"Rogue One" — the most recent “Star Wars” film — is considered a huge success for a number of reasons.
The heavily-anticipated flick shattered box-office records, earning over $400 million before crossing into 2017 (the movie recently passed the $800 million mark).
But perhaps more importantly, "Rogue One" also shattered any doubt that representation in Hollywood matters.
Diego Luna, who plays Capt. Cassian Andor, shared a touching story from a fan whose father was excited to see a Mexican actor starring in a major film.
Luna was born in Mexico City, Mexico.
The fan described the heartwarming experience on Tumblr:
I took my father to see 'Rogue One' today. I've wanted to take him for a while. 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. And although I wasn't sure if it was going to resonate with him, I took him anyway.
When Diego Luna's character came on screen and started speaking, my dad nudged me and said, 'He has a heavy accent.' I was like, 'Yup.' When the film was over and we were walking to the car, he returns to me and says, 'Did you noticed that he had an accent?' And I said, 'Yeah Dad, just like yours.'
Then my dad asked me if the film had made a lot of money. I told him it was the second highest grossing film of 2016 despite it only being out for 18 days in 2016 (since new year just came around). He then asked me if people liked the film, I told him that it had a huge following online and great reviews.
He then asked me why Diego Luna hadn't changed his accent and I told him that Diego has openly talked about keeping his accent and how proud he is of it. And my dad was silent for a while and then he said, 'And he was a man 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.
Even before "Rogue One" hit the big screen, critics praised director Gareth Edwards' decision to cast a diverse group of actors.
"Rogue One" stars Luna, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, and Donnie Yen.
But Luna's fan *really* hit home in terms of the importance of representation within the entertainment industry.
Even Luna recognizes the significance of his role. "I was backstage looking at the clip going like, ‘I can’t believe that’s me,’" the actor told Ellen Degeneres in December. "Like, oh my god, how cool is that? A Mexican in Stars Wars? Come on!”
If a galaxy far, far away can be inclusive, so can Hollywood.
May the Force continue to be diverse.