By Annabella Campos
Diego Luna (Y tu Mama Tambien, Rudo y Cursi) will appear as the lead character, Captain Cassian Andor, along with Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything) as Jyn Erso in the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story directed by Gareth Edwards. Luna’s recent work includes starring opposite Mel Gibson and William H. Macy in the film Blood Father. This year Luna also directed the drama Mr. Pig starring Danny Glover, Maya Rudolph, and Joel Murray. In 2014 Luna directed the biography drama Cesar Chavez and was the lead voice of the animated feature The Book of Life, directed by Jorge Gutierrez.
Now Luna gets ready to appear in his highest profile role to date. Rogue One is the first, of what is known as The Star Wars Anthology Series, it is the first live action installment in the series to be set outside the main Skywalker family saga. The series is described as a standalone anthology line of movies.
This past summer during an interview at the Star Wars Celebration, Luna was excited to finally talk about the role and what it meant to be part of the film. “I’ve never done a project that people are expecting so much. This film connected me with my childhood. My love with cinema. My journey through the Star Wars world, because I’m a fan,” said Luna. “I was born in ’79, so I was always the youngest cousin trying to belong along with my older cousins. So I jumped into Star Wars then. This role made me feel connected to that kid.”
Luna talked about what Cassian Andor brings to the rebel team, “Captain Casssian Andor works for the rebellion, for intelligence, the team starts with the two of them, Jyn and Cassian, as the story continues the team grows. Like in any team there are frictions and issues. It’s Casssian that has to keep them together.”
The marketing of the Star Wars spin off films has highlighted the war and gritty drama that provides contrast to the classic space opera finish of the numbered episodes. Luna in the role of Captain Cassian Andor, a rebel soldier who is described as a hero, a man with convictions and with a desire for freedom. A soldier that is trained to collaborate with others to do something extraordinary.
In the past, the exclusion of Latinos leads in sci-fi, or any films for that matter, was a constant gripe for the Latino community. However, recent developments in the last 10 years has resulted in more diversified opportunities for Latinos. In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Luna, as Cassian Andor plays a hero in a group of unlikely heroes who band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. Considering his character’s actions, we can argue that Luna is going further than any other Latino has gone in futuristic films and Star War films in particular, possibly paving the road for more Latinos in leads in sci-fi galaxies far far away.
Not to slight Oscar Issacs who did played the villain Poe Dameron in the franchise film Star Wars: Episode – Attack of the Clones and Jimmy Smits, who appeared in Star Wars: Episode – Attack of the Clones as Senator Bail Organa who have also been to where no other Latinos have gone.
Rogue One is produced by Lucasfilm, and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the U.S. release date is December 16th.
Disney announced on November 25th that U.S. tickets for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will go on sale on November 28th.