Fan’s post about representation in the latest “Star Wars” film goes viral
Representation in pop culture and entertainment matters, and a viral post circulating this week about the latest Star Wars film illustrates that perfectly. The story reminds us what it means to a person seeing someone who looks and sounds like them featured in a movie or on television.
And it’s absolutely heart-warming, to boot.
A fan of the new Star Wars movie “Rogue One” took to social media to tell the story of bringing his father, who’s Mexican, to see the film. “Rogue One” star Diego Luna, who played the role of Cassian Andor in the latest installment of the legendary franchise, caught wind of the man’s tale and tweeted it, where it quickly went viral.
— diego luna (@diegoluna_) January 4, 2017
The fan, who goes by the username riveralwaysknew on Tumblr, initially shared his story to the platform, where it was discovered by Luna, who says it made him “emotional.” The man writes, “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.”
He says, “When Diego Luna’s character came onscreen and started speaking, my dad nudged me and said, ‘He has a heavy accent.’ I was like, ‘Yup.’”
And we already have chills.
“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,” he writes. His father than asked if the movie made a lot of money and whether people liked it, which the son proudly told him a resounding “yes” on both counts, as the film was the second-highest grossing of 2016 despite coming out in December and that it was met with rave reviews.
Once those matters were settled, his father focused on the biggest take-away from his perspective. “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.”
For the uninitiated, Luna is Mexican and in the film, he indeed does nothing to conceal his accent, and thanks to this fan’s viral post, we can see why that’s so important. This man’s father felt a sense of pride and familiarity seeing someone onscreen who looks and sounds like him. Much like our children feel good when they see their own likeness represented in dolls and action figures, it still makes a difference even when you’re an adult. It’s something many take for granted: the ability to see themselves represented in movies and on television. We’re reminded of what a meaningful thing that is when we hear how it resonates with someone who doesn’t have that chance every day.
The fan ended his post saying, “As we drove home he started telling me about other Mexican actors that he thinks should be in movies in America. Representation matters.” And he couldn’t be more correct. Hopefully, posts like his spreading will bring awareness to the importance of diversity in entertainment so more of these stories can be told.