As diversity in pop-culture and mainstream media continues to be a major issue, it is becoming more evident that it is needed more than ever. More and more top companies are being pressured to diversify both inside and out, and show a true representation of the changing face of our nation.
In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Diego Luna plays Captain Cassian a major role in the film. But his presence on screen is more than just playing a role, it’s about adding representation of people with different backgrounds and accents to major roles. Diego Luna who first got his start in Mexican telenovela’s has been able to break through in mainstream Hollywood and add a voice to Latino’s in major Hollywood roles. In Rogue One Luna is part of a diverse cast that joins a major franchise.
Luna recently shared a story via Twitter from a Tumblr user who said she took her Mexican father to see Rogue One because she wanted him to see a hero character in a major film who had an accent like his. Tumblr user: riveralwaysknew explains that when “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 returns to me and says, ‘Did you noticed that he had an accent?’ And I said, ‘Yeah dad, just like yours.’” Her dad was so surprised and excited to see a major character in a film that represented him. Diego Luna was so touched by the story that he tweeted it by saying “I got emotional reading this!”.
This is what representation is for and all about. Giving a voice to the voiceless, being noticed by others, and having the opportunity to feel that big dreams are attainable. The entertainment industry still has a long way to go, but every step in the right direction is a major step forward.