Exclusive: Andor stars Diego Luna Genevieve OReilly on the Star Wars prequel rebellion and more

The Star Wars universe has been on an intriguing expansion course with a plethora of shows ranging from The Mandalorian to Obi-Wan Kenobi. So far, the titles have sparked similarities and it looks like the clamouring for a rich new approach has been heard. Enter Andor! The latest show to join the Star Wars catalogue on OTT brings back Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). Set five years before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the much-awaited prequel series gives us the backstory of the rebel hero. The result is a grounded, nuanced narrative about ordinary people who took on the Empire. While it builds on what we saw in the 2016 film, it forays into the unexpected and unveils a wholly riveting watch.

Apart from Diego Luna, the show created by Tony Gilroy also marks the return of Genevieve O’Reilly’s Mon Mothma. In an interview with Filmfare, the Andor stars opened up about reinvestigating their characters, the rebellion and more. 

When asked about working his way backwards to re-investigate what makes Cassian Andor tick, Diego Luna, who fans will remember from Dirty Dancing 2, looked back at Rogue One. He explained, “I wrote a backstory for myself. Every time you do a role and prepare for it you create a little story so you know where they’re coming from – what triggers this line or this action. Now we got to do that again but this time in collaboration which was fantastic. I was always very aware of what I was thinking back then and how close or not these decisions were and to be honest, it is very clear now. It’s very close to what we are doing now which is lovely. I have a very strong connection with Andor and I like the way he thinks and I think I understand the way he thinks. And I trust the creator Tony Gilroy so much. That’s why when he was telling me the story and what happened when Cassian was a kid I was like yeah, that’s fantastic. It does connect with the story I made. I mean in essence at least, it’s very similar.”

Star Wars Andor

We already know how Cassian’s story ends and Luna is convinced that making a prequel comes with a unique set of challenges yes, but also opportunities. “It was a very interesting process to see how far back can you go and how difficult can you make it for someone to get to the point where you meet him in Rogue One. And there’s a lot that’s gonna happen in this story. You are not going to believe where he ends up, that’s the idea. We go as far as possible from that man we meet in Rogue One. That was a great challenge.” 

He added, “You never start working on a show like that. You’re always thinking about how crazy the ending can be. But here it’s different. It’s like how complicated can we make it for someone to get there if we already know where he ends up. We already know what he’s capable of but the point is how he will find out he’s capable of that. That’s where the real story is.” 

Star Wars Andor

Genevieve O’Reilly reflected on how the politics of Star Wars (and the real world) has changed over the years. Talking about the realistic tone of the show, she said, “Well, I think Tony Gilroy, our writer and creator, was deeply interested in our world, in the stories within our world – politically what’s happening in our world. I think he has written in the past within the spy genre about the intricacies of our world. I think you will see that even though this is set on different planets and on a different galactic sphere. You will recognise a lot of the political themes. They are deeply human and I’m sure you will pick up on things that we are wrestling with at the moment. From my perspective and from my character’s perspective, how important is a space for a diplomatic voice? How important diplomacy is and how crucial it is to advocate for solutions around rebellions or war? I think undoubtedly, through time, art and culture reflect our reality. We have this prism through which we see ourselves in our art and sci-fi storytelling and of course, Andor is set within a Star Wars realm.” 

“But I think it’s deeply human and its threads are about the human condition and about us navigating many different cultures – different planets are metaphors for different people, right? I think that’s how our evolving times are reflected in Andor, the Empire and the planets within Star Wars,” she added. 

Star Wars series Andor is currently on OTT.