He might be dead, but there is no stopping Rebel soldier Cassian Andor, who is still fighting the evil Empire.
It has been six years since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit cinemas, putting focus on the events that led to the discovery of the Death Star plans, and, among other things, showcasing a victorious win but also the sad death of Rebel leader Cassian Andor, but Disney+ is bringing everyone back even further into the myth of Star Wars, by returning to Andor (read our review) when Cassian was just like every other person in a galaxy far, far away – not a leader nor a hero, but a survivor and a fighter in search of his long-lost sister in a politically unstable world.
Reprising the role is none other than Diego Luna, the 42-year-old Mexican actor first stole the hearts of moviegoers in Y tu Mama Tambien, and subsequently made his mark in Netflix’s 2018 series, Narcos: Mexico. But of course, Star Wars fans know him best as the determined and steady Intelligence Officer who was heavily committed to the Alliance, and retrieved Jyn Erso, the heroine of the treasured and tragic Rogue One film.
“It’s really nice to be back with a character I love so much and not just with the character but with this family, with this team. It’s people I admire and people I love collaborating with, and I just got a chance to do something very ambitious,” said Luna in an exclusive interview with Geek Culture.
“It’s a lot of work, but I would say I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I love watching and enjoying and witnessing their process. And we have a very interesting thing here.”
Despite not being the main lead in Rogue One, Cassian left his mark a long time ago, as his ultimate sacrifice served as the climax of the film, and changed history in the Star Wars galaxy, but to say he’s a popular character wouldn’t be completely true.
While Cassian is not a legendary Star Wars character like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Boba Fett, both of who received their own solo Disney+ series, Luna reckons that being a normal human in the sci-fi franchise worked in his favour, and provided a golden opportunity for his return.
“We have a very interesting thing here, which is a story that talks about what people are capable of. These characters are as close as a character in Star Wars can be to you or me,” said Luna. “There are no Jedis around, it’s a very dark time in the galaxy and it’s about the people finding that revolutionary awakening.”
Andor explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian’s journey to discover the difference one normal person can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire, and how people and planets became involved. The 12-episode series, which is the first part of a two-season series, serves as a prequel to Rogue One and helps to answer some questions viewers might have since watching the movie.
For Luna, it not only means getting the chance to revisit his character after six long years, but also serves as a chance for the actor who also questions left unanswered, and probably thought would remain unanswered, since Cassian died in the film.
“It’s been an amazing ride, you know? I got the chance to answer all the questions that the film doesn’t answer. We meet Cassian in Rogue One once he’s already committed to the cause. Here (Andor) we’re gonna find out what got him there,” explained Luna.
“What needs to happen in the life of someone in order to be willing to sacrifice everything for a cause – that’s the journey we’re gonna discover here.”
Part spy-thriller, part action and all Star Wars, the series is helmed by Bourne franchise writer Tony Gilroy, and if you believe the rumours, also co-directed Rogue One so if anything, Andor is not just a reunion of the character and the actor, but also marks a reunion with the director. Describing Gilroy’s works as “juicy” and “rich”, Luna claims that Andor is not just about the lead character, but about the multitude of people that helped made the mission possible. This privilege of delving deep into the various characters viewers come across is credited to the fact that the story is told in a serialised format, and not in a cookie-cutter 2-hour movie.
“This series is called Andor, but you’ll get to meet many other characters with time and with depth, like a film doesn’t let you to!” exclaimed Luna.
“The good part is that you have the time to do four films therefore, you can have so many layers to explore. You can be what Star Wars always asks you to be: that big-scope adventure, that action that gets everyone excited, but at the same time, you can give yourself permission to go very intimate and very personal with characters,” he continued.
“You can touch in a more greedy and obscure tone, where we are sometimes a spy thriller and sometimes a political drama, but then we go back to the big scope and the adventure. You can give yourself that room when you have a long format like this one.”
Released on 21 September 2022, Andor has been a long-awaited series after being delayed for a month. And whilst the story surrounding Cassian’s backstory is said to wrap up after both seasons, there is no doubt in Luna’s mind that if Cassian was still alive in the current Star Wars universe, he’d still be fighting the good fight.
“What would he be doing right now? He would still be fighting because things are not right. He would still be fighting and wanting change to come,” smiled Luna.
Andor is now streaming on Disney+.