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Diego Luna In “Rogue One” And Representation

I really loved Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and not just because it was an exciting Star Wars epic. One of the things I really liked was the fact that one of the main protagonists was played by Mexican actor Diego Luna. He portrays captain Cassian Andor, the rebel leader who helps Jyn Erso, (Felicity Jones), steal the plans for the Death Star. Like many Latinos I am delighted that we are finally being represented in the Star Wars universe along with The Force Awakens‘ Oscar Isaac and Jimmy Smits, (who reprises his role as Bail Organa). A young woman named Perla Nation took her Mexican born father Pablo Perez to see the film. Perez has a thick Mexican accent and was overcome with emotion seeing someone who talks like him in Star Wars. The post about the experience went viral on Facebook and Twitter. It reads:

“I took my father to see Rogue One today. I’ve wanted to take him for a while. I wanted my Mexican father, with his thick Mexican accent, to experience what it was like to see a hero in a blockbuster film, speak the way he does. And although I wasn’t sure if it was going to resonate with him, I took him anyway. When Diego Luna’s character came on screen and started speaking, my dad nudged me and said, “he has a heavy accent.” I was like, “Yup.” When the film was over and we were walking to the car, he turns to me and says, “did you notice that he had an accent?” And I said, “Yeah dad, just like yours.” Then my dad asked me if the film had made a lot of money. I told him it was the second highest grossing film of 2016 despite it only being out for 18 days in 2016 (since new year just came around). He then asked me if people liked the film, I told him that it had a huge following online and great reviews. He then asked me why Diego Luna hadn’t changed his accent and I told him that Diego has openly talked about keeping his accent and how proud he is of it. And my dad was silent for a while and then he said, “And he was a main character.” And I said, “He was.” And my dad was so happy. As we drove home he started telling me about other Mexican actors that he thinks should be in movies in America. Representation matters.”

When I saw my first Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back, I was only three years old and didn’t speak any English. I even transposed Lando Calrissian’s name into Carlos Lissian because it sounded more familiar to me. I would have loved to have seen someone like me on the screen. Now today’s kids won’t have to hope, they have Cassian Andor and Poe Dameron to look up to.

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