For a first-timer at Star Wars Celebration, the ultimate convention for everything related to this universe, there was one thing made clear above the rest. One thing that stood out to me and left me feeling giddy, happy, and welcomed from the very moment I stepped foot there. And something that I can’t stop thinking about days later. Star Wars Celebration was unequivocally a love letter to “Space Latinos.”
First, there was Andor. The way that the room transformed when Diego Luna appeared on stage is something I won’t forget soon. Because I knew that there was love for Rogue One, the movie his character Cassian is in, but I didn’t expect the sheer joy at him, his show, and the trailer that followed. And let’s not forget the “I love you’s!” in English and in Spanish that people were throwing his way.
Then there was The Mandalorian. Played by Pedro Pascal, it tells the story of a Mandalorian and his unlikely charge Grogu and how they save each other. Now when Pedro Pascal made a surprise appearance the room broke out into chants of, “Pedro! Pedro! Pedro!” And when the panel was done, fans rushed forward in a way I’ve never seen, looking for an autograph or picture with the Mandalorian himself.
Finally, there’s Ahsoka. I personally underestimated the love for this character, now played by Rosario Dawson, as I’ve never watched The Clone Wars. But now I have to because the Star Wars fans in that arena absolutely welcomed her with open arms, rushing after the panel to also get an autograph from Dawson, solidifying that she is part of the “Space Latinos” crew now.
Together they form a growing shift at Lucasfilm that started with the likes of Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac. A shift born out of making sure that those in our communities feel seen through the likes of people who have grown up in our way of living. And the energy and the love that I felt at Star Wars Celebration is proof that “Space Latinos” aren’t just a phase. They are the future.
So what’s next? My hope is that The Mandalorian season 3 skyrockets Pedro Pascal into stardom in a way that he’s never experienced before because of the love he has for fans and Grogu alike. I hope Diego Luna’s Andor has a record-breaking release when it lands on Disney+. And I hope that Rosario Dawson’s Ahsoka lives up to the major love that fans have had for her character for ages.
And who’s to say that other “Space Latinos” won’t join the crew as Lucasfilm continues to expand this universe via live-action shows and animated series? With the display of love I witnessed for Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, and Rosario Dawson, there’s no doubt in my mind that they will be welcomed as well into a universe that celebrates our differences and brings us together in unique and interesting ways that reflect the experience of living.