The Star Wars galaxy is no stranger to character shifts from good to evil: the entire Anakin Skywalker saga centers around one man’s journey from light to darkness and back to light again. However, these are often total changes from one end of the scale to the other. We rarely see characters that operate in those intermediate gray areassomething that Andor seems willing to explore thoroughly.
“You don’t work with Tony Gilroy if you don’t want to stay in the gray areas.“, tells us Diego Luna, protagonist of Andor. “It’s what your writing does, when it’s at its best. Because this story is about people, there are no Jedi around, just people who survive. On both sides, there are people, like you and me, and people make decisions. Sometimes you succeed with those choices, sometimes you fail, and sometimes you realize you’re on the wrong side. Life should give you the opportunity to react to that, and change, and transform yourself.“.
“You are not born good and therefore you will be good, and that’s it. It moves from one side to the other. Sometimes we start to be indifferent to something, and then the realization comes, and we must have the opportunity to become who we want to be, and transform ourselves.“
In addition to Cassian Andor, Mon Mothma, and a couple of familiar faces, in Andor we are introduced to a new set of characters that span the moral spectrum, such as Stellan Skarsgård’s Luthen.
“I love that you meet Mon Mothma with Stellan’s character Luthen“says Mothma actress Genevieve O’Reilly.”He is a very mysterious and interesting character within Andor. I think it will be quite interesting for the fans to see her through a different perspective and have to learn why she has to fight or why she has to work through him. She is a really enigmatic character and I loved working with Stellan. We had a lot of fun shooting those scenes.“.
Playing a Star Wars villain always seems like one of the funniest jobs on a LucasFilm set. For Kyle Soller and Denise Gough, who play the Empire’s Syril Karn and Dedra Meero, respectively, it was no different. And like most great villains, they are convinced that they are the heroes of their story.
“That’s human life, right?Soller wonders.The whole world is full of lights and shadows, and a hero and a villain within itself.“.
“the bravery trying to present a new world, a new kind of Star Wars, where people make questionable decisions, where people are really complex and contradictory and trying to find a way to survive or find a place to belong. Within that you have to make sacrifices for yourself or for the greater good. I certainly feel like I understand where Syril is and what makes her tick, and he still feels threatened by questioning, is this the right way to go? So Dedra makes it very clear that it is the right way“.
“They are a kind of rebels in the empire“, explica Gough. “Dedra thinks the rebels are a real threat and that’s what makes her quite obsessive, because I think she sees the Imperials as if they think they’re just a nuisance. What she brings these two together is that they see that there is a real threat that needs to be stopped.“
I like that she has no qualms about the decisions she makes and it’s important that we show that the female characters can do that too.
“I think what I love is that Dedra is very focused on going to any lengths to get the power, but also to get Cassian Andor. I like that she doesn’t apologize for the decisions she makes and it’s important that we show that the female characters can do that too. She doesn’t ask permission. She doesn’t give you a very sad backstory. She’s pretty human, but she’s also incredibly ruthless, and often when you have a female villain, you have to soften it up in some way, and I love that we don’t do that.“.
“You can see how a woman in her position makes the decisions that she makes to get where she’s going because she’s in a world where she has to work a hundred times harder than anyone else.”
Star Wars has always taken place in a galaxy far, far away. But Andor looks set to be as tied to the human experience as ever. She is determined to be a reflection of us in spaceso where better to look at yourself than in the mirror?
“There is a lot of work being done today that inspires meLuna continues.In my country, which is a very complicated country, there are many people who fight for justice and freedom. That inspires me, and I definitely had those people in mind when I was playing this role. Another thing I thought about a lot is Cassian’s origin, when he was forced to do it, as a child. Without saying too much, he has been forced to move. He is always migrating, moving from one place to another, he is a refugee who cannot return to where he belongs. That energy is out there, that energy connects with many things that happen outside this room, and outside the set in the real world, in which you and I live. So that was a lot of inspiration“.
In my country, which is a very complicated country, there are many people who fight for justice and freedom. That inspires me.
“When it comes to storytelling, I think those are the stories that matter, those are the stories that I connect with. The ones where you don’t think it’s going to happen, and then boom! That transformation comes. Andor is one of those. When we first meet him, he is surviving, he is in a very cynical state of his life in which he is very selfish and childish in many ways, he is not aware of what he is capable of“.
“The beauty of this story is that it’s going to show it through these two seasons, and we’re going to see an interesting transformation. The awakening of a revolutionary, and what has to happen for someone to be willing to sacrifice everything for a cause.“
That transformation will begin when Andor premieres on Disney+ on September 21, 2022.