The wait is finally over! Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Episode 8- The Last Jedi opens in theaters this weekend.
The Star Wars franchise is known to introduce amazing characters coupled with great actors to portray them. The Last Jedi continued that tradition by introducing Rose Tico played by Kelly Marie Tran. We had a chance to interview Tran about her experience in the film and ask her a few interesting questions- including if she’s ever met the creator of the franchise, George Lucas.
You can read the interview followed by the audio below:
Luis Lecca: Thanks for taking your time. What is your first Star Wars experience?
Kelly Marie Tran: I actually didn’t grow up with the Star Wars movies, which is kind of an insane answer. My parents were in a different country when those first movies came out, so they didn’t really see them. So, when I was young, I wasn’t introduced to them. It wasn’t until I was cast for this movie that I really, really saw them.
Luis Lecca: The film is very secretive and you know, I wanna thank the production for that; but how hard is it keeping the plot a secret? Is there a cast meeting you guys have, talking about what you can or can’t say?
Kelly Marie Tran: No, actually, what’s crazy is that I’m good at keeping secrets. I just don’t even really think about them. It’s sort of buried in the deep bowels of my mind. It’s sort of like in that area where I just can’t rule anything out.
Luis Lecca: So you’re a Jedi?
Kelly Marie Tran: Nice try! (laughs)
Luis Lecca: Did you get a chance to meet George Lucas at all, and was he ever on set?
Kelly Marie Tran: I have never met him, so I don’t know if he’s come to set. Maybe, but I haven’t met him before.
Luis Lecca: You’re a fan of a lot of genres. I’ve read that you like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, and sometimes there are rivalries between genres. We even see it with comics (DC vs Marvel). What is it about Star Wars that you think is such a unifying “Force”?
Kelly Marie Tran: A pun there, huh? I really liked that …
I think since the beginning, Star Wars has been groundbreaking. It’s really the first of its kind in terms of like really big sci-fi franchise films. I’ve mentioned … Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones, and I do think that without the original Star Wars films, any of these other things have been made.
Luis Lecca: Harrison Ford had advice to the new cast. Basically saying that their lives’ are going to change after the Star Wars experience and becoming part of the franchise. Has your life begun to change? Are fans recognizing you in public?
Kelly Marie Tran: No one has ever recognized me in public, and that’s a true answer. I have only been recognized in public if I attend some sort of event in association with the movie, or if I am somewhere in association with the cast. But, I never have been recognized when I go to the grocery store, or when I go to the gym, or when I go on a hike, so … I’ll have to let you know!
Luis Lecca: What do you think people are gonna come out thinking after watching The Last Jedi? Besides wanting to watch the next one, obviously?
Kelly Marie Tran: I think that Rian Johnson has done amazing things with this film. I think the most interesting thing is that every single character in this movie really gets sort of pushed up against something big. We see them go through these physicals and emotional path. There’s also a lot of great action scenes, and it’s still really funny! And, all the new creatures are like something you look forward to. So, I’m having trouble picking “one” thing … I think it’s that people are gonna walk away with.
Luis Lecca: Have you seen any merchandise? Anything that includes Rose Tico?
Kelly Marie Tran: Yes, I have, and it’s bizarre! In the best way, I mean it’s just like, you know … pretty, such an out-of-body experience. I definitely feel like whenever I see a toy, or a shirt, or a lunch box, it just feels like it’s not me, even though I know it’s me. It’s really hard to put into words.
Luis Lecca: Do you buy any of the merchandise? Do you own any of it?
Kelly Marie Tran: Yeah, absolutely! Every time I go to Target, even if I’m just going there to … buy, you know, stuff to clean my house with, I definitely go to the Star Wars section in the toy section and try to find … any featured merchandise, and I definitely will buy it, no thoughts.
Kelly Marie Tran: Kelly, thank you very much for this interview! I’m hoping to talk to you soon; can’t wait to check out the movie! It’s gonna be fantastic; love what I’ve seen of your character!
For the complete interview, you can listen to it below: