The upcoming Disney+ series Andor recently had its press junket, answering some burning Star Wars questions from the media and touching on important topics for the upcoming series.
The latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, Andor is releasing on Disney+ in September, and functions as a prequel to Rogue One, showing us where many of the important characters of the Rebel Alliance originated. The show is a two-part series, with 24 episodes in total, starting with the debut of its first three episodes on the 21st of September, 2022.
The press junket featured input from the show’s creator, showrunner, executive producer and writer, Tony Gilroy, executive producer and the star playing Cassian Andor himself – Diego Luna, Mon Mothra actress who has reprised her role in prequels and Rogue One and now Andor – Genevieve O’Reilly, Bix Caleen actress Adria Arjona, Dedra Merro actress Denise Gough, and Syril Karn actor Kyle Soler.
Inspiration Behind the Series
Set between Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, Andor is said to be inspired by a will to understand how some of the integral characters in the Rebel Alliance ended up there.
Tony Gilroy, the main creator of the project shared his inspiration behind the series, saying that he was inspired by “the fact that we could follow somebody as an example of a revolution all the way through to the end, that was the walk-in for me.”
In Rogue One we meet the legendary rebel Cassian Andor who already speaks of his haunting past and everything that he has done to make the Rebel Alliance what it was in the movie, yet we have never been able to see the formation of the rebellion. This series doesn’t just focus on the story of Cassian and how he is involved in the Rebel Alliance but also gives room for many more characters to be explored in a way that they couldn’t be before.
When asked about what he thought was exciting about stepping back into the role of Cassian at the press junket, Diego Luna shared, “Just the chance to be back working with this family, getting to do more stuff with Tony, which is someone I admire, and I love his company and collaborating with him is amazing.” He continued that just being back on set with everyone “felt great” but he felt that there was a lot of their story that had been left untold. “Rogue One is a film about an event, you know? You don’t get to know those characters.”
This was something he felt was missing from previous iterations but is present in Andor. “You don’t get to understand exactly where they come from, what needed to happen.” “What gives meaning in the life of someone to be willing to sacrifice everything for a cause, you know?” this is the story that mattered to him and why what he wanted to uncover.
The Return of Mon Mothma
While we see a few characters returning from Rogue One, Mon Mothma is a character that has existed since the 1980s, and actress Genevieve O’Reilly has reprised her Star Wars role as the dignified senator since Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
Now reprising her role once again for her return, O’Reilly was asked at the press junket what she found that was new being brought to the table for a character that had been seen in previous iterations, and, much like the sentiment of Luna, she feels that this is the first time audiences will really be able to meet the woman behind the title. “She is still that very dignified senator. But for the first time, we get to see the woman behind the role. We get to see a private face of Mon Mothma.”
“We get to flesh out not just the senator, not just the would-be leader of the Rebel Alliance, but also the woman.” “We find her in Andor very alone, living in a world of orthodoxy and construct,” in what Genevieve describes as “a gilded cage”.
Strong Female Representation in Andor
Strong females have always been an integral part of the Star Wars franchise. Mon Mothma has been a strong character, Princess Leia has always been an integral piece in the puzzle, and now Andor is introducing two new strong women into the franchise, but on opposite ends of the spectrum. On the rebel side of the spectrum stands Bix Caleen, played by Adria Arjona, who is a lovable strong character. On the Empire side of the spectrum stands the ambitious Dedra Meero played by Denise Gough, who is an ISP officer who will do anything to climb the ladder within the Empire.
Arjona shared what she loved most about her character at the press junket, saying that she is a very likeable character who is fearless and bold, incredibly loyal and compassionate and that she cares about the people around her.
A new addition to the story, Gough shared how her character fits into the universe of Star Wars in that she is an ambitious and meticulous woman starting at the low end of the ladder and “crawling her way up”.
“What I love about playing her is that, you know, she’s in this very male-dominated world. And she’s seeing around her the way that people are missing what she can see is happening.” Gough continued to share the draw behind the character that she is playing, “I love portraying the effect that power just has on a person, like the danger of that pursuit of power and control, regardless of the gender.”
Setting up to Be an Epic Story
From what executive producers Tony Gilroy and Diego Luna have shared, Disney+’s Andor is setting up to be more than just a prequel to Rogue One to satisfy curiosity about what came before, but rather an introduction to the Rebel Alliance that is going to help audiences fall in love with the Star Wars franchise all over again. Tony shared that “the show exists because there’s an enormous, arterial, important, passionate Star Wars community.” In the making of this show, “we want to make this real,” and “our show is designed that this could be your first entry point to Star Wars.”
Fans and newcomers alike had better buckle their seatbelts. If the trailer is any indication, this is going to be a wild and epic ride, and the creators agree. Diego Luna says “It’s adventure, and action at its best, what you expect from Star Wars, but then it goes very intimate and it’s very subtle and it takes time to understand each character and it has time for each storyline. And I think it’s very rich, it’s powerful, and people are gonna like it hopefully.”
Disney+ has given us a lot to look forward to, but Andor seems like it might be a genre-defining epic that delves deeper into the universe of Star Wars than we have ever gone before and we simply cannot wait to join the characters on this epic ride.
What are you looking forward to most about the new Disney+ Star Wars show, Andor?