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The Force Is Strong With Latinos

Star Wars is bigger than ever, and a lot of the stars pushing it forward are Latino.

With Disney Plus' "Kenobi" set to release May 27th, Vanity Fair released a cover with Star Wars front and center.

That is a cool cover. I am excited for "Kenobi" to release. For older millennials, a Star Wars show that centers around one of the coolest and most beloved Jedi is a dream come true. I read all of the Star Wars content I could growing up, and a lot of it centered on Obi-Wan Kenobi. I joked with a friend or two that Ewan McGregor can now be considered an honorary Latino. That's not true, but I've always been a big fan of Ewan Mcgregor.

The future of the Star Wars universe is bright. "The Mandalorian" (starring cover actor Pedro Pascal) was a smash hit. "Rogue One" is largely considered one of the best Star Wars films ever made, and it starred Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, who is also set to get his series. Rosario Dawson, who was featured as powerful Jedi Ahsoka, will also get her own series titled "Ahsoka."

Seeing anything in that photo that stands out? I sure do. Three of those four actors are Latino/x/a. This fills me with a lot of joy, and it's one of the most positive things to see in a week filled with a lot of tragedy. 

Rogue One

All of this was set in motion in 2016 when "Rogue One" was released in December 2016. I remember seeing this movie because of the circumstances in which I was able to see it. When Diego Luna appeared on-screen using his native Chilango accent, I was pretty excited. I just assumed the production would have him tone down his accent. I was even more delighted to find that this Mexican actor was not playing the comic relief or some demeaning role that Latino actors are often relegated to. He was the male protagonist. This movie was popular with Star Wars fans almost universally—something rare among Star Wars fans. Simply put, Cassian Andor rocks.

The Mandalorian

In November 2019, The Mandalorian was released with a lot of hype and excitement. It too, was well-received by Star Wars fans and critics alike. The star was Chilean actor, Pedro Pascal. I would have loved to have seen more of his face in the series, but as Din Djarin would say, "this is the way."

In the second season of "The Mandalorian" as well as in the first season of "The Book of Boba Fett," Rosario Dawson has appeared as beloved Jedi, Ahsoka Tano. Rosario Dawson is of Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican background. "Ahsoka" is slated to be released in 2023.

Latino Representation

After the success of Disney films like "Coco" and "Encanto," it is clear that Latino-based media not only sells but is important. At En Fuego we have discussed this concept many times but still not enough. After Netflix canceled "Gentefied," one of my favorite shows in recent years, it's clear that even money doesn't guarantee that our community will be properly represented. "Gentefied" was popular and acclaimed, but Netflix still canceled it. Latinos should take a lot of pride in seeing this Vanity Fair cover. We should also, however, be vigilant in expecting more.