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Rose Tico Had An Extremely Important Role In Alleged Original Rise Of Skywalker Script

Rose Tico fans can claim a victory — well, sort of. 

An alleged summary of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker script has emerged on YouTube from a former professional screenplay reader named Robert Burnett. This supposed version of the script is said to have been written during Colin Trevorrow's time in the director chair, before he lost his job in 2017 and the entire project started over with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams back at the helm. This script — with the working title The Duel of the Fates – appears to be a profoundly different movie from the one we received in December 2019, though several of the individual concepts presented in it are similar enough that they could have arguably been lifted and repurposed for The Rise of Skywalker. The story itself, however, is entirely different — and Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico is at its core.

Fans of Rose, who was introduced in The Last Jedi, have been upset by how The Rise of Skywalker marginalized her presence and insulted the experiential sacrifices the character was written with — on top of the real-life harassment Tran experienced on social media because of her role. They can perhaps find some bittersweet solace in the possibility that, somewhere along the line, someone might have cared about Rose. However, no guarantee exists that the alleged script described in the video is genuine. Burnett explains straight away that he won't provide proof of the script beyond cropped images of the title page and the original narration crawl, or any detail as to how he got a hold of it — but if you want to imagine this story, you can. 

Let's take a look at the version of Rose Tico in The Rise of Skywalker that might have been.

A dedicated and equal member of the Resistance

To immediately illustrate the disparity in characterization, know that this alleged original Rise of Skywalker script actually opens on Rose Tico and BB-8. A good chunk of the first act has her attempting (along with Finn, Poe, and eventually Rey) to sabotage the transportation of ore used for building Star Destroyers at the Kuat Shipyards, a pre-established location in Star Wars mythology. No massive, inexplicable fleets of completed mega ships on Sith planets in this purported script. Long story short, the sabotage goes very poorly for our heroes, but with luck, they escape — by jacking an entire Star Destroyer off the lot and peeling out of the shipyards at lightspeed. All the while, Rose is described as being front and center, doing her best to reorganize when plans A, B, and Z all fail.

There are two major teams performing missions in this alleged script: Rey, Poe, and Chewbacca take off on their own to do their half, while Rose, Finn, C3PO, and R2-D2 depart for Coruscant (an incredibly important planet in the Star Wars universe) to try a desperate gamble. In trying to snuff out the Resistance for good, the First Order has choked off all intersystem communication at its source. Rey learns from the texts she picked up in The Last Jedi, however, that the Jedi Temple houses a giant kyber crystal that the Old Republic used thousands of years ago as a communication system the First Order doesn't have the means to control. Lighting this ancient beacon is the last hope of the Resistance to gather allies, and Rose takes point on this do-or-die mission.

A fully-realized and legendary agent of rebellion

Once the beacon subplot is completed on Coruscant, the alleged Rise of Skywalker script continues on into the city itself. Since the fall of the Republic as we knew it in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, the city-planet has fallen into major decline, with most citizens falling into scavenging and homelessness. The purported original script describes the skyscrapers as having been built over by Empire-style architecture, marring the art-deco style we see in the prequels. Rose and Finn navigate this underclass and eventually foment the citizens' anger to incite a revolt. You heard that right: the woman who lost the only family she had left in a civil war gets to assist inciting the biggest on-screen popular revolt against fascism in Star Wars – in Coruscant. Quite a climax. This all takes place while a massive battle occurs in orbit over Coruscant, with General Leia's forces united by Lando Calrissian.

The cherry on top is mentioned in passing by Burnett as he wraps up the video: Once the First Order is defeated, the remaining leadership (including First Order General Armitage Hux, who declared himself Chancellor in this story) attempt to flee from Coruscant in a giant mobile headquarters. At some point in the story that Burnett doesn't describe, Rose messes with the compound's navigation computers and hen the complex goes to lightspeed, the travel vectors are incorrect and it crashes into a planet, destroying the Order for good. It's not as elegant as a one-in-a-million shot into an exhaust port, but that is wicked cool.

What isn't there, and why everything ended this way

Something people might have been wishing for is missing from this alleged script: a romantic arc for Rose and Finn that would possibly sew up the last-minute mini twist in The Last Jedi wherein Rose kisses Finn and calls him a dummy for his suicidal run on the First Order's battering ram. Burnett makes no mention of any romantic subplots in his summary of the purported original Rise of Skywalker script, though Rose and Finn do apparently spend a lot of time together on-screen according to the given information. That's probably wise to avoid, given how choppy the waters of online shipping discourse can be. Besides, much like Rey, Rose doesn't need a romantic interest to matter.

Nothing about any of the story explained above can be accepted out of hand without proof — and for a number of reasons, we probably won't ever be given any — but it might feel particularly difficult to believe for some because it contains a lot of content that they expressly wanted to see. It seems almost too good, if these are the outcomes you wanted. And even if it were true, what does it win a fan of Rose? Nothing, really, except perhaps feeling cheated out of something one would have enjoyed.

We'll never be sure why this alleged script Trevorrow may or may not have assisted in authoring wasn't grandfathered in under J.J. Abrams, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy previously explained that he was "at a huge disadvantage" having not been involved in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. The past three years have been tumultuous for the Star Wars franchise between the backlash over The Last Jedi and the failure of Solo, and Trevorrow's professional merit seemed to have dropped after his film Book of Henry utterly bombed at the box office. Being the poster boy for the biggest franchise on Earth must have been a lot of pressure at the time, and it appears that maybe in the end, a bunch of fallible humans cracked underneath it. Despite the underwhelming overall response to The Rise of Skywalker, people did in fact enjoy it, and that's the legacy of Star Wars as a whole: it's too many things to too many people to possibly encapsulate everyone's wishes.