Santos Medrano : The idea came from a joke that I made about myself. See, I love cosplaying, I always loved the idea of dressing up, sadly I lost my hair in 2011 and it made it hard to cosplay. Unless I’m Uncle Fester or Charlie Brown, there’s not much I can do. Plus being Latino, I just end up looking like a cholo.
So Star Wars Celebration was coming up and I had gotten press passes for my podcast at the time, The Brothers Bear Podcast. I wanted to go in a Star Trek shirt for laughs but then I thought to go in something Star Wars. Sadly the only thing I could think of (since it was two days away) was Han Solo. But it quickly got shut down by me because of my bald head. I wouldn’t look like Han Solo, It would be more like Han Cholo.It was that joke that gave me the idea, why not go as Han Cholo? I thought it would be funny, more so since our podcast was a comedy podcast.
So I rushed to a thrift store with a friend and bought everything I needed. I knew Han needed a chuy, so I created a Chicano version using tecate bear for the ammunition belt that chewy wears.My cohost on the podcast was already hairy so it worked out. Plus he already had a pancho. My little brother wanted in and first came up with a storm trooper. But then He changed it to Darth Vato, a Chicano version of Darth Vader.
So the day of the event, as we were walking in from the outside, our camera guy tells us, “you know we’re in Anaheim, and most Star Wars fans are white. so they probably won’t get what you’re doing.” At that moment, we all regretted dressing up. As we’re walking in from the back, a few people pass us and they give us weird looks. It just makes us regret it even more. Once in, Latinos are the ones to first give us love for our cosplay. Shouting, “hey la raza!” We would get cheers and even got stopped to pose. We felt good from that point. But we weren’t expecting to get asked by anyone one else other than Latinos.
Boy were we wrong. It didn’t matter the race, we got love from everyone. Come Long Beach Comic Con, I again got press passes for the con and wanted to go. At this point I was dating Julia. I wanted her to go with me and I asked her to join me as my Princess Loca. So we came up with a chola look for her. But we needed to created a look for Owen who’s her son since he was going to be with us that weekend.
Julia Diaz : I came up with the look behind Artudito. The name came from stand up comedian Felipe Esparza from his comedy special “They’re not gonna laugh at you.” He has a bit about the real Mexican in Star Wars is R2D2, calling him Artudito. So I ran with the name and then created the look of Artudito.
The first day, we got asked to pose for a lot of pictures. But we didn’t think anything of it, we just posed and had fun at the con. It wasn’t till the next day that people were coming up to us saying we were blowing up their feeds. We learned on the second day at the con that we went viral.
So we ran with it and came up with the persona of Han Cholo, Princess Loca, and Artudito. We filmed skits and did interviews in character. In the coming week, we blew up huge! We were everywhere. We even became a meme. Not just one, but a few different memes. It was nuts.
The best part was Felipe Esparze gave us a shout out on this Facebook, IG, and twitter. We never saw any of this coming. You don’t plan to go viral. We just wanted to cosplay and have fun at the con and make people laugh with our cosplay. But we never thought we would go viral.We just went out to have fun and show the would that Mexicans, Latinos, and Chicanos are nerds too. Its was the feed back we got from fans thanking us for showing the world we love nerdy things too.
(Header photo: Devann Srey)