I finished buying a latte in a specialty cafeteria near my house and I prepare to walk, calmly, towards the hotel where I will sit for a few minutes with diego luna to talk of Andorthe series that narrates the events leading up to Rogue One and it has taken us all by surprise. Politics, rebellions, normal people, scenes that seem taken from a film noir along with sequences inspired by dystopian productions. It has been so unlike anything we have seen before the star wars universe to the point that not a single lightsaber appears in its twelve episodes.
But in the end, with Diego indisposed, we have to delay the interview a couple of days and make it virtual. With this, time a little more measured and a little more impersonal. Things that happen and that are beyond everyone’s control. Nothing happens. The important thing is that this time your point of view and opinions about Andor They are not only as an actor, but also as an executive producer, which makes him much more involved, from the conception of the series.
So, for me at least, it’s a great opportunity to delve into some of the less obvious aspects behind Andor. The reasons why this is the production chosen to do something so different from anything we’ve seen before in Star Wars. Politics, social criticism, battles low keybut no less relevant for that. A way of showing us that in that galaxy so far away, even on some planet that seems to be unimportant, there are people who are willing to fight for their rights, even if it means death.
Cassian Andor, whom Diego Luna plays, represents those people. He is anonymous, he is an outsider in all circles where he moves. He has a different accent, he is full of contradictions and we are passive witnesses of how his morality changes throughout Andor as series and in Rogue One like movie.
But the interview is also a great opportunity to learn Diego Luna’s position on the responsibility behind being a Latin American actor, who has acquired immense weight within the saga. And how that has a profound impact on a society that has always felt underrepresented in the Star Wars universe.
Why Andor is the most different thing in the Star Wars saga, and where the complexity of its characters comes from
Recently, in another interview, Tony Gilroy —series creator and showrunner— detailing the reasons why it considers that Cassian Andor is the one to carry out such a different production within the Star Wars universe. And how a phrase —said by the character in Rogue One—, “I’ve been fighting against the empire since I was six years old”, has acquired immense weight in this great plot construction. But he wanted to know the point of view of Diego Luna, who explained to hypertextual that the reason is “just because it really doesn’t look like any other we’ve seen before in the saga”.
“He is a character, perhaps the most human and earthly thing we’ve seen in Star Wars. A guy who can go unnoticed, who doesn’t seem to be there, or doesn’t seem to matter. And when you talk about a revolution, the revolution is full of characters like this. It’s full of characters who suddenly understand the value of community articulation. He’s a character you wouldn’t necessarily care about, but suddenly he becomes your biggest concern. He’s a guy who lives and owes a lot to anonymity,” reply.
“In addition, the character is a pretext to know a situation. And through him we can understand a social moment. What needs to be happening for a rebellion or a revolution to be articulated. What level of oppression is being experienced. How is that lack of freedoms. How you live. And how you live in the most intimate and personal”.
Diego Luna also describes his character as somewhat dark and recalls that in his first scene in Rogue Onemakes something that can be seen from many angles [haciendo referencia a Cassian Andor asesinando a un informante para no ser capturado]. In this regard, we asked him if this new complexity that we are seeing in the characters of Star Warswhich are not totally good or 100% bad, are they a consequence of the narrative or is this actually the starting point.
“In this series, which is the one I can tell you about, it is without a doubt the starting point, totally, and it is the main objective,” explains Diego Luna. “The goal is to create real characters, who look like you and me, who are full of those contrasts. We can say that we are always trying to be the best version of ourselves, but not that we don’t make mistakes. Not that we don’t live in those shades gray. And precisely these characters live there because, in addition, it is more interesting. For me it is more interesting when they tell a story of someone who lives in that eternal contradiction than someone from whom I can always expect their best version”.
“That’s where the drama ends,” Luna tells us. “And in that Tony [Gilroy] has been very meticulous. In giving all these characters that vision and that realistic angle. On one side and on the other. Because the series aspires to show the life of the most bureaucratic Empire and the low command. How the lack of freedoms is lived from there”.
Andor puts Diego Luna, a Latin American actor, at the center of the Star Wars universe
Star Wars made us imagine the possibility of living adventures in a very distant universe. Filled with spaceships, futuristic warfare, lightsabers, Jedis, and the fight for a better future for an entire galaxy. It has marked generations, including mine.
So, in a way, many of us are fulfilling the dream of being part of the Star Wars universe through Diego Luna. A Latin American actor who, thanks to his interpretation of Cassian Andor, and the excellent reviews of Rogue One Y Andorhas gained vital importance within the saga.
“I’m not only aware, I share the feeling with you,” he answers smiling. “I also grew up watching these movies, I also grew up fantasizing about this universe and it never crossed my mind as an actor to be a part of this. It didn’t even seem possible to me.”
On the representation and diversity of actors and in the production team within series and films of Star Wars, Diego Luna feels that things are changing and a lot. “It is a world that I had already learned to see without feeling a connection, without feeling represented. That is changing. And it is changing late, but it is coming. The industry is reacting to a world that is already different. A plural and diverse world that should be celebrated on the screen”.
“You don’t know how much I appreciate the love of the people, the love that there is not only for Star Wars, but for the idea that there is a character that has my accent, and that comes from where I come from. It is not a coincidence. I celebrate very much the risk that, from Rogue One, lucasfilm has taken. In that sense, I feel they have been pioneers.”
If you see the diversity in the distribution of Rogue One, the diversity of accents, what that film is saying is how such a heterogeneous team is capable of anything. And in the series it’s not just me in front of the camera, but also Adria Arjona (who plays Bix Caleen), but also behind the scenes,” explains Diego Luna.
“To talk to you about the diversity that invokes lucasfilm in their projects, I give you an example. I came to camping make-up in the mornings and the make-up designer was English, the person who applied the make-up was Spanish, the hair designer was Argentinian, the mustache and beard expert was Italian. Imagine that diversity. Photographers, designers, anyway. There is something very nice that is beginning to happen, that we no longer even question it. That this is already happening. It’s not just me, we are many. We can make a long list. And those who come.”
“And I promise that my son sees this as normal, although it doesn’t seem normal to you and me. I’m very happy that it’s normal for my son that his dad is doing a series like this. I love the idea, because it was so necessary and indispensable”.
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All episodes of the first season of Andor are already available in Disney+. The series will return with a second and final season, with a jump in time that will place it closer to the events of Rogue One.