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'Andor': Diego Luna says he came up with his own backstory for 'marginalized' Cassian

The actor described Cassian as someone "that feels marginalized."

By Josh Weiss
Andor Season 1 Episode 2

When Rogue One: A Star Wars Story first arrived in theaters six years ago, Diego Luna could never have guessed that his character would one day be the sole focus of his own television series on a Disney-owned streaming platform. But here we are: four episodes deep into Andor, which explores Cassian's steady ascent to the status of Rebel Alliance spy. While fans of the galaxy far, far away are only just starting to learn more of the character's origins, Luna has lived with it in the back of his mind for over a half a decade.

"When I created the backstory that I did on Rogue One, I thought, 'I'm going to try to explain to myself, Why does this man have such a different accent to everyone else in Rogue One? Where is he coming from? What did he have to leave behind?'" the actor told Empire during an interview for the magazine's November 2022 issue (now on sale). "So, I came up with a story about someone that feels marginalized, that can't take it anymore because he's lost everything more than once. That connected with what Tony [Gilroy, Andor's showrunner and executive producer] wanted to do."

So far, the narrative has taken its sweet time, establishing the various characters and where they stand in relation to the nascent rebellion. Normally, a TV show wouldn't have the luxury of such a slow burn approach, but Andor finds itself in an extremely unique position, able to tell its story over a total of 24 episodes spread across two seasons. "We're asking audiences to be patient," Luna explained of the master plan, which is to lead viewers right into the events of Rogue One. "It's a whole build-up to that moment."

As an executive producer on the show, Luna wanted to bring something new and different to the 45-year-old Star Wars conversation. "I think that applies to most of the stuff I try to produce," he said. "Once you prove something, the industry tends to force you to repeat yourself over and over ... Politically or socially, my concerns are the same, so it's about finding new ways of telling those stories. It is about not getting comfortable. Success is not necessarily about selling tickets — it's about getting the chance to try again."

Judging by the first four episodes (now streaming on Disney+), we'd say he succeeded in bringing a nuanced and mature lens to the space opera franchise. New episodes drop every Wednesday. The show currently holds a score of 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

Looking for more dark sci-fi space adventures? SYFY's acclaimed Battlestar Galactica adaptation is streaming now on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY has the new space thriller The Ark blasting off soon.