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Diego Luna on the “special” experience of making Star Wars: Andor

The next Star Wars series is just around the corner, and we got the chance to chat to Andor star Diego Luna about expanding his character's journey

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, you’ll know that the galaxy is getting a little bigger later this week, with the arrival of the Andor release date. The TV series will focus on Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, who was part of the Star Wars cast for the science fiction movie Rogue One back in 2016.

Luna played the hugely popular yet ill-fated rebel, and he now has the chance to expand the Star Wars character‘s journey with not one, but two seasons of his own sci-fi series. Andor season 1 debuts on the streaming service Disney Plus on September 21, with three bumper episodes to explore.

Ahead of the launch of the show, we got the chance to speak to Diego Luna about what it means to be given the opportunity to continue the legacy of his character beyond the Star Wars movie world.

The Digital Fix: So, obviously with your character from Rogue One, audiences went into that film not knowing what was going to happen to Cassian. And now we’re here in a TV series and we do know what the end destination is, at least for your character. Did that change the way you approach playing this character the second time around?

Diego Luna: No, not really. When you approach a character, you always know the end of the character. In fact, we all know the end, we’re all living a prequel, you know, like, we all know the end, and it’s gonna get to us.

But no, you when you approach a character, you know, the beginning and the end – what you’re building is what’s in between, you know, what’s different with this one is the beginning, we get to choose, you know, therefore we have the freedom to choose which way we’re going to get to that point, you’re talking about, we know what the character is capable of. But we don’t know why.

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With this series, we get to explain why. What needs to happen in the life of someone to be willing to sacrifice everything for a cost and that’s when it becomes interesting, because it’s an interesting question to answer, you know, and we have complete freedom here.

Even though I had a backstory in my head, when I was playing Cassian, there is very little information about Cassian Andor. In Rogue One, that is basically a film about an event, not the characters, you don’t get to know much about them. Now we do, now our focus is on getting to know these people and getting to know Cassian. And who’s around him, what community he is part of? Where is he coming from? What is that past he left behind? And where did he get all his wounds? I think it’s a fascinating way to approach storytelling, it’s a different part of creativity.

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in Star Wars series Andor

TDF: I just want to look ahead as well, obviously this show has got 12 episodes now, and then another 12 episodes for season 2 as well, which is a big commitment, and it’s not something that every Star Wars series is getting. So how does that feel as an actor to know that you’ve got that level of trust in your story and that journey ahead of you?

DL: It feels right, because I believe in what we’re doing. But also, because we didn’t get here, just, you know, by coincidence, like, we’ve been working five, four years and a half, on this project. There’s a lot of work behind these first 12 episodes, and we started working on the next 12 a long time ago to you know, there’s a lot of work already done.

We are approaching this the way we approach filmmaking, with that rigorous work and with that amount of attention. Also it’s an amazing team of people working on this. We are collaborating with the best lead we can have, which is Tony Gilroy, because his writing is so complex and interesting. It’s beautiful material, you know, to have in your hands. And I feel very lucky, obviously, and very proud to have this freedom to do what I love with all the tools that we need.

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in Rogue One Star Wars movie

I don’t talk much about it, but it’s also important to note that we shot these in the worst moment of the pandemic, you know, and going through this process, it’s been hard, but it’s been unique, different to anything else I’ve done, you know, because we got to this point, we didn’t just finish what we wanted to do. We finished it the way we wanted to do it, you know, and we got to the end with a project we still want to do, and that is amazing.

It’s basically we’re all here talking about what’s next? What’s to come? And we want people to see this season because we’re already working on the next one. That is unique man. It’s very special and makes me feel very fortunate, you know.

If you want more from a galaxy far, far away, check out our rundown of how to watch Star Wars in order. Or, dive into our guide to the Andor season 2 release date and the The Mandalorian season 3 for more adventures.