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Latino Excellence at Star Wars Celebration 2022

I remember when I was 11 years old watching “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” in theaters and being completely in awe of what I was watching. There, in space, alongside all of these important Galactic Senate people, was Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa. Finally, we got to see some real Latino representation in “Star Wars.”

Twenty years later, we’ve gone from one actor to an entire galaxy of Latino heroes! And this past weekend, I was given a front row seat to all of the latest “Star Wars” news when mitú attended Star Wars Celebration 2022 in Anaheim, California, the biggest “Star Wars” event of the year!

To start things off, we checked out the Lucasfilm panel to hear all about the next wave of “Star Wars” TV shows. With Disney+’s “Obi-Wan Kenobi” premiering the very same weekend, there was a lot of hype when Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christiansen took the stage to talk about stepping back into their roles as Obi-Wan and Darth Vader himself, Anakin Skywalker. If you grew up watching the prequel movies like I did, you’ll know how epic it was to see these two on stage together again!

Now, to quote Anakin Skywalker, “This is where the fun begins!” We got to see not one, not two, but three Latino superstars with their very own shows in the “Star Wars” universe! Talk about main character energy.

From left, Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, Genevieve O’Reilly, Sanne Wohlenberg, Tony Gilroy, Diego Luna and Yvette Nicole Brown attend the studio showcase panel at Star Wars Celebration for “Andor” in Anaheim, California, on May 26, 2022. (Courtesy of Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

First up we got a sneak peek of “Andor,” the new series starring Diego Luna reprising his role from “Rogue One” as Cassian Andor. Set about 10 years before (spoiler alert) Cassian and his crew sacrifice themselves to save the galaxy in “Rogue One,” this series will give us Luna as a young Cassian who still has a lot to learn before he becomes the hero we know him as. Luna himself said this series focuses on the ordinary people in the “Star Wars” universe, and honestly, if you give me a show with a brooding Latino hero who gets caught up in a revolution started by la gente, I am sold. What’s even better, it was announced that we’ll be getting not one but two seasons to explore this character.

Pedro Pascal attends the panel for “The Mandalorian” series at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, on May 28, 2022. (Courtesy of Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

In the “Mando+” panel, dedicated to the world of “The Mandalorian,” we got to see the Mandalorian himself in the flesh, Pedro Pascal! Not only that, but we got an exclusive, never-before-seen look at the trailer for season three and it looks increíble! Mando and everyone’s favorite chamaco Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) are going on a cosmic roadtrip to Mandalore, the home planet of the Mandalorian people. This season promises to give us a ton of different Mandalorians, including fan favorite Bo-Katan Kryze, as well as lots of cute moments with Grogu (which, let’s be honest, is what we all want).

Rosario Dawson attends the panel for “The Mandalorian” series at Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California, on May 28, 2022. (Courtesy of Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

While we’ve got Rebel spies and bounty hunters, Latino excellence is alive and well in the Jedi department as well. We got a very brief but intriguing look at exclusive footage from “Ahsoka,” the new show starring badass Boricua Rosario Dawson as the lightsaber-wielding title character Ahsoka Tano. From what little we saw, we can say that fans of the animated show “Star Wars: Rebels” will be very excited to see some of their favorite characters brought into live action. And of course, there were some awesome shots of Dawson looking nearly unrecognizable as Ahsoka Tano, former Jedi Padawan to Anakin Skywalker.

At the end of the day, the best part of any convention is the fans. We spoke to a ton of admirers who told us what “Star Wars” meant to them. Something that kept coming up through the weekend was one word: family. From the fans who came in full cosplay with their mamás y papás, to the cast and crew on stage who made it clear how important this fandom familia was to them, “Star Wars” is about bringing people together, whether you’re related by blood like Luke and Leia, or a found family like Mando and Grogu.

Speaking of familia, it was actually my dad who introduced me to “Star Wars” at a young age. Even though he was a teenager in Mexico City when he first saw it and I was an 8-year-old in California, it was a shared experience that transcends generations, languages and countries. With so many diverse heroes and villains filling out this ever-expanding universe, I think it’s clear now more than ever that “Star Wars” is for everyone.

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