In a world where people often offer creative spins on beloved characters from the vast geekiverse, a trio has come up with one of the hardest-to-top Star Wars cosplays. Santos Medrano, his girlfriend Julia Díaz, and her son Owen Díaz have cholofied Han Solo, Princess Leia, and R2-D2. For the very first time last year, they became Han Cholo (Santos), Princess Loca (Julia), and Arturito (Owen).
“As we were walking in, our camera man tells us, ‘You know this is Anaheim, and most of the fan base is predominantly white. They prob won’t get the cosplay,’” the couple wrote in a Facebook post about attending Star Wars Celebration. “At that point, it freaked us out. As we [continued] to walk in, we saw some people pass us by as they were leaving and giving us looks. We started to regret the cosplay. But then Latinos would come up to us and say, ‘That’s awesome! La Raza!”
It’s not that they created these characters, because anyone equally familiar with Star Wars and Estar Guars has seen these names. Comedian Felipe Esparza has this whole bit where he explains why R2-D2 has to be Mexican. “If anyone is Mexican in Star Wars, it’s R2-D2,” he said in his They’re Not Gonna Laugh At You special. “His name sounds Spanish, Arturito.” But the reason this trio gets so much attention wherever they go is because the costumes are so excellently executed. Princess Loca, for example, wears Leia’s signature buns, but she trades in the white dress for white pants. She also wears a dark lip liner, and buttons her shirt like a cholo.
Star Wars defined Medrano’s adolescence. When he began at La Puente High School, he joined the football team, but he didn’t enjoy the sport. His friends were also in another school, and he didn’t connect with his classmates. “Since none of my friends were around, lunch time was pretty lonely after us football players finished eating,” Santos wrote. “So one day, I came across a guy I knew since third grade… He told me about a room that sells snacks during lunch and they would watch movies. I asked to join and went along. For the rest of the year, I watched the whole original trilogy. We would watch 20 minutes at a time for the whole school year. Star Wars got me through my freshmen year.”
Since then, his love for the George Lucas-created universe has only grown. He works on the Brothers Bear Podcast, where he talks about comics, with his brother. And he helped Díaz become more interested in the saga, who in turn is teaching her son the right way to do Star Wars. “[Santos] definitely helped bring that out in me more,” Díaz said. “And I’m teaching Owen the right way. He watched the original three (movies) before he watched The Force Awakens.”
The two belong to the Monkey Monster Cosplay, which shared a hilarious video for Star Wars Day. Just like in The Force Awakens, Han Cholo is disappointed in his son – only here, it’s not so much because he’s succumbed to the dark side of the force. In Monkey Monsters’ Cosplay video, Han Cholo tries to turn his son, Emo Ren, into a proper cholo.