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Even Though Disney’s Latina Princesses Stirred Controversy, We Should Have More Of ‘Em

Disney, as you might already know, is gearing up for the debut of Elena of Avalor, its first-ever Latina princess for people to argue a whole lot about. If this sounds a little familiar, it’s because we went through the same debate on Latino-ness with Disney’s other first-ever Latina princess, Sofia the First.

Credit: Disney / Tumblr

It’s because of, not despite, the debate surrounding these characters that Disney should strive to make even MORE Latina princesses. Lots of ’em. From all different places, with a variety of skin tones, hair textures, dreams, goals and abilities. Also please make at least one of the princesses goth.

The reality is that there will always be a certain level of (healthy) trepidation surrounding an announcement that a POC character (or, in Sofia’s case, a white/maybe-Latina character) is being presented to us by a large corporation aimed at bringing in as broad an audience as possible.

Credit: Disney / Starkidnutty

Disney, and similar companies, aim to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and, as is often with the case with entertainment media, whiter (or, similarly, white-washed) characters are deemed more marketable and–blegh–relatable to wider audiences. (More on why “relatability” is silly later.) So when companies present characters who aren’t necessarily Anglo, there’s a fear of potential stereotyping, of tokenization or of otherwise presenting this character through the lens of a presumed very white, very myopic audience. There’s also the concern that these corporations and studios, which might not fundamentally understand something like Latino identities or history, will profit off these portrayals at the expense of actual Latinos. Then there are, of course, arguments against the ideas of Disney princesses in general.

All of these are valid concerns.

And yet…

Representation only becomes better the more there is of it. Particularly now, at a time when social media allows all kinds of voices to be heard, groups that haven’t been able to see themselves adequately and accurately reflected onscreen (even as magical girls from faraway lands) are demanding not just representation, but thoughtful, smart, funny, inclusive representation.

Credit: Disney / Nickelodeon /  Miryuu Chan (via Mashable)

And the reality is, many Latinos are used to relating to white, Anglo characters (and, increasingly, to black characters and Asian characters). I mean, we consume a LOT of media, and a big chunk of it doesn’t involve us at all. Why would non-Latino viewers not, then, also relate to us? After all, plenty of little kids from all backgrounds adore Dora the Explorer and want to be just like her. And who doesn’t love Jane (you know, the virgin)?

Providing us with more Latina princesses also offers a chance to explore how diverse of a community Latinos are, both in terms of physical looks and interests.

If Sofia is deemed too fair and light-eyed to accurately portray a large swatch of Latinas, it’s because that’s true of any Latina. Which is why there should also be Afro-Latina princesses, princesses of indigenous American backgrounds, Japanese-Brazilian princesses, Chinese-Cuban princesses, Latina princesses with bright red hair and freckles, Latina princesses who don’t speak Spanish, Latina princesses who are fifth-generation Chicanas.

Btw, don’t get too hung up on the historical plausibility of these princesses, you guys. They’re literally cartoons. There’s no way that, like, Tinkerbell’s wings could possibly hold up her body mass, or that ANIMALS AND ENCHANTED FREAKIN’ TEAPOTS CAN TALK AND ALSO SOMETIMES WEAR JAUNTY TUNICS, so let’s just draw a line right here.

Basically: More is more. And we should have it all.

Credit: Source image by Disney / Disney.Princess.com

READ: Disney Just Hired a Chicano Cartoonist Who Criticized Them for Years

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The Definitive List of Latinos in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Entertainment

The Definitive List of Latinos in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe

Credit: felineastronaut/Twiiter; theguyinthechair18/Instagram; Star Wars/Twitter

Recently, news broke that beloved Mexican-American director Robert Rodriguez is set to executive producer Disney+’s new Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett. This news broke at the same event that Disney announced that Rosario Dawson will be getting her own Star Wars series on Disney+, a Mandalorian spinoff entitled Ahsoka.

Pair these events with Pedro Pascal headlining The Mandalorian, and it appears that Disney is making some real and concerted effort to hire Latino talent.

And the pattern didn’t just start this year. Since the franchise’s reboot in 2015, Disney has consistently hired Latinos to take part in Star Wars Universe in front of and behind the camera.

In light of this, we’ve compiled a definitive list of all of the Latinos that have been involved in the Star Wars Universe. Take a look below!

1. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron

Credit: MayThe4rceBWYou/Twitter

Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac was one of the first Latinos to set off Disney’s streak of hiring Latino talent for the Star Wars franchise. Isaac (nee Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada) played Poe Dameron, a fighter pilot who rose in the ranks to become General of the Resistance. He appeared in all three movies of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.

2. Pedro Pascal as Mando

Credit: theguyinthechair18/Instagram

Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal plays the titular character in The Mandalorian (his true name is a spoiler), a solitary bounty hunter who travels to the “outer reaches” of the galaxy in order to protect Baby Yoda.

3. Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano

Credit: Star Wars/Twitter

This season, Rosario Dawson played Ahsoka Tano in The Mandolorian–an alien of the Togruta race who is also a Jedi knight and army commander. It was also recently announced that the actress of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent would be headlining a spinoff series on Disney+ entitled Ahsoka.

4. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor

Credit: felineastronaut/Twitter

Mexican actor Diego Luna played Rebel Alliance soldier Cassian Andor in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Luna will also star in his own standalone series revolving around Cassian Andor on Disney+ called Andor.

5. Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata

Credit: sw_holocron/Twitter

Mexican-born actress Lupita Nyong’o played alien pirate queen Maz Kanata via motion capture in all three of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.

6. Benicio Del Toro as DJ

Credit: ComicBookNOW/Twitter

Boricua actor Benicio Del Toro played the villainous hacker DJ in The Last Jedi.

7. Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa

Credit: ComicBookNOW/Twitter

Brooklyn-born Boricua actor Jimmy Smits played Bail Organa in two of the Star Wars prequel movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as well as reprising his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

8. Horatio Sanz as Mythrol

Credit: TheSWU/Twitter

Although you might not recognize him through such heavy character makeup, Chilean-America comedian Horatio Sanz played Mythrol, a wanted fugitive that was carbon-frozen by Pascal’s character in the first episode of The Mandolorian.

9. John Leguizamo as Gor Koresh

Credit: TheRoninNews/Twitter

Again, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize John Leguizamo amidst all the heavy alien makeup, but the Colombian-American actor played the character Gor Koresh in The Mandolorian–boastful forager of the Abyssin alien race.

10. Robert Rodriguez

Credit: Getty Images

As we reported above, Robert Rodriguez is a legendary Mexican-American director who helmed a popular episode of The Mandolorian entitled “The Tragedy”. He is now set to executive produce a new Disney+ Star Wars series called The Book of Boba Fett.

11. Adria Arjona

Credit: adriaarjona/Instagram

Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona has not officially appeared in any Star Wars properties yet, but it was recently announced that she will be appearing in Diego Luna’s Star Wars spinoff series Andor as a yet-to-be-named character.

12. Pablo Hidalgo

Credit: pabloarteche/Twitter

Pablo Hidalgo is the definition of behind-the-scenes talent. The Chilean-Canadian LucasFilm creative executive is in charge of keeping narrative and creative cohesion between all of the stories within the Star Wars Universe. In essence, he is the definitive Star Wars expert.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Chadwick Boseman’s Role As T’Challa In ‘Black Panther’ Will Not Be Recast In The Sequel

Entertainment

Chadwick Boseman’s Role As T’Challa In ‘Black Panther’ Will Not Be Recast In The Sequel

Chadwick Boseman’s role of T’Challa in “Black Panther” will not be recast in honor of the cator’s legacy. Boseman died unexpectedly of cancer earlier this year sending shockwave of grief through Hollywood and his fanbase.

Disney is honoring Chadwick Boseman by not recasting his role in the sequel to “Black Panther.”

According to NBC News, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told investors that the company had no plans to recast Boseman’s role in the superhero sequel. There has been speculation about what Disney would do about the historic role. At one point, executive producer Victoria Alonso had to deny rumors that a virtual double was being used to fill Boseman’s role on the movie.

“I wanted to acknowledge the devastating loss of a dear friend and member of the Marvel Studios family. Chadwick Boseman was an immensely talented actor and an inspirational individual who affected all of our lives professionally and personally. His portrayal of T’Challa the Black Panther is iconic and transcends iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past,” Feige said, according to reports. “It’s for that reason that we will not recast the character. However, to honor the legacy that Chad helped us build through his portrayal of the king of Wakanda, we want to continue to explore the world of Wakanda and all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film. Writer/director Ryan Coogler is hard at work on the sequel now, and we’ll bring the film to you in theaters July 8, 2022.”

The MTV Movie and TV Awards: Greatest of all Time honored Boseman with the “Hero for the Ages” award.

“The second you first saw him onscreen or had the opportunity to meet him in person, his energy and intensity was undeniable,” Robert Downey Jr. said as he and Don Cheadle gave tribute to Boseman. “There was something different and special about Chadwick Boseman. Mr. Boseman truly embodied what it meant to be a superhero. His impact as a groundbreaking leading man, as an icon on screen… it won’t be quantified by the box office records he broke but by the legion of fans who will celebrate him for many years to come.”

Boseman, who died of cancer at age 43, was not just a hero on screen.

Boseman’s death added a devastating loss in the middle of a deadly pandemic. The death was a surprise to many as Boseman kept his cancer a secret. Fans and co-stars paid tributes to Boseman because of the importance he made in Hollywood representation.

The sweet honor to the late actor was received with love and respect from fans.

Continue to rest in peace, sweet Chadwick.

READ: Lupita Nyong’o Penned A Heartbreaking Tribute To Black King Chadwick Boseman

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