The Mandalorian may currently stand alone in the arena of live-action small screen Star Wars shows, but it will be joined soon enough by the developing Disney+ Star Wars Cassian Andor series. It’s an intriguing offering, since the show will see one of the franchise’s big-screen stars, Diego Luna, reprise his role from 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Indeed, Luna is ready to tackle the show’s challenges, notably the elephant in the room regarding his character’s arc.
In a video chat interview with Indiewire, Luna—quarantined in his Mexico City home—discusses his next career step. The actor started by divulging the good news that his children, who had been infected by the coronavirus, have recovered and returned home from a quarantine. He subsequently revealed that he’s taking an indefinite break from his starring role on the Netflix fact-based crime drama, Narcos: Mexico, to tackle the untitled Cassian Andor series, which was set to commence production in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic. While Luna is clearly in no position to divulge details, he does speak with candor regarding the goals of the series, stating:
“I can’t really talk about it. The thing I can tell you, and it’s a nice challenge and it’s a great way to approach a show, but what happens when you already know the ending?” He adds, “Then it becomes about the story. Everything is in how you tell the story and how many different layers you can find. This can’t be a show now where at the end we surprise you with like, ‘Oh no it wasn’t him!’ We’ve already seen the ending.”
Obligatory delays notwithstanding, Luna’s eagerness over returning to the Star Wars Universe is undaunted by the clear narrative challenges facing his prequel series. This, of course, is the fact that his character—alongside Felicity Jones’s Jyn Erso—was killed at the end of Rogue One in a display of planetary destruction delivered by the Death Star to the planet Scariff, although not before they successfully completed their mission in obtaining the Death Star plans that wound up in the hands of Princess Leia (voiced by the late Carrie Fisher and recreated via CGI), thus revealing the film as a direct prologue to the iconic opening scene of 1977’s original Star Wars, a.k.a. A New Hope.
Auspiciously enough, Luna’s enthusiasm for returning to the role is quite palpable when he states of playing Cassian in Rogue One, “I experienced the most freedom in quite a long time, in every possible way.” He adds that the film’s storyline “had a connection with my love for cinema,” pointing to it as a “homage of the early films” that was “shot like back in the day” with practical sets and creatures, sans the lifelessness of green screen work; factors that he credits for giving the actors something tangibly relatable in their performances.