It was Obi-Wan Kenobi who said “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine” and now “the first woman of color to have a leading role in a Star Wars movie”, Kelly Marie Tran, has acted like a real hero by responding for the first time to the abuse she suffered at the hands of internet trolls in the wake of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Speaking to The New York Times, the Rose Tico actress said that she “won’t be marginalized” by the online harassment which forced her to close her social media accounts earlier this year.
During an impassioned statement, she said that it wasn’t necessarily the toxic words that hurt the most, but that she “started to believe them”, going on to say:-
“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, only valid as a minor character in their lives and stories………….I believed those words, those stories, carefully crafted by a society that was built to uphold the power of one type of person — one sex, one skin tone, one existence.”
It’s a very personal statement, but one which Tran knows will echo with countless other people around the world who’ve suffered at the hands of online abuse, and she ends it on a note of beautiful defiance, befitting of a real Star Wars hero:
“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.”
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of The Force Awakens join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi sees returning cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Peter Mayhew and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Tim Rose (Admiral Ackbar), Mike Quinn (Nien Nunb) and Warwick Davis joined by new additions Jimmy Vee (Pan) as R2-D2, Kelly Marie Tran (Ladies Like Us) as Rose, Benicio Del Toro (Guardians of the Galaxy) as DJ and Laura Dern (Jurassic Park).