MEXICANS IN THE US

Why hearing a Mexican accent in the new ‘Star Wars’ film is a big deal

Tweet about 60-year-old’s delight at Diego Luna’s starring role in ‘Rogue One’ goes viral

It all started with a post on Tumblr. On January 3, a student uploaded a message onto the social media site about taking her Mexican father to see Rogue One, the new movie in the Star Wars franchise. In the post, the young woman described her father’s joy at hearing the thick Mexican accent of actor Diego Luna in the film, and his surprise at finding out the movie had been massively successful.

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The story could have ended there, but then Luna, who had called on Latinos in the US not to vote for Donald Trump in last year’s presidential election, retweeted the Tumblr post, saying: “I got emotional reading this.”

The young author of the original post then wrote: “My father will be so happy when he gets home. He is Tijuana now. I called him on the phone, but he didn’t answer. I will let you all know what he says.”

The student kept her word, later posting online a video in which she told her father that Luna had retweeted her story.

“Did you want to say something to Diego?” she asks her father in the short clip.

“I think it’s extraordinary what he did. I’m delighted that he maintained his Latino accent in the film, and you can see he is an extraordinary actor,” her father replies.

In a message for Luna under the video, the student wrote: “Thank you so much for making his week with your wonderful messages, he is an amazing father and such a hard worker and deserves everything good in this world.”

Luna has previously spoken about his decision not to change his accent with the bilingual entertainment news channel MVTO. Asked whether he had ever had a discussion with the film’s director Gareth Edwards about the way he spoke, the actor said: “I think the conversation was: ‘This is my accent.’ It was a short conversation.” He admitted, however, that he had had a dialect coach during his preparation for the role.

English version by George Mills.

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