Getting Real with Raya: An Interview with Kelly Marie Tran

Today, I’m beyond thrilled that I get to say that we finally have a Southeast Asian Disney Princess! That’s right! Raya and the Last Dragon is officially hitting cinemas and Disney+ via Premier Access today, and we couldn’t be happier. In fact, if you want to take a look at what we thought of the film, check out our review here.

Having said that, here at The Nerds of Color, I’ve had the privilege of interviewing may talented and wonderful actors of color; each one doing their part to further the cause of shining a light on the underrepresented. However, to me, this 10 minute interview may top them all!

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The Middle Geeks Episode 17: MENA in the Stars and Middle Earth

We’re excited to have on TV writer, blogger, and Star Wars fan Arezou Amin on to discuss the long history of MENA people being excluded from Science Fiction and Fantasy media. Why are we constantly ousted from stories that were, in fact, inspired by works based on the Middle East and our culture? Where could we even find ourselves? We discuss Arezou’s project with Postcards from the Galaxy’s Edge featuring Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Star Wars fans, and what she and the podcast hoped to achieve with it. We also discuss various DCTV news, including the Legends of Tomorrow panel at DC FanDome and the future of Zari and Behrad Tarazi in Season 6, Supergirl ending with Season 6, and Caity Lotz’s bufoonish tweets, and the news that Alia Shawkat is creating and starring in a series based on her family’s Iraqi immigrant experience!

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The Rise of Disney and the Future of Fantasy in the Shadow of the Empire

When I first saw The Force Awakens after a fully funded summer media apparatus of hype in the winter of 2015, I remember the following Christmas morning my mother turned the corner, threw me a Force Awakens pillow, and coldly chuckled “Merry Christmas.” It was a good joke — like many the Force is moderately strong in my family — but it left me to wonder, what Christmas spirit at Walmart possessed my Mom to buy me this gift? I suspect my mother may have unknowingly become a Disney market research statistic. But after the last five years and our predestined Rise of Skywalker, I am largely left to ask the same question.

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The Middle Geeks Episode 8: The State of MENA Representation in Hollywood and Star Wars

It’s the most wonderful time of the year on The Middle Geeks! Star Wars time! But is it really though, with the latest release of The Rise of Skywalker? Swara and Mae discuss, getting into what they liked about the film, as well as the issues they had with it and the Sequel Trilogy as a whole. Note that this is a SPOILER discussion. But before that, we get into the month of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) representation highs and lows, from the high of having an Arab-American hero introduced to Marvel Comics to the low of Aladdin star Mena Massoud not getting a single audition due to Hollywood racism, even after his film made a billion dollars. We still have a long way to go!

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Hard NOC Life: The Reaction to ‘Skywalker’

After 42 years, the Skywalker Saga comes to a close with the release of The Rise of Skywalker. Keith was joined by Jamie Noguchi to screen the movie at Baltimore’s historic Senator Theater. Here are their instant reactions. SPOILERS!

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NOC Review: ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Ends the ‘Star Wars’ Saga with a Whimper

Let’s be honest. The reason you, the skeptic who hated on The Last Jedi for two years (not me, but you know who you are!), went on this site and clicked on this review is to find out whether or not Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is any good. But the answer to this isn’t a simple one. Now before the cynic in you dismisses the movie entirely just because it’s not an overwhelmingly positive “yes,” just know that it’s not terrible either. To put it simply, in a year where we had Avengers: Endgame and the finale of Game of ThronesThe Rise of Skywalker, the conclusion to the 40 year Skywalker saga, is squarely in between: neither as amazingly uplifting and universally praised, nor as abysmally disappointing and anticlimactic as some other fantasy finales that pissed me off.

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Hard NOC Life: The Last Rogue Force Awakens One Solo Jedi

With Rise of Skywalker and the end of the Skywalker Saga at the end of the month to look forward to, Hard NOC Life is going to be a Star Wars podcast for the month of December. Because there aren’t enough Star Wars podcasts on the internet! Each week, Dominic and Keith will be breaking down a different trilogy that make up the beloved Star Wars franchise.

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The IX Best Moments from the Final ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Trailer

Finally, after weeks of anticipation — and one half of terrible football (unless you were a New England Patriots fan) — the world finally got to see the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and ultimately, the final trailer of the Skywalker Saga. And it did not disappoint!

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Kelly Marie Tran Stars in ‘Passenger List,’ a New Audio Drama Premiering Today

That’s right, you do not have to wait ’til December’s release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to hear from Kelly Marie Tran, because she stars in Passenger List, a new mystery thriller podcast arriving today from Radiotopia! Our favorite Space Asian actor voices the lead character Kaitlin Le in this fictional narrative involving “a missing plane, a cabin full of suspects, a search for truth.”

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#RallyForRose Episode II Photo Gallery

We held our second annual “Rally For Rose” during San Diego Comic-Con on July 20. Even though we were competing with Marvel Studios’ Hall H panel, we were able to turn out several supporters and raise some money for both Alliance San Diego and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. The rally — which, this year, consisted of a march (or a “Rose Parade,” if you will) that started at the IMDboat and made its way to the Hilton Bayfront and was covered by Variety and NPR. All the while drawing attention to the importance of representation for all marginalized communities.

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Join the #RoseParade at San Diego Comic-Con 2019

This year marks the 50th anniversary of San Diego Comic-Con, and the one-year anniversary since a crowd of Rose Tico cosplayers gathered at Bayfront Park to show their support for Kelly Marie Tran. And we’re doing it all over again! This time, we’re planning to march in a “Rose Parade” from the Convention Center to the NOC Meetup at the Hilton on Saturday, July 20. Let us know you’ll be part of the parade on Facebook!

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#RallyForRose Photo Gallery

This weekend during Comic-Con International in San Diego, nearly 40 people gathered in cosplay and Rose Tico t-shirts outside the Hilton Bayfront for the first ever “Rally For Rose,” including folks such as author C.B. Lee and Marvel’s New Warriors actress Kate Comer.  Our Rally even got the attention of several media outlets like CNET, Rolling Stone, Nerdist, Business Insider, and the Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Oh, and the Rally got tweeted by Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill.

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Keith’s Comic-Con Schedule

After taking last year off, I’m happy to say that I’m heading back to San Diego for another Comic-Con International! As a result, The Nerds of Color will be attending and sponsoring a couple events throughout the weekend. I’m also on multiple panels for the first time! So check below for all the places you can catch me at Comic-Con this weekend!

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Hard NOC Life: Shawn Joins Keith to Break Down the Week in Pop Culture

Welcome to a new era of Hard NOC Life! Starting with this episode, Shawn Taylor joins as the permanent co-host alongside Keith Chow as they break down the week that was in nerd pop culture.

Episode 115: “Bathing in Fanboy Tears

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Rally for Rose Tico at San Diego Comic-Con

It goes without saying that we are huge fans of Rose Tico and  Kelly Marie Tran here at The Nerds of Color. Unfortunately, there’s a significant portion of Star Wars fandom that doesn’t agree. Even worse, they’ve taken their disdain for a fictional character and used it to harass the actress so much that she had to delete her Instagram.

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