WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Rose Tico #1, by Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, Guru-eFx and Travis Lanham, on sale now.
Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico received a lot of undeserved vitriol for her role in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which culminated in June 2018 with the actor deleting her Instagram posts because of harassment. A mechanic and everywoman who helped the Resistance escape the First Order and prevented Finn from needlessly sacrificing his life, Rose was nevertheless despised by a vocal minority fans as a Mary Sue, and a character who did little to advance the plot.
While writer/director Rian Johnson shed some light on her background as the survivor of Hays Minor, a mining colony destroyed by the First Order, ignorant critics were just blind as to why Rose truly mattered and embodied the spirit of the Resistance. But now, courtesy of Marvel's Star Wars: Age of Resistance -- Rose Tico , it's even more obvious why she was always meant to be a rebel in the trenches.
This story matches up with the 2017 novel Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Cobalt Squadron, which detailed the demise of her planet. However, here we witness exactly how Paige (her sister, who died at the beginning of The Last Jedi) and Rose grew up, as soldiers fighting the war before those like Finn ever aspired to liberate the galaxy.
Their parents taught them on Hays Minor how to pilot X-wings, knowing the First Order would come some day, and one mission's revealed which shows the sisters taking down a dozen of Kylo Ren's ships. The intriguing thing is, Rose isn't a mechanic or working behind the scenes, she's running point. Paige is second fiddle, distracting Stormtroopers with her speeder, while Rose acts as a covert agent, using her torch to cut into the base and sabotage the vessels. Honestly, being in the belly of the beast like that is so dangerous, and something Luke, Han and Leia did in their heyday.
That debunks the notion of Rose being mere backup, as she's clearly the strategist, dictating how their acts of terror should unfold, so much so that she's reminiscent of General Leia. When their parents paid for passage to send them to the Resistance, it's bittersweet because while the siblings continued working with Leia to take down General Hux's army, Hays Minor is ultimately destroyed. It comes full circle when the Ticos attempt to steal a cruiser for a revenge mission, and Leia convinces them to stay, as they're too valuable. Rose wises up and allows Paige to run the ships, as she realizes her expertise is rare and something the technicians need. Still, it's her decision to stay and help Leia carry out this vision, reminding us she's more than a crutch for Finn.
Paige follows her sister's lead, as they want to make a lasting impact. Sadly, led to the First Order coming for them on D'Qar, which resulted in Paige's sacrifice for Leia's fleet to escape.
No matter what, Rose has been conditioned to survive, reiterated by her powering on when Paige perished. It's up to her if she wants to return to the frontlines, but clearly, she's mature enough to stay where she'll make the biggest difference. Interestingly enough, following the team barely surviving The Last Jedi, her ardent supporters are hoping J.J. Abrams gives her more screen time in The Rise of Skywalker to show all of this, and silence doubters once and for all who question whether she can cut it. She can, and it's something she's been doing since she was a kid.