The staff of Tu Vez is fairly nerdy, if you haven’t noticed. Sci-fi, comic books, fantasy novels, and video games are our kind of thing. When we were growing up, there weren’t a lot of Latinos in sci-fi. There were no homeboys in the original Star Wars series, and we didn’t make it into the future in Star Trek. Luckily, in the last few years we have been popping up all over outer space. We guess we just hadn’t immigrated that far out yet. Here are some of the best.
Ah, Michelle Rodriguez. She is the queen of Latino sci-fi. In Avatar she plays Trudy, the hardass space chopper pilot that joins forces with the sexy blue cat people of Pandora. Michelle has made a career out of playing chicks with bad attitudes, which means she’s essentially played the same character for many years. She is a tough chick in Lost (Anna Lucia Cortez), Machete (Luz), and Battle:Los Angeles (Elena Santos). We’ll forgive her lack of range. Michelle is kind of hot.
Good old Hurley was one of the most popular character on the cult TV show Lost. Hurley was played by the lovable big guy Jorge Garcia. When the show started, we thought there was no way Hurley was going to make it. We assumed that sooner or later those guys on the island were going to kill him and feed the whole group, a la Alive. Luckily for our heavy-set friend, he persevered to the bitter end. In addition to obesity, Hurley shared another distinctive Latino characteristic: love for the lotto. Hurley wins the lottery prior to the plane crash prior to the crash of Oceanic Flight 815, which curses him with bad luck. Ain’t it always the way?
Yes, yes, it’s true. The Star Wars prequels were all kinds of terrible. The only real excuse and validation we have for it is that, if nothing else, they added Latinos to the Star Wars universe with Senator Bail Organa (played by Jimmy Smits). Bail is one of the leaders of the rebel alliance and Princess Leia’s future step-father. Apparently, his planet Alderan is where all the Latinos live. At the end of Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, we see Bail’s lovely Latina wife in a mantilla holding Princess Leia. Unfortunately, Alderan is later destroyed by the Death Star in Episode IV: A New Hope. That plan backfired on the Empire. By killing all the Latinos they lost most of their labor force. That’s why the second Death Star took so long to build. If they had a few Alderinos left, that thing would have been finished on schedule.
Khan was the one Latino in Star Trek when we were kids. Khan was played, in all his scene-chomping glory, by the great Ricardo Montalban. All he and his pecs wanted was to kill Captain Kirk for abandoning him on Seti Alpha Five all those years ago. In later Star Trek series they added some Latino characters, namely Enrique Muñiz (F.J. Rios) on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and B’Elanna Torres on Star Trek: Voyager. But to us, no one beats KHHHAAAAANNNNNNNN!
Of course Edward James Olmos is on this freaking list! You can always count on good old EJO to lead the way. The dude is sci-fi royalty. In 1982, he played Gaff in the Ridley Scott masterpiece Blade Runner. Fast forward to 2003, he’s playing the gruff leader of the titular Battlestar Galactica. Adama is a complex character, a man torn by his sense of duty and his incredibly strong emotions. If we were among the surviving members of the human race, we’d want Eddie Olmos protecting us from the Cylons. Later, Adama and his father Joseph (Esai Morales) were featured on the Battlestar prequel series Caprica. We find out that the Latinos of their universe come from the planet Tauron, and are looked down upon by the gringos on planet Caprica. Damn. Even in outer space people hate on us.