One of the great little details about Star Wars that doesn’t receive a lot of attention is that its characters — or at least the ones that speak English — look and sound just like us, despite being characters in a science-fiction story that is set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Up until this point, this has mostly meant that you would hear a lot of American and British accents being thrown around, but the most recent film, Rogue One, has a number of different accents, including Diego Luna’s Mexican accent. Many people probably didn’t think twice about Luna’s accent, but now it’s getting a lot of attention, in the best way possible.
Luna recently shared an “emotional story” on Twitter about being touched by a fan’s experience watching the film with his Mexican father. As it turns out, it wasn’t the X-Wing battles or showstopping Darth Vader moments that made the biggest impression, but rather Luna’s decision to not abandon his Mexican roots onscreen.
“I took my father to see Rogue One today,” wrote the fan. “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 onscreen 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 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.”
He added: “As we drove home he started telling me about other Mexican actors that he thinks should be in movies in America. Representation matters.”
— diego luna (@diegoluna_) January 4, 2017
In other Star Wars news, it was recently revealed that Woody Harrelson is being considered for a prominent role in the Han Solo spinoff, currently slated for a 2018 release.