Kelly Marie Tran is awesome.
Unfortunately, she has also been on the receiving end of the worst part of Star Wars fandom, as a toxic minority of fans resort to hate and abuse when they don’t get their way. It happened to Jake Lloyd, it happened to Ahmad Best, it happened to Daisy Ridley, it happened to Rian Johnson, and most recently, it happened to Kelly Marie Tran. The sexist and racist abuse that KMT took caused her to quit social media, but she stood taller than the hate and penned a fantastic response to the harassment she endured online.
And on Friday, she returned to Star Wars Celebration and received a huge ovation from Star Wars fans – a great reminder that a small segment of fans determined to hate won’t overtake the fans who love Star Wars.
At the panel for The Rise of Skywalker, there were big cheers for everyone on the panel, and the cheer for Daisy Ridley was the biggest of all of them, understandably… well, the biggest of everyone except one (in my completely unscientific estimate). The biggest cheer came for Kelly Marie Tran, who received a massive standing ovation and an enduring cheer, accompanied by some in the crowd chanting, “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!”, a reception that brought her to tears.
“I will say that I was grateful to Rian Johnson for so many things that he did in VII,” J.J. Abrams said, “the greatest, though, the greatest for me was casting Kelly Marie.”
Later, Kelly Marie Tran appeared on The Star Wars Show Live alongside J.J. Abrams, and once again the crowd gave her a massive reception, chanting “Kelly!” – with Abrams joining in on the chant.
It definitely stands out as one of the biggest highlights from Celebration, and it’s a very well-deserved reception for a brilliant actress who has conducted herself with immense character and class. And it was another reminder that as a whole, Star Wars fans are awesome. The toxic, hateful minority won’t win. The darkness won’t overcome the light. So well done, Star Wars fans. Well done.