Highlighting Hispanic Characters in Star Wars
Growing up in a Hispanic household and community, there wasn't much Hispanic/Latinx representation in media that wasn't stereotypical or made without an authentic voice. Star Wars is a great franchise where my family and I have seen lots of Latinx characters, actors, and directors prosper! Hispanic Heritage month is nearly ending and I wanted to talk about some of my favorite Star Wars Hispanic/Latinx characters!
1. Poe Dameron
Let's start this off with one of my amazing and hilarious favorite Latinos in Star Wars: Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac! Oscar Isaac is a Guatemalan-American actor who plays Poe Dameron in The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker, and the animated series Star Wars Resistance! When I was first introduced to Poe with the new trilogy, I was so excited to see more representation where I felt like I could connect better with these characters- he's charming, hilarious and one of the best pilots- what more could you want? Poe's stories is greatly expanded off-screen. Poe Dameron: Free Fall is a book detailing his teenage years as a Spice Runner and the Poe Dameron comic series tells of his story with Black Squadron fighting the First Order!
2. The Doza Family
The Dozas are especially close to my family's heart because of their accents, humor, and connection as a family they represent for us so well. My own dad is a stay at home dad which reminds me of Immanuel Doza and my mom who is constantly working to feed and provide for the family reminds me a lot of the strong and intelligent Venisa Doza, out there fighting to make sure we’re safe! Torra Doza is such a bright and bubbly character that I can't help but be inspired by her optimism. The Dozas are recurring characters on the amazing show Star Wars Resistance!
3. The Martez Sisters
Trace and Rafa Martez are two Hispanic sisters that appear in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7 and The Bad Batch season 1 episode "Decommissioned." Personally, I enjoyed the showtime they got because they are very lovable people (Rafa a little less...) who take care of each other which is extremely important in Hispanic culture. Family needs to always stick together and look out for each other, especially when we're all we have.
4. Pedro Pascal
It's hard for me to have favorite Latinos and Hispanics in Star Wars but Mando is one of my favorite characters. Mando is a very cool character who doesn't need to say much to get his point across (and also he's just a really cool Mandalorian and we get to see more of that history which is cool). Pedro Pascal is an amazing Chilean-American actor who plays Din Djarin in the show The Mandalorian. You might know him. Just not without his helmet.
5. Diego Luna
Rogue One contained lots of representation for many, but one that stuck out to me was Diego Luna who plays Cassian Andor (who will soon have his own show on Disney+)! A little detail that makes my heart so happy is that Diego Luna kept his accent throughout the movie. A lot of Hispanic actors tend to americanize their voice and get rid of their accents so they don't stand out in the film so I think it's amazing to hear it all throughout Rogue One. It's also awesome because he's also from Mexico like me! I hear he makes excellent chilaquiles. :D
6. Benicio Del Toro
Benicio Del Toro is an actor from Puerto Rico who plays DJ in The Last Jedi. DJ was one of my brothers and my favorite character because he always played everything off so sly. It was also cool to see him have a stutter as well. (He also has a one-shot comic that's really good!)
7. Robert Rodriguez
A film director who directed Spy Kids, Sin City, Machete, Sharkboy and Lavagirl, and a dank ferric ton more, also directed The Mandalorian episode "The Tragedy." Which was… the best- very cowboy-like. It's important to have Hispanics/Latinx in every aspect of creating to ensure that you have amazing representation from authentic creators to create masterpieces.
8. Freddie Prinze Jr.
You might know him as Kanan Jarrus, the lovable father figure from Star Wars Rebels (which according to Zoe is very... not dead).You should also know him as a cook who creates amazing recipes that contain Puerto Rican aspects and flavors. His cookbook Back to the Kitchen contains many stories of his childhood growing up with different foods and how he creates them today and more about his Puerto Rican heritage.
9. Lupita Nyong'o
Something I think is important to discuss in the Hispanic and Latinx community is that not everyone in it looks exactly alike. A lot of people don't think I look Mexican according to the image standards they believe all Mexicans look like. Lupita Nyong'o is a Kenyan-Mexican actress who plays Maz Kanata who is one of my favorite characters. With her sass, wit, and her management techniques, she runs her own castle (that has the best chefs). How we look doesn't determine our ethnicity and heritage. There should be representation of all kinds and I think Star Wars is doing pretty well at this so far and I hope will continue to do so.
10. Bail Organa
Last but certainly not least, we have Bail Organa played by Jimmy Smits. Jimmy Smits is an actor from Puerto Rico who is in the prequels and Rogue One. He is the father of Leia Organa and a very kind and intelligent one that helps lead the rebellion against the Empire. Like I said before, a lot of hispanic culture is about family and Star Wars is also constantly about family no matter if you're related by blood or not, and while Leia's biological father is Darth Vader, I will continue to refer to Bail Organa as her father.
As a person from Mexico growing up in a Mexican household, I know I will continue to see more Space Hispanics and Latinx's in Star Wars because everyone deserves to be represented and to be represented correctly in this time of hate and division.