Kelly Marie Tran gets emotional as crowd chants her name during Star Wars Celebration

Star Wars Celebration Kelly Marie Tran

It was not a good time for Kelly Marie Tran when she made her debut as Rose Tico in Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Her character was met with mixed reactions due to her actions on the screen, and this led to her being harassed by a lot of fans including racist and sexist comments. Later the actress left social media due to the backlash in the summer of 2018. Fast forward to today, and Tran appeared on the stage with her fellow Star Wars cast during Star Wars Celebration, and she was met with huge support from the audience.

Stephen Colbert was the moderator for the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and when it was Kelly Marie Tran’s turn to shine, the crowd gave a loud cheer with John Boyega being the hype man. The fans even chanted, “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” The actress was overwhelmed with emotions and teared up on stage. (I even got emotional watching her get emotional.) Check out the video below starting at the 1:06:13 mark.

Tran previously opened up about her experience with harassment in an op-ed piece on the New York Times.

“It wasn’t their words, it’s that I started to believe them,” Tran wrote. “Their words seemed to confirm what growing up as a woman and a person of color already taught me: that I belonged in margins and spaces, valid only as a minor character in their lives and stories.”

“Their words reinforced a narrative I had heard my whole life: that I was ‘other,’ that I didn’t belong, that I wasn’t good enough, simply because I wasn’t like them,” she continued. “And that feeling, I realize now, was, and is, shame, a shame for the things that made me different, a shame for the culture from which I came from. And to me, the most disappointing thing was that I felt it at all.”

Tran knows that Star Wars is an important property, and she’ll use her status as an actress in Star Wars to give a positive message.

“I know that I now belong to a small group of privileged people who get to tell stories for a living, stories that are heard and seen and digested by a world that for so long has tasted only one thing,” she wrote. “I know how important that is. And I am not giving up. You might know me as Kelly. I am the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie. I am the first Asian woman to appear on the cover of Vanity Fair. My real name is Loan. And I am just getting started.”

Audiences will get to see Kelly Marie Tran return as Rose Tico when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

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