Even because the franchise giants devour extra streaming area by the minute, there are few producing narratives as uniformly good because the Star Wars prequel collection Andor. Nuanced and methodical however action-packed and prescient, the Disney+ collection follows Rogue One protagonist Cassian Andor as he’s immersed within the burgeoning Resistance towards the Galactic Empire, constructing momentum for the occasions of Rogue One itself and the 1977 basic Star Wars: A New Hope. Diego Luna stars as Andor himself, the jaded smuggler who inadvertently turns into a goal of Empire operatives; their repeated autocratic crimes ultimately radicalize each him and his allies. Over the course of the present’s two seasons—the latter of which is at present in manufacturing—Andor turns into a political image that eclipses the universe of Star Wars itself.
As Emmy voters think about Andor’s magnificent first season for awards recognition, Luna sat down with ELLE.com to debate what made the collection so successful, and what momentum he’s bringing into season 2.
You’ve stated earlier than that, as a forged and crew, you’ve discovered rather a lot from filming the primary season of Andor, and that these are classes you’re bringing into the fold for season 2. Would you elaborate on what these classes have been, particularly?
Having 12 episodes to inform a narrative—it’s a very long time; it’s a number of time. Every episode, greater than some other factor I’ve carried out for TV, needs to be one thing by itself. It needs to be one thing that stays there. And I feel we have now that in thoughts far more [in season 2].
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We’re used to doing extra movie than anything. That is the second factor I’ve carried out on this format for streaming. And the identical [thing] with many individuals from the writing, the administrators, the manufacturing, so naturally, we ended up considering in three episodes as a block, as a result of it’s just like the time you have got for a movie.
Every block of three episodes, in a means, had a starting and an finish. And after we put out the primary season, it was after we have been about to begin doing promotion that we got here up with the thought of placing three out [at a time], as a result of it was one thing by itself, with out us even serious about it. Then, on this subsequent season, what we’re doing is blocks of three episodes and every block represents a yr. We embody that as a part of the format in a way more structured means.
It’s stuff like that. And in addition, when it comes to the relationships between the characters, the potential of a few of the chemistry between actors and the stuff that within the first season actually shined—we now are conscious, and we are attempting to elaborate there.
I’m curious in regards to the twin nature of the timeline you’re in proper now: You’re nonetheless selling and speaking about season 1, particularly as Emmys voting ramps up, however you’re additionally within the midst of making season 2. Has that back-and-forth impacted the artistic course of for season 2 in any means?
We’re positively extra drained. I imply, we’re naturally doing a number of issues on the identical time, but additionally we’re relying far more on each other as a group now. We’re keen to collaborate in a way more balanced means as a result of we all know we have now to cowl for one another.
However I feel that’s the fundamental cause why we’re doing simply two seasons—two elements, if you wish to name it that means. As a result of it might be unattainable to maintain happening this monitor for fairly a very long time. It’s simply unattainable for the quantity of labor put behind this, the period of time that the writing takes … If we have been aiming for extra seasons, we’d be doing this within the subsequent 10 years and it’s simply unattainable.
However I imagine all of us have this additional to offer due to what the primary season meant for us. As a result of the attractive response that audiences had, the attractive response additionally that we obtained from the press and critiques, all of that’s there, and it retains us going on this effort to shut even higher.
You’ve additionally stated earlier than that, if you have been rising up, you have been involved that the kind of tales you really liked—these mature, grounded tales—weren’t essentially going to be well-liked ones. In hindsight, why do you assume the primary season of Andor was in a position to straddle that divide so successfully?
I feel we got here to be a part of the franchise and to be a part of the universe of Star Wars in the appropriate time. The audiences of Star Wars now are very, very various. They’re in all places. And when it comes to generations, they do now embody three totally different generations, at the least. Now, within the universe of Star Wars, there’s audiences for various materials when it comes to tone and complexity and matureness. And we got here in in a second the place there’s that freedom, the place we don’t must intention for a similar viewers that different exhibits are aiming for or that different movies have aimed for. And I feel we discovered this with Rogue One.
I imply, it’s only a pure evolution. Rogue One got here out, and it was totally different, and it was darker, and it had a starting and an finish, and it was aiming for one thing totally different than the saga films that have been popping out. That movie confirmed us—or confirmed Lucasfilm and Disney—that there was an enormous viewers that needed that form of Star Wars. That’s why they employed us and never another person. That’s why they employed [creator] Tony Gilroy, as a result of his writing is strictly that, and that’s why the forged is the forged it’s. We have now very attention-grabbing expertise that’s, for the primary time, exploring the universe of Star Wars in lots of positions. It’s folks which might be experiencing this journey of belonging to this universe for the primary time. Subsequently, it’s a brand new and a really recent view on it.
Are you filming these season 2 blocks in chronological order, or do you bounce round?
We attempt to hold it as structured in a logic means as potential, when it comes to not taking pictures what we don’t know, not taking pictures one thing [where] we have to know the place we’re coming from [as characters], however the guidelines of manufacturing are very totally different lately. Rather a lot has to do with the constructing of the units… We watch for the writing to be prepared. That tells us what must be constructed, after which constructing takes it a while. I don’t know in case you’ve tried to construct something in your life—
Not on this scale.
I’m the son of an architect, and each time they are saying, “This will likely be carried out that day,” you must know it might by no means be there.
Tack on a month.
Precisely. What I imply is there’s so many issues that determinate what shoots first after which later. However what we do is, every block has the logic of a director. Every block is shot from a really particular perspective, and we’re very respectful to the method of administrators. We actually need administrators to come back and produce their voice and their imaginative and prescient to raise what we have now.
What’s it like navigating these blocks as an actor? With every block representing a yr, how do you place your self in Cassian’s headspace for every scene, given the time jumps between them?
There’s a number of earlier work you must do earlier than getting on set and a number of chatting wanted with administrators. However I might say that, with this present, one factor that’s actually attention-grabbing is that it is rather wealthy. There’s rather a lot for us to play with and, more often than not, the groups are already fairly full, fairly strong. It’s not a kind of exhibits the place you don’t have solutions and also you go like, What are we doing? In no way. The writing of this present, it retains altering, retains remodeling, retains bringing new turns. It’s stuffed with layers. [As an actor] it’s nearly being conscious of the complexity that the fabric is asking for.
This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is a employees tradition author at ELLE, the place she primarily covers movie, tv and books. She was beforehand an affiliate editor at ELLE.