The 2016 epic space opera “Rogue One” acquainted “Star Wars” fans with Cassian Andor, the Rebel hero who stole the plans to the Death Star and was subsequently killed by it. Now, they’ll learn more about who he is in a prequel series coming to Disney+.
In “Andor,” which begins streaming Wednesday, Sept. 21, with the first three of its 12 Season 1 episodes, the story of the burgeoning Rebellion against the Empire is explored through the story of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna, reprising his role from the earlier film). Set five years before the events of “Rogue One,” it tracks how a revolutionary is born and how Andor evolved to become a Rebel hero.
The series is created and executive produced by showrunner Tony Gilroy (“Rogue One,” “Dolores Claiborne,” “State of Play”), and also stars Genevieve O’Reilly (“Star Wars: Rebels”), Alex Ferns (“The Batman”) and Adria Arjona (“Irma Vep”).
“The story of revolution and what it really means is very complicated,” Gilroy explains. “It’s very interesting to delve into as a writer. And by the time we get to ‘Rogue One,” what’s great about building this show back in reverse and seeing the preceding four years is I think that killing will be as sad as it always is. I think it’s as sad as it is for (Andor).
“I think if we are successful …,” he continues, “when you watch ‘Rogue,’ a lot of scenes in ‘Rogue’ are going to take a deeper significance and a deeper resonance.”
Working backwards with the character is also what intrigued Luna, who embraced the chance to explore Andor more deeply and how he got to his ultimate destiny.
“I know where it ends and I can be very creative about how to get there,” Luna says. “I think it triggers a different part of your creativity when you start backwards.
“And as audience, not as an actor, as audience,” he continues, “I tell you there’s nothing I like (more) than going to see big shows about historical moments that I know happened and that I know the end, and characters that I’ve read about, and then I go and see a movie about them and I get to see what’s in between what I read.
“To me … it celebrates, in a way, and it challenges audiences in a very special way. It’s like you know this is possible. You know someone is capable of this. Well, I’m going to tell you something you don’t know about what triggered that and, to me, that is when storytelling becomes fascinating, you know. And, again, that’s what I search for as audience.”