saving what we love
For those Star Wars fans who wanted justice for Kelly Marie Tran after The Rise of Skywalker, we've got some good news: Disney is about to actually give her some lines.
The Rose Tico actress is set to star in Disney’s new animated movie Raya and the Last Dragon, making her the first Southeast Asian actress ever to lead a Disney animated film, Entertainment Weekly revealed on Thursday. Tran is voicing the titular Raya in the film, which EW notes is also the first of Disney's animated movies to be inspired by Southeast Asia, and she'll be starring alongside Awkwafina. Cassie Steele had previously been cast in the role.
"She is someone who is technically a princess, but I think that what's really cool about this project, about this character specifically, is that everyone's trying to flip the narrative on what it means to be a princess," Tran told EW of her character. "Raya is totally a warrior. When she was a kid, she was excited to get her sword. And she grows up to be a really badass, gritty warrior and can really take care of herself."
This casting comes after Tran, who has spoken out about the online harassment she was subjected to after her role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, was infamously sidelined in last year's The Rise of Skywalker, which kept her almost entirely off screen and spent about as much time developing her character as it did explaining how Emperor Palpatine was alive. It may have been a disappointment for Rose fans, but thanks to Disney animation, the Tran train continues full steam ahead.