We have good news for fans of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as the 12-part prequel series Andor is gearing up for a release on Disney Plus.
Fans will be pleased to hear that Forest Whitaker is reprising his role as rebel fighter Saw Gerrera, one of the first Star Wars characters to jump from animation to live-action following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm.
Whitaker will star alongside Diego Luna, who plays the eponymous Cassian Andor in a series that explores the character's complicated journey to joining the Rebel Alliance.
And that's not all. The spin-off series has reportedly been renewed for a new season before it has even premiered.
Speaking to the Swedish news site Dagens Nyheter, cast member Stellan Skarsgård revealed: “We start with Dune 2 in July. And then in the autumn, it’s time for the second season of the Star Wars series Andor."
Skarsgård won’t be the only new face in Andor, with Kyle Soller, Denise Gough, Adria Arjona and Robert Emms also joining the cast in as yet undisclosed roles.
So, without further ado, read on for all your essential information on Disney Plus series Cassian Andor.
Andor release date speculation on Disney Plus
Sadly, there's no specific release date for the Cassian Andor series just yet, but it was announced at Disney's recent investor day that we can expect to see the new series in 2022.
Filming on the series wrapped in September 2021 after kicking off in November 2020.
In December 2020, it was confirmed that Andor will consist of 12 episodes in total, making it substantially longer than a single series of The Mandalorian (eight episodes) or fellow Disney Plus original WandaVision (nine episodes).
"I think the format of a series is amazing because we have a lot of time to explore all those layers. What happens in Rogue One is something we can actually reflect on," Luna told The Hollywood Reporter.
Diego Luna returns as “charismatic Rebel leader” Cassian Andor, who played a central role in the plan to steal the Death Star schematics in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Stellan Skarsgard, Kyle Soller and Denise Gough have also joined the show's cast in unknown roles. While Skarsgard is famous for his roles in Chernobyl and Marvel's Thor movies (as Dr Erik Selvig), Soller is best known for playing Francis in BBC period drama Poldark, and Gough appeared in ITV's 2021 drama Too Close.
The most recent addition to the cast is Adria Arjona, known for her roles in BBC Two's Good Omens as well as Netflix action films 6 Underground and Triple Frontier, who will be portraying Cassian Andor's sister.
Forest Whitaker and Genevieve O'Reilly will be returning in their rebel roles as Saw Gerrera and Mon Mothma respectively, but one major cast member from Rogue One will be notable only by his absence.
Alan Tudyk has debunked theories that he will co-star in Andor opposite Luna, telling Collider in a recent interview that he will not feature in the first season - but could well crop up further down the line.
“They're shooting it right now, I'm not in it," Tudyk said. "But, if it stays on the air, stories keep getting told, I'll end up in there."
He continued: “I'm going to be in the show. It's just that the story that Tony [Gilroy] is telling doesn't involve K-2SO until later on... I can't be too specific, but I can definitely say that I'm not going to be in the first season.”
It’s currently unknown who else will star in the series, though it’s certainly possible that Rogue One actors Alistair Petrie, Ian McElhinney and Ben Daniels could be enticed back depending on the format of the drama.
Tony Gilroy – who directed reshoots and rewrote large parts of Rogue One ahead of its release in 2016 – is set to work as showrunner, replacing Stephen Schiff in the top job.
What is Andor about?
LucasFilm are currently remaining tight-lipped about what to expect from the new prequel, only describing it as “a new spy series inspired by Rogue One”.
The casting of Adria Arjona as Andor's sister suggests we'll get a deeper insight into his family and upbringing over the course of the series.
However, it appears that we won't be seeing a return for the playful dynamic between Cassian and K-2SO, as actor Alan Tudyk has confirmed he will not appear in the first season - but could join the show at a later date.
He told Collider: "I do know this: I have to be on stilts for it, because the character is 7'1", and I'm not one of those guys that says, ‘somebody else do the motion capture, and I'll voice it later'.
"I'll have to do the motion capture, and I turn 50 in March. So I hope they get to it soon, because I'm not going to be on stilts in, like, five years. I'm not doing it!"
Luna has promised fans that the scale is just as epic as it would be in a big screen project and we have no reason to doubt him, given the blockbuster feel of fellow Disney Plus original The Mandalorian.
"The way we’re shooting this reminds me of how we shot the film, and the amount of work behind this TV series reminds me of the work you do for a film. It feels like we’re doing a very long movie," he added.
In December, fans were treated to their first look at the new show, with the release of a sizzle reel – which you can watch in full below.
It includes clips from Rogue One, and interviews with those both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera.
What happened in Rogue One?
In this 2016 prequel film, set shortly before the events of original 1977 Star Wars movie A New Hope, Andor and K-2SO team up with miscreant Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) for a covert mission, learning that her father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) had designed a flaw into the Death Star space station that the Rebels could use to blow it up (which Luke Skywalker did in the original Star Wars film).
Picking up other team members from occupied planet Jedha (most of which was later destroyed by the nascent Death Star), the team eventually find themselves on an Imperial weapons development station on the planet Scarif, where Jyn, Cassian and K-2SO manage to steal the Death Star plans and transmit them to the Rebel fleet while their friends attack for a distraction.
Unfortunately, K-2SO and the other Rebels almost all die in battle, while Jyn and Cassian end up perishing when the Death Star destroys the Scarif base. In the film’s final moments, the plans are transferred to Princess Leia’s (Carrie Fisher) ship, tying the film into A New Hope’s opening moments.
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