“Andor” premieres on Disney+ September 21st, 2022 as a prequel series to Star Wars’ “Rogue One”. We were invited to the virtual press conference for the series. The participants were Diego Luna (“Cassian Andor” and Executive Producer); Genevieve O’Reilly (“Mon Mothma”); Kyle Soller (“Syril Karn”); Denise Gough (“Dedra Meero”); Adria Arjona (“Bix Caleen”) and Tony Gilroy (Executive Producer / Writer/Showrunner). The moderator was Joe Neumaier, film critic for New York’s WOR Radio.
Neumaier first noted that the first three episodes of “Andor” will debut on September 21st, only on Disney+, before turning his first question to Tony Gilroy. Neumaier asked, “What inspired you to create the series? And what was your vision for it?”
Gilroy answered, “I think the main idea is we have a character in “Rogue One”. And we know where he ends up. And we know how accomplished and complicated he is. And 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 in a place where huge events are happening and real people are being crushed by it, the fact that we could follow somebody as an example of a revolution all the way through to the end, that was the walk-in for me.”
Neumaier asked Diego Luna what he found exciting about stepping back into the role of Cassian Andor. Luna started out by saying that he was glad to be working with “this family”, and spending time with and collaborating with Gilroy. He then elaborated, “But I think “Rogue One” is a film about an event, you know? You don’t get to know those characters. You don’t get to understand exactly where they come from, what needed to happen.” He continued, “And for me, it’s quite relevant today to tell the story of what needs to happen for a revolutionary to emerge, to exist, to come to live.”
The next question was for Genevieve O’Reilly, with Neumaier asking what we can expect to find out about her and what it was like exploring the different sides of her? O’Reilly answered, “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 a Rebel Alliance, but also the woman.”
A question came from a member of the press from Puerto Rico, about diversity in a question for Adria Arjona and Luna. “How important is it for you to be able to represent the Hispanic community in this galaxy for Hispanic actors in general to get these types of roles in Hollywood?”
Arjona answered first. “I mean, it’s pretty amazing. Diego has, you know, he’s been doing it for way longer than me. But it gives me hope that now a little girl’s gonna watch it and be like oh my god, that girl kind of looks like me and maybe I want to be like her in Halloween or whatever that may be.” She also said, …”but it wasn’t part of the conversation, which was I think the most beautiful thing about it. It wasn’t like oh, you’re Hispanic, so you need to be in this.” Arjona then ended by saying she hoped that would eventually be the norm, that the question isn’t one that would be asked as much anymore.
Luna then took the question. We’re supposed to be a mirror for audiences to be able to see themselves there and gladly. And I think with the platforms and these new ways to connect with audiences, I think audiences are sending the right messages.” He continued, “I think it makes sense if we’re talking about a galaxy where there’s so many planets that people come from different places”. And if we’re talking about refugees, they come from different places and they gather in one place and they sound different, they look different. And that diversity, I mean, it’s what makes this, the reality I live in, very rich, you know? So I mean, I celebrate that the stories we see reflect on that.”
The first three episodes of “Andor” will stream on Disney+ starting on September 21st, 2022 and that will be followed by weekly episodes (for a total of twelve).