they had identified him by the pin he wore on his lapel, but they were arrested by the Canto Bight Police for parking their ship on a private beach. While in prison, they met a mysterious figure who claimed to be able to get them onto the Supremacy undetected. Rose and Finn politely declined. The man shrugged it off and proceeded to open the door of their cell with a lockpick.
Now free, Finn and Rose escaped through the sewer system of the city, emerging in the fathier stables. There, Rose secured the allegiance of the young slave Temiri Blagg by showing him her Resistance ring, which she then gave to him before they released the animals and the herd stampeded through the city, leaving a wave of destruction in their wake.
Riding one of the fathiers out of the city, Finn and Rose attempted to reach their ship, but the police destroyed it before they could reach it. The mysterious slicer suddenly returned with BB-8 aboard a stolen vessel, rescuing Finn and Rose once again.
The slicer decided to help the duo infiltrate the First Order after Rose offered him her gold pendant as a down payment. As promised, his hacking skills were impressive, and they passed through the Supremacy's radar undetected. They stole a set of First Order uniforms from the supply rooms and sneaked through the ship until they reached the tracking mechanism.
The slicer used Rose's pendant as a conductor in order to hotwire a door panel; he returned it to her afterward. The door opened, but the trio was quickly surrounded by First Order forces. Once captured, the slicer made a deal with the First Order to secure his freedom, allowing the Supremacy to spot the fleeing Resistance shuttles and begin firing on them.
Rose and Finn were taken before Captain Phasma and General Armitage Hux, the latter of whom recognized Rose's medallion as being from the Otomok system and took the opportunity to taunt her, mocking her home system as vermin. Refusing to be cowed, Rose bit his hand hard enough to draw blood, humiliating the general in front of his troops and leading him to call for their execution. Deeming death by firing squad to be "too good for them," Phasma summoned a pair of stormtrooper executioners instead. Before they could be executed, however, Holdo jumped the Raddus to hyperspace right through the First Order fleet, splitting the Supremacy. The blast briefly knocked Finn unconscious, whereupon Rose began dragging him towards a nearby shuttle before he regained consciousness. But their way was barred by Phasma and a squad of stormtroopers, who immediately opened fire on them. Suddenly, a rogue AT-ST began firing on Phasma and her stormtroopers. The pilot of the rogue walker was revealed to be BB-8 when the armor of the walker was removed. Rose took cover as Finn engaged Phasma with a Z6 riot control baton, ultimately besting his former superior, who plunged into a fiery pit.
In the ensuing chaos of the Supremacy's destruction, Rose and Finn escaped with BB-8 aboard a stolen First Order shuttle. They took the shuttle to Crait, where the remainder of the Resistance forces had retreated at an abandoned Rebel Alliance base. As their shuttle was being pursued by two TIE fighters, the Resistance assumed all three craft to be hostile and began closing the base doors. Rose and Finn managed to pilot their shuttle into the hanger just before the doors shut, resulting in critical damage to the shuttle before they were met with a barrage of blasterfire from the Resistance members. To prove they were not First Order, the duo showed their hands, prompting their comrades to cease fire.
Battle of Crait
Rose piloted a ski speeder during the Battle of Crait. The speeders were relics left in the base from the days of the Rebel Alliance and so were in a state of serious disrepair. Having no other option, Rose and several other pilots, including Finn and Dameron, flew the speeders towards the First Order's battering ram cannon in order to prevent them from entering the base and destroying the last of the Resistance.
The majority of the speeders were destroyed by AT-M6 fire. When Dameron ordered the squadron to retreat and fall back to the base, Finn refused to retreat with them, instead deciding to fly his speeder into the cannon in an attempt to destroy it. Rose crashed her speeder into his in order to stop him from doing so and save his life, though she badly injured herself in the process. Before falling unconscious, Rose told her friend that they had to fight for what they loved instead of just fighting what they hated, and kissed the dumbfounded Finn.
Finn dragged her back to the base in order for her to receive medical aid. She was transported onboard the Millennium Falcon, with the few remaining survivors of the Resistance who survived the Battle of Crait, with Finn watching over his unconscious friend.
Aboard the Falcon
After talking with Poe and Rey following the Battle of Crait, Finn took the opportunity to check on Rose. Shortly after telling Rey some of his recent experiences, Dameron met Finn and asked him how Rose was, to which Finn stated that she was asleep, something he thought that was good, though he wasn't sure at all, as he wasn't a doctor, commenting on the first aid training received by the First Order stormtrooper and the realization that the stormtroopers who failed were left to die from their injuries, leading Dameron to tell his friend that he was sure that Tico would be alright even though he couldn't be sure she was, but that he was sure that he can choose to believe the former. Finn then proceeded to clothe Rose.
Trip to Mon Cala
- "Rose, I could use your company."
- ―General Organa, to Rose
Behind the scenes
Rose Tico was portrayed by Kelly Marie Tran in the 2017 Star Wars film Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi. Tran's casting in the film was first announced on February 15, 2016. The first photo of Rose was released during The Last Jedi panel at Celebration Orlando on April 14, 2017. Rose's surname of Tico was revealed by Vanity Fair on May 23, 2017. Rose was named after Maz Kanata's original name during the pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens, which was a tribute to director J.J. Abrams' and production designer Rick Carter's late teacher Rose Gilbert.
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson conceived Rose because he realized that having Poe go with Finn to Canto Bight would have been boring. "It was just these two dudes on an adventure," he said. "I knew something was wrong when I looked at their dialogue and realized I could interchange any of the lines. There wasn't conflict between them. So I realized I had to come up with something else. Finn needing somebody else to go with who would actually challenge him and push him and contrast with him was where Rose came from."
He did not envision Rose with a specific ethnicity, auditioning Caucasian actresses and women of color for the role. "We saw a lot of talented actresses of a very broad range — but honestly, it was more about finding Kelly," he recalled. "There was something about Kelly that had that kind of genuine oddball nature and a real sweetness to her. She has the most open heart of anyone I've ever met and I knew that was going to shine through onscreen."
Tran had never seen a Star Wars movie until she got the part: she was more of a fan of other series like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. She attributes the fact she landed the part to this oversight, explaining "I didn't have this expectation of what I thought this person should be like; I wasn't trying to model her after someone I'd seen in a movie."
Carrie Fisher inspired Rose and Paige's crescent necklaces. Johnson tweeted in response to a fan inquiring about the idea that, "In rehearsals Carrie grabbed my arm and told me with great urgency that we needed 'space jewelry.' I thought that was a fabulous idea. So."
Despite the critical success of The Last Jedi at the box office, Tran received online racist attacks over her portrayal of Rose Tico including vandalism to her character's Wookieepedia article and far-right vlogger Paul Ray Ramsey's tweet attacking her physical appearance. This attracted coverage from several news media including Newsweek and HuffPost. In response to criticism likening Tico to Jar Jar Binks, the official Star Wars Facebook page defended the character's contribution to the story plot. Attorney Anthony Nguyen described Tran as the first "woman of color" to be cast in a leading role in the Star Wars franchise, while journalist Nicole Karlis commented that attacks on Tran reflected a fear of women who defied sexist stereotypes. Prior to the release of The Rise of Skywalker, another controversy emerged in which Lucasfilm allegedly removed the character from the film's advertising and merchandise.
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