The live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian is going to have company on Disney’s streaming video service in the form of another live-action series featuring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Diego Luna reprising the role of rebel spy Cassian Andor from the 2016 film.
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The still-untitled series 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. The series recently added an accomplished showrunner, as well as several new cast members.
In April, StarWars.com confirmed when the Cassian Andor series 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 five years before 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 the untitled Cassian Andor series 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 Cassian Andor series, according to StarWars.com. 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 series’s 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, “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: The Last Jedi, among other films.
Filming was expected to begin on the Rogue One prequel series in 2020, but the start date is uncertain at this point due to the coronavirus pandemic. Production was initially expected to begin in 2019, but was pushed back a year.
Official details regarding the plot of the series 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.”
There’s no official premiere date (or title) for the Cassian Andor series at this point.
Updated April 28, 2020, with more details regarding the creative team, cast, and setting for the series.
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