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You could call Rose by many other names: a mechanic, an engineer, a pilot, a problem-solver. But “sweet” isn’t at the top of the list.
Working in the background of the Resistance, fixing the machines that battle on the front lines, this new character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi isn’t worried about feelings. She has a job to do. And when necessary, she can be a blunt instrument.
“Something that I really like about Rose, she’s sort of always on a mission. She is a very practical person, she’s very pragmatic,” says Kelly Marie Tran, the actress plucked from web comedies and late-night sketches to join the galaxy far, far away.
In the image below from the Dec. 15 film, she and Finn (John Boyega) are piloting a craft to the casino city of Canto Bight, an interstellar Monaco full of high-rollers and dirty-dealers. Neither the ex-Stormtrooper (who’s still wearing Poe Dameron’s hand-me-downs) nor the grubby mechanic in her dust-and-oil-stained jumpsuit belong amid such glamour.
“The journey that she and Finn go seems pretty impossible, you can tell in this moment that she’s very much aware of the dangers that they are about to face, but she’s also logically in her mind problem-solving on the way,” Tran says.
It’s not that Rose is joyless, she has a sense of humor and wonder. But she has also lived her entire life on the edge of survival in a war-torn galaxy. “She knows exactly, probably, how many things can go wrong in a situation,” Tran says.
Fortunately, she also knows how to fix things when they go haywire.
The new image also hints at an object that Tran says will have more meaning when the story unfolds. Note the crescent-shaped necklace she’s wearing. It’s not exactly something you’d put on while working around heavy machinery — too easy to get caught in the gears.
So what is it?
“That is definitely something that is significant to Rose’s backstory,” Tran reveals. “It is an object that she kind of has throughout the film and it is representative of more than the object itself to her. So, yeah, that’s all I can say. It has significance that is, to me, something that means more than just what the object itself is.”