October 10, 2022

CABLE | Diego Luna Goes Rogue – 'Andor' Finds A Rebellion

"Everyone has their own rebellion."
Diego Luna Tony Gilroy | Star Wars: Andor | Disney+
Mexican performer Diego Luna reprises his role as the eponymous scoundrel rebel from Rogue One in the prequel series Andor. Created and showrun by veteran screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who by all accounts took over creative control and saved the aforementioned film's troubled production during extensive reshoots, this Star Wars story very much uses the space opera universe as a moody backdrop to tell its own self-contained journey built on fierce rebellion by minding all the little details.

We quickly learn the hardened thief, Cassian Andor, is a refugee and much of his backstory is that of a migrant who becomes a revolutionary. Set five years prior to the events of Rogue One, Andor methodically explores the economic underpinnings of the Rebel Alliance's founding. It's intriguing to follow ground-level characters not concerned with space travel, Jedi Knights, lightsabers, the Force, or Empire beyond the bureaucratic intricacies of authoritarian fascism.

Gilroy and his writers, including brother Dan Gilroy and Beau Willimon, explore the human cost of neverending political (intergalactic) conflict. We see much of the gritty, grimy real-world consequences of invasion and occupation by an occupying force, the Galactic Empire here. Most of the characters featured are low or mid-level players in their respective tribes or organizations. Filmed extensively on elaborately built sets on soundstages, so much of this unexplored territory feels very much lived-in thanks to the extensive production design real despite taking place "in a galaxy far, far away…"

Dropping a rather grown-up thriller series inside the Star Wars universe is a tantalizing proposition as Andor explores its grounded technocrat characters superbly. Everything about its conception and execution feels so exciting from exploring all-new worlds and corners of the galaxy previously unseen to being relatively untied to previous stories.

Andor's twelve-episode first season is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

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