Actress Kelly Marie Tran tried to hide it, but the greeting she received from fans at the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago overwhelmed her with emotion.
The huge crowd gave her a sustained standing ovation as she was introduced.
Tran held her hand to her heart and turned her face to the ground as she unsuccessfully tried to hold back the tears.
“Kelly, Kelly, Kelly,” the fans chanted.
“Wow, it’s really overwhelming,” she said.
All this came under the backdrop of Lucasfilms releasing the first look at the upcoming Christmas release of Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker.
Underneath all this is the huge backlash Tran received from trolls upset an Asian American woman now had a prominent role in the movie franchise.
Afterwards she admitted to Entertainment Tonight that she was completely caught off guard by the moment.
“I was very unprepared for that moment and very overwhelmed immediately and tried to shield my face,” she said.
Asked if that was a “healing moment” for her, Tran replied “I think it absolutely did. I think that it also is not just for that, but for the whole franchise. Everyone is so emotional because we’re wrapping up this amazing thing and I cannot believe I still get to be here and be a part of that.”
It’s been a long journey for Tran. She wrote about the backlash in an op-ed for the New York Times. People quoted from that op-ed.
“This is what it is to grow up as a person of color in a White-dominated world. This is what it is to be a woman in a society that has taught its daughters that we are worthy of love only if we are deemed attractive by its sons.
“This is the world I grew up in, but not the world I want to leave behind. I want to live in a world where people of all races, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual orientations, gender identities and abilities are seen as what they have always been: human beings. This is the world I want to live in. And this is the world that I will continue to work toward.”
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