Star Wars podcaster voices why diversity is our only hope

Jose Gonzalez

Even in a fictional galaxy, proper representation is a concept that is still far, far away. However, with the help of her podcast community, one Austinite is fighting for more diversity in the Star
Wars universe.

For AISD high school teacher Teresa Delgado, what started as one podcast in 2013 blew up into several episodes in a span of just a few months. Now, Delgado co-hosts six different podcasts with people across the U.S., each one covering a different aspect of the Star Wars franchise.

Star Wars Bookworms was the first podcast Delgado co-hosted, and focuses on comics and literature about the Star Wars universe. She also hosts by Fangirls Going Rogue, an all-woman podcast. Delgado said her female voice added a fresh dynamic to the online community she wasn’t anticipating. 

“I started my podcast initially on the basis that I’m a girl, I like Star Wars (so) here’s what I have to say,” Delgado said. “It was very rare to hear a girl on a podcast show at that time.”

Delgado said she wanted to use the podcast as an outlet to discuss the franchise’s lack of diverse characters and the fact that young girls need more role models to aspire to.

“People want to see people in the mediums of entertainment they enjoy that look like them,” Delgado said. “We need to give girls the exposure to know they can achieve great things — to be a CEO like Kathleen
Kennedy at Lucasfilm.”

Her message resonates with a larger Star Wars fan base who also enjoy Delgado’s insightful commentary which brings in over 4,000 followers on Twitter and listeners from around the globe.

“We have people that listen to our show even from Australia, and that’s really cool,” Delgado said. “Podcasts give you the ability to network with listeners and break boundaries, and it’s the best thing Star Wars can do.”

Delgado’s co-host on Star Wars Bookworms, Aaron Goins, said a lot of the notoriety came from good timing. They started their podcast right around the time Disney bought the rights to Star Wars from Lucasfilm. 

“It was definitely an interesting time, but it was fun to cover, and we just ate it all up as material for our show,” Goins said. “To think that a couple thousand people tune in every time we do an episode, it’s kinda cool that other people care enough to listen to us talk about Star Wars.”

Despite it being an occasional thing, running six podcasts on a bi-weekly basis is a difficult task, though Delgado’s peers recognize the effort she puts into each segment.

Steve Glosson, a co-host on the podcast Rebel Yell, said he admires how Delgado balances professionalism while still remaining a child at heart.

“Whereas a lot of Star Wars fans like to speculate on what’s next, Teresa likes to celebrate what’s already happened,” Glosson said. “Teresa does a great job of reminding people that Star Wars is for everybody.”

Delgado said because Star Wars is a vital part of her life, she hopes the franchise continues to make steps towards inclusivity and reflect the wide spectrum of people who love that universe as much as she does.

“You’re not always going to appeal to everyone but you can make your best effort, and I feel Star Wars is trying to do that,” Delgado said. “As a community, we should never get complacent and say, ‘okay, we’ve done enough now.’”