Lots of reasons are swirling around the internet for the Rose Tico minuscule screen time, but you can scratch ILM off the list after Chris Terrio misspoke.
If you've been on the internet the last few weeks its been impossible to avoid talk about Star Wars and its treatment of Rose Tico. She was only in Rise of Skywalker for a little over one minute long, and the general reason given by Christ Terrio was that she had much more time on screen planned, including a few scenes with Leia.
“We wanted Rose to be the anchor at the rebel base who was with Leia. We thought we couldn’t leave Leia at the base without any of the principals who we love, so Leia and Rose were working together.”
While that sentiment appeased some, people wanted to know why those scenes didn't make it into the movie.
"As the process evolved, a few scenes we’d written with Rose and Leia turned out to not meet the standard of photorealism that we’d hoped for. Those scenes unfortunately fell out of the film...The last thing we were doing was deliberately trying to sideline Rose. We adore the character, and we adore Kelly — so much so that we anchored her with our favorite person in this galaxy, General Leia.”
On the surface, this offers a unique and hard-to-plan-for scenario that took creative edits and a ton of work to get around.
Every movie has scenes that get cut and with Carrie Fisher's tragic death affecting the writing from the get-go, it made sense that when they were forced to pivot, things went sideways.
But ILM, maybe the best VFX house in the world, called bullshit.
They balked at the idea they'd turn something in that was not useable, and Terrio had to quickly issue a retraction, saying:
“I badly misspoke if in an earlier statement I implied that any cut scenes between Rose and Leia were the fault of our VFX team and the wizards at ILM. In that earlier interview, I was referring to a specific scene in which Leia’s emotional state in Episode VII did not seem to match the scene we wrote for use in Episode IX, and so it was cut at the script stage before the VFX work was done. If we had chosen to use the scene, ILM would have made it look perfect. They always do. ILM performed actual miracles at every stage of the creative process in Episode IX. I remain in awe of their work.”
So where does that leave us?
It seems pretty obvious that Rose was sidelined after a vocal minority of fans hated her and her arc from The Last Jedi.
Studios make these kinds of blockbuster movies to make money and, with this one, they didn't want to take any chances. They bent to the will of the masses. I think there is probably a mixture with what Terrio said too.
Remember, Fisher had passed before shooting, so anything they used of her had to be lines or deleted scenes from the last films.
So, while they may have found a way to shoehorn Rose and Leia together, those scenes may not have had the pop and rhythm they wanted for the story, and ultimately got cut.
We will never know the 100% truth of the story, we can only hope that lessons were learned all around.
As of right now, The Rise of Skywalker has made $774,829,514 in the worldwide box office. While it's hard to say these bumps in the road officially hurt the box office, the road forward for Star Wars films does look bumpy.
Internal shakeups should be around the corner, especially as Disney prepares the next stories that will take place in a galaxy far, far away...