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Director Jon M. Chu Pitches Rose Tico Series for Disney+ Following Rise of Skywalker Backlash

The character's limited screen time in the latest flick infuriated fans

Amanda Bell

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker has been met with middling reviews and significant backlash over its treatment of Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico. The character was introduced in Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi and marked the first major role for a woman of color in the Star Wars films. However, in The Rise of Skywalker, her screen time was severely limited, and fans aired their grievances on social media, pushing hashtags like #RoseTicoDeservedBetter and #JusticeForRose.

One such person was director Jon M. Chu, who even went so far as to offer his services for a standalone Rose Tico series for Disney+. On Twitter, Chu wrote, "OK, Disney+. Put me in coach. Let's make this series happen."

Chu, who previously directed films like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Crazy Rich Asians, wasn't the only one calling for the streaming service to give Rose Tico her due onscreen. Prior to his tweet, the idea of a Rose Tico-centered show was being talked about by several fans who believed she deserved a more satisfying end than what The Rise of Skywalker had to offer.

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According to Slate's research, Tran's Rose Tico only appeared in The Rise of Skywalker for 1 minute and 16 seconds of its 2 hour and 22 minute run time, which was a stark decrease from the 10 minutes and 53 seconds she had in The Last Jedi's 2 hour and 32 minute run time.

Fans were furious about what the role reduction meant for the character's story line in The Rise of Skywalker -- or lack thereof.

Many fans shared concerns that the limitation of Rose Tico's presence in The Rise of Skywalker may have been related to the intense harassment Tran received online after appearing in The Last Jedi -- in 2018, Tran famously deleted her social media page after being bullied online by trolls, who attacked her with malicious comments about her race and gender. Tran later penned an op-ed for The New York Times about the decision, writing, "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."

The idea of a standalone Rose Tico series being a good fit for Disney+'s original content plans is not without precedent, of course. Disney+ recently aired the first season of its new Star Wars seriesThe Mandalorian, which was met with much fanfare, and the service will also soon introduce a Rogue One prequel series and an Obi-Wan-centered series, both of which feature original Star Wars film actors returning to their roles.

Disney+ did not immediately respond to TV Guide's request for comment.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)

​Kelly Marie Tran, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

Kelly Marie Tran, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi