Star Wars fans are still catching their collective breath from the stunning conclusion to The Mandalorian Season 2, but there's much more live-action Star Wars to come.
As was teased during "Chapter 16's" post-credit scene and formally announced on Good Morning America by Jon Favreau, The Book of Boba Fett is currently in production and will release next December. The Mandalorian's third season will begin production immediately following the conclusion of Fett's, and Obi-Wan Kenobi is due to start rolling the camera in March.
In addition to the rest of these, filming of Star Wars: Andor is currently underway in London, and the series is due to drop sometime in 2022. The show returns Diego Luna to the role of the titular Cassian Andor, bringing to life the Rebel spy in his earlier days before being incinerated by the Death Star in Rogue One. We saw the character go to some dark places in the first Star Wars spin-off film, and that's something the actor says will be addressed in the upcoming series...
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, actor Diego Luna said that Andor offers the unique opportunity to explore more of his character's reflection in regard to the things the Rebellion asks him to do:
"Definitely. I think it’s really interesting to tell a story even though we know where it ends. The way you can approach a story like this inevitably takes you into a deeper process of reflection. I tend to use that word a lot. So once you know what Cassian is capable of, then there’s room for so much exploration, and that’s something that excites me a lot as an actor. 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, and what’s behind something like [sacrificing an informant]."
Luna was very pleased with Rogue One's message overall, and the opportunity to return to his role is thrilling:
"I think it’s a very interesting challenge, the one we have in front of us. So I’m really excited to go back to that character because I really enjoyed playing him, and I was really happy with what the film represents. Rogue One was a story of regular people. It was regular people doing incredible things, and in a way, it’s a film that reminds us of the power we all have if we have a conviction. So, yeah, I feel blessed to have the chance to revisit this role."
The actor was noncommittal on whether The Volume would be used, but likened production to shooting one extremely long film:
"I have to be very careful in the way I answer everything. 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."
While he'll miss working on Narcos: Mexico, Luna says he's happy to move back to playing Cassian:
"I'm going to miss it, too, but to be honest, as an actor, it was quite demanding. It was two very intense years of my life. I’m happy now to move to this other character [Cassian Andor] that I also have a great connection with. It allows me to play material that is not as dark as [Narcos: Mexico]."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Andor has been a long time coming. The series was announced back in November 2018, and it's nice to see that production is finally underway after clearing some of the hurdles that the coronavirus pandemic presented. Doing a show based on Cassian was a surprising decision at the time, but Andor really seems to provide a unique opportunity to dig into the darker elements of the Rebellion that were shown more loosely in Rogue One.
In Cassian's introductory scene in Rogue One, we see the Fulcrum agent assassinate an informant proving to be a liability, and the character references other "terrible things" he's done on behalf of the Rebellion throughout the film. While we know Andor's ultimate fate, the reflection that this series will provide for the character is something that will add more layers to the character and give more context for where his head is at leading to the Battle of Scarif.
For a series that's doing at least 12 episodes, with the prospects for more seasons an option down the line, it's hard to imagine Lucasfilm and Disney won't be using The Volume in some capacity for Andor. The Star Wars movies and shows are expensive to make, and depending on the lengths of each episode, this season of Andor could amount to a runtime equal to or greater than an entire trilogy, which could be a fortune to produce if only practical sets are being used.
The U-Wing has left the launchpad, and things are finally underway! We have so much Star Wars coming down the pipeline, and Andor is going to be right in the thick of everything. There's never been a spy-thriller piece done in the galaxy far, far away, but this series is looking to offer a new perspective on the galaxy in the most compelling of ways.