Rose Tico’s hero’s journey

We know very little about the character Rose, who will be introduced into the Star Wars saga in The Last Jedi. The details we have are few and far between. Nevertheless, we may have figured out what is likely Rose’s arc. Let’s take a tour of what we do know and connect the dots. 

Rose Tico will emerge from humble beginnings a a simple mechanic for the Resistance. There is a good chance that she will have a “hero’s journey” of her own, progressing from this role into a critical part of the Resistance. It all begins with her sister…

Sister Paige Tico

Rose and her sister, Paige, apparently have been part of the Resistance for a while. While Rose is just a mechanic, Paige is a gunner. This distinction was made by Breznican when he writes about Rose:

[Rose] is a gearhead, a grease monkey, a behind-the-scenes jack-of-all-trades, while her sister Paige (played by Veronica Ngo) is the dynamic one — a Resistance gunner who fights on the front lines

Rose may have lived for a while in the shadow of her sister, and probably looked up to her sister. This may only last so long. That’s because we’ve seen in the trailer someone falling, and there is a very good chance that this is in fact Paige.

Jedi Council Forums

The comparison between the hat and uniform of this picture and the Paige action figure is pretty clear. This would lead to an emotional moment at the beginning of the film when Rose loses her sister, and continuing throughout. Rose misses her sister, but is willing to continue fighting for what she and her sister were originally fighting for. There is also a necklace that Rose wears, which was recently revealed in this new image:

Entertainment Weekly

Regarding the necklace, actress Kelly Marie Tran says:

“That is definitely something that is significant to Rose’s backstory,” Tran reveals. “It is an object that she kind of has throughout the film and it is representative of more than the object itself to her. So, yeah, that’s all I can say. It has significance that is, to me, something that means more than just what the object itself is.”

It seems to make the most sense that the necklace is connected to Paige. Perhaps Paige was wearing it and Rose recovered it after the fall?

Rose’s Hero’s Journey

It is perhaps the event of losing her sister that sets Rose on a hero’s journey of her own, and the loss of her sister might be associated with Rose’s refusal to take the call for adventure because of the danger it makes clear. At the same time, this loss may motivate Rose to continue further into the Resistance because there is nothing left for her in ordinary life. This is sort of like the way Luke’s loss of his aunt and uncle lead him to go with Obi Wan to Alderaan because there is nothing left on Tatooine to hold him back. What’s more, Rose and Paige’s family’s home may have been destroyed by the First Order, which further closes the “pathway home” to ordinary life. According to Boyega:

“[Finn is] a hero to people like Rose, who fight for the Resistance because their homes have been destroyed by the First Order.”

Clearly, Rose is a fan of Finn, and really looks up to him at the beginning of TLJ. Recently, an advertisement shown in the UK shows Rose in a cockpit looking determined. The writer of this post thought that Rose was piloting one of those Resistance ski speeders. Therefore, Rose has been enlisted to a role above her mechanic beginnings, and had the courage to risk her life to do so. This video just leaked online yesterday, and you can check it here. It’s clear that this is Crait because of the red dust in the upper left of the image:

Perhaps she has done this partly help Finn out of a jam. She may have gotten into one of these ships to help him because of her aforementioned admiration of Finn, or just stepping up to fight for the memory of her sister and family. There is that one ski speeder from the teaser trailer that makes a rocky landing:

I’m thinking this is either Finn or Rose because we now know that both of them are piloting these ski speeders, and we also know that both of them are not trained as pilots. They are both stepping up outside their comfort zone to fight the good fight. Either way, it sets up the fact that they are new to piloting, and that the dangers involved are real.

I actually think that all this is to set up that Rose will help save Finn in her “hero moment”. If and when Rose saves Finn, it will be all the more poignant because neither of them are well-trained pilots. Rose’s humble beginnings, the loss of her sister, are all to set the groundwork for her moment saving the day in some big way. I think this is likely because all the signs point to a “hero’s journey”, and there must be some sort of pay off in the end to complete this journey, unless its completed in the next movie, which is also possible.

In the end, Rose will rise from the ordinary life of a mechanic, face the real risks involved after the death of her sister and loss of her family, ultimately to save the day as a pilot on Crait in the end. We’ll see how it all plays out.

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