If you saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story over the holidays, there's something you may have noticed that sets it apart from other blockbusters — it has a diverse cast. The film's group of heroes features actors of various backgrounds, including Mexican star Diego Luna.
The actor, who plays Capt. Cassian Andor, drew attention to the importance of onscreen representation this week when he shared a fan's touching story about taking their Mexican father to see the film. "I got emotional reading this!" Luna wrote on Twitter alongside a screenshot of the fan's post.
"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," the fan writes.
They go on to describe their father's excitement over Luna's "heavy accent," which he kept for the role, as well as the fact that the film had done well at the box office, and been well-received by fans and critics. "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."
The story, which has received tens of thousands of retweets, is a testament to the power of diversity, and what a positive impact it can have on underrepresented groups to see people like themselves depicted in popular storytelling.
Diego Luna himself spoke out about the simple reason representation is so important — to reflect real life. "There is a need to have a modern approach to this world," he told IndieWire. "There was a need for a Star Wars film that talked about racial diversity, that rethinks the role of women, that is modern, that has more to do with the world we live in."
Hopefully the film industry can soon reach a point where films like Rogue One are the norm, and not the exception.
Cover image via YouTube