Kelly Marie Tran played Rose Tico in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a hero of the Resistance who plays a pretty big role alongside John Boyega’s Finn. The two have some wacky and wild adventures on a planet dedicated to decadent gambling, and Tran’s exploits are both entertaining and inspiring.

Her role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a little different. She barely appeared in it.

Fan reaction to The Rise of Skywalker has been very mixed. A lot of people are complaining that J.J. Abrams rolled back the more forward-thinking narrative and casting decisions that were implemented in the recent films, which centered women and POC characters in an entirely new way.

Those films attracted a lot of ire from older fans, who thought the Force should only be used by someone who looked like a younger Mark Hamill. After they were released, Tran actually received an enormous amount of harassment, especially after she spoke out about her Vietnamese heritage and the fact that she was the first Asian-American to play a lead role in Star Wars. She ended up deleting her Instagram.

With that in mind, the disappearance of Rose Tico is especially egregious:

The hashtag #WheresRose is being used to talk about how Kelly Marie Tran was sidelined to make room for random new characters, and more male-centered action.

Many people feel Abrams’ decision to forget about her was a way of conceding to racist trolls who made Tran’s life miserable just for appearing in their precious franchise:

There’s also a #WheresFinn hashtag. Though Finn has more screen time than Rose Tico, John Boyega’s character was introduced in The Force Awakens as the protagonist, alongside Rey. Folks are unhappy with how he was minimized in this culmination:

The Rise of Skywalker might be very popular amongst older fans, who see this as a return to form. But for a lot of younger people who were excited to see themselves represented, it’s a huge disappointment and loss.

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*First Published: December 23, 2019, 7:41 am