For a franchise that lives and dies by its white-knight heroes, Cassian Andor is an odd match for a solo undertaking. While Rey, Luke, Han, and Obi-Wan wrestle with their capability to do hurt, Cassian mentions in his first (and solely) movie having completed horrible issues in service of the Rebel Alliance. In the scene we initially meet him throughout Rogue One, he shoots his informant who can’t make the escape with him. He is relentless and, typically, dour. That is precisely why Diego Luna says he wished to return to the character.
“I don’t think he wants to be a hero,” Luna tells Polygon. “Definitely when we meet him he doesn’t think he’s capable of doing anything important. He’s surviving, he’s a mess. He’s in a very cynical moment where he’s not thinking further than his nose.”
When Andor picks up with Cassian, it’s 5 years earlier than he meets Jyn Erso in Rogue One. Things are nearly bleaker for him than they had been within the prequel movie, which ends along with his loss of life (amongst many others). In the collection, we discover him on Ferrix, within the Star Wars equal of a blue-collar city on the periphery of the universe as we all know it. There aren’t any Jedi round, the Empire is on the apex of its energy, and the private stakes for Cassian have little to do with the battle for the destiny of the galaxy. As Luna places it: “This is the moment when he’s the furthest he can be from the guy we meet [in Rogue One].”
But Andor shares Rogue One’s sensibility for preserving a eager, ground-level eye on how the massive stakes and battles of the Star Wars universe come collectively. With Tony Gilroy as soon as once more helming Cassian’s story (he wrote each Rogue One and Andor and is an govt producer on the collection), there’s an actual give attention to how the large swells of the galaxy really feel at a neighborhood degree.
“The idea that we can do a story that takes him literally from his childhood origins, and walk him through a five-year history of an odyssey that takes him to that place — during a revolution, during a moment in history where huge events are happening and real people are being crushed by it,” Gilroy mentioned at an Andor press convention in August. “The fact that we could follow somebody as an example of a revolution all the way to the end […] that was the buy-in for me, the opportunity to do that.”
Gilroy’s hope is to increase that journey’s granularity to the folks and actions Cassian’s life touches in the course of the present. Once Cassian’s life intersects with the Rebel Alliance, it’s from a a lot totally different vantage level than followers of the flicks are accustomed to, depicted by segmented clusters and subterfuge. Mon Mothma continues to be there to maintain the struggle going, however she’s beneath significantly totally different circumstances than we’ve ever seen her.
“We’ve met Mon Mothma before in different iterations, different versions of the Star Wars storytelling. And each time we’ve met her, we’ve met this very composed, regal, dignified woman,” Genevieve O’Reilly, who performs Mon Mothma, mentioned at a press convention for the present. “[Here], 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.”
Mon Mothma is simply starting her defiance and eventual revolt towards the system she’s labored inside for years. It’s a distinct standpoint than we see in lots of Star Wars tales, and it’s not the one one: Andor takes a definite take a look at our antagonists as properly.
In the present’s first few episodes, we’re launched to 2 faces of the Dark Side a lot decrease on the ladder than we’ve met earlier than: There’s Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), an bold and meticulous Imperial Security Bureau officer who hopes to climb the ranks of the Empire. Then there’s Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), the enforcer for a neighborhood firm with important energy in Cassian’s city. Their tales are the sort of refined ones Star Wars thrives on — two people who find themselves the heroes of their very own story, and whose eager for energy guarantees darker issues.
“Having a character who wasn’t really sure about himself was what kind of made him the most fun to play,” Soller mentioned of Syril. “He could kind of go either way — he could go into the Empire, he could go into the Rebel Alliance. He’s got a lot of gray area. And he came from a place of such lack, and such pain in his home life. He’s trying to fill this void within himself through the fascist corporate bureaucratic structure where he finds order and he finds a place to be seen if he can supersede his station.”
That sort of ambiguity is just not at all times what Star Wars followers have gravitated towards. But with each new prequel promising to dig deeper, clarify every thing, and retain its connections to the flicks you like whereas constructing one thing new, few really feel as considerate as Andor. Perhaps it’s no shock the present with the dauntless process of selecting up the bleakest Star Wars story and taking it even additional into its depths must really put its cash the place its mouth is. But in its first 4 episodes, Andor appears extremely trusting of its viewer. This is just not a Star Wars the place heroes roam, or a Star Wars that reveals you ways the day was saved. It’s not a narrative about what occurs within the Star Wars universe a lot as it’s about the way it occurs.
As such, it’d be silly to enter Andor and count on Cassian Andor to be the shining white knight of the revolt. If all goes in accordance with plan — Tony Gilroy’s, Disney’s, and past — we’ll come to actually perceive what he means when he stares soulfully at Jyn Erso and says he’s been on this struggle doing horrible issues since he was 6 years outdated. But even when it’s not lightness and jokes, and even with the Empire occupying the excessive floor all through the run of the collection, Luna sees the story as an instructive one for our occasions — and perhaps even a bit hopeful.
“It’s a different approach. It’s still about change, it’s still about freedom, it’s still about justice. But it’s a different approach. It’s the most grounded Star Wars you can get,” Luna says. “I think [Cassian’s] process is going to be more about learning what a community can do. It’s a different thing, you know? This is a story about people — regular people understanding what they’re capable of if they articulate things in community, if they articulate actions in community.”
Andor premieres with three episodes on Sept. 21. New episodes drop each Wednesday.