The live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian is going to have company on Disney’s streaming video service in the form of Andor, another live-action series, this one featuring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Diego Luna reprising the role of rebel spy Cassian Andor from the 2016 film.
Set to premiere on Disney+ in 2022, Andor will follow the adventures of Luna’s Rogue One character and be set in the early days of the Rebellion, before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“A very long movie”
Andor star Diego Luna told The Hollywood Reporter that the upcoming Rogue One spinoff series is “like we’re doing a very long movie.” He also delved deeper into what the series is aiming to do:
“It’s really interesting to tell a story even though we know where it ends. The way you can approach a story like this inevitably takes you into a deeper process of reflection. I tend to use that word a lot. So once you know what Cassian is capable of, then there’s room for so much exploration, and that’s something that excites me a lot as an actor. I think the format of a series is amazing because we have a lot of time to explore all those layers. What happens in Rogue One is something we can actually reflect on, and what’s behind something like [sacrificing an informant]. It’s a very interesting challenge, the one we have in front of us. So I’m really excited to go back to that character because I really enjoyed playing him, and I was really happy with what the film represents. Rogue One was a story of regular people. It was regular people doing incredible things, and in a way, it’s a film that reminds us of the power we all have if we have a conviction. So, yeah, I feel blessed to have the chance to revisit this role.”
Official title, episodes, and more
During the Disney Investor Day presentation held December 10, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy revealed the official title for the series: Andor.
The announcement was accompanied by a promotional video for the series featuring interviews with the cast and creative team, as well as confirmation that the first season will encompass 12 episodes.
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 10, 2020
Andor is scheduled to premiere on streaming service Disney+ in 2022.
Production on Andor was initially expected to begin in 2019, but was pushed back a year, then delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Filming eventually began in late 2020.
In April, StarWars.com confirmed at what point Andor will be set in the sci-fi saga’s timeline. The series will unfold five years before the events of Rogue One, putting its events around 5 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin) in the official Star Wars continuity — a designation that puts it prior to the battle that destroys the Death Star in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
With The Mandalorian set years after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and Andor set before the events of Rogue One and A New Hope, it’s clear that Disney and Lucasfilm are casting a wide net with the Star Wars projects they’re developing for the streaming service.
Behind the camera
Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Rogue One, will serve as co-writer, director, and showrunner on the Andor series. He’ll be joined in the writers’ room by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), and Stephen Schiff (The Americans).
Cassian Andor isn’t the only Rogue One character who will return for the Disney+ spinoff.
Genevieve O’Reilly, who portrayed former Senator and Rebel Alliance leader Mon Mothma in Rogue One and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, will reprise the role for the series. Also returning will be K-2SO, the hacked Imperial security droid who stole practically every scene in Rogue One. As before, Firefly and Tucker & Dale vs. Evil star Alan Tudyk will voice the Rebel robot.
The supporting cast will also include Stellan Skarsgard (Thor, Good Will Hunting), Denise Gough (Colette, Angels in America), and Kyle Soller (Anna Karenina, The Titan).
In February, the working title for the film was revealed to be “White Snake.” The Star Wars franchise has a well-established tradition of giving its films creative working titles, dating back to the working title for the original Star Wars film, “The Adventures of the Starkiller.”
That history has also included “Jar Jar’s Great Adventure,” the working title for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and “Space Bear,” the working title for the more recent Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.
Official details regarding the plot of Andor are scarce at this point, but the show is described as a “rousing spy thriller” that will “explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire.”
— Star Wars (@starwars) November 8, 2018
“It is a different approach because of the beauty and it’s how things happen,” Luna told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s not just what happens. It’s not the typical way of approaching a story. It’s about how things happen, which in fact, is the same that happened in Rogue One. You know the ending, but you don’t know how it happened, and we have that challenge in front of us again, which is exciting.”
Given the fate of Diego Luna’s character in Rogue One, his return to the role is a surprising one, but it’s a welcome return, according to the actor.
“Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me,” Luna said in a statement. “I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new, exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.”
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