The last time Diego Luna was seen in a Star Wars project was in Rogue One—where, by the end of the film, his character had died. When Lucasfilm announced its plans for a spin-off series chronicling Andor’s life prior to those events, there was confusion, to say the least. Why focus a whole show on him?
However, despite that initial feedback, what has been shown to the world from Andor has undoubtedly garnered a lot more excitement than many may have expected. That, on top of the intense confidence the studio seems to have regarding the show, really paints a good picture when it comes to what the quality of the piece may be.
Lucasfilm even has a two-season plan set in place, with this first season covering fives years before Rogue One and the sophomore run of episodes spanning the next four years. Its upcoming set of episodes will also be the longest season for any Star Wars Disney+ project yet.
Now, in a new interview, star Diego Luna has revealed how he actually considered leaving the role early on—and it’s likely not for the reason that one would think.
Diego Luna Nearly Quit Andor
During the Andor virtual press conference, series star Diego Luna revealed why he nearly quit the show, and it would have been a pretty hilarious reason to do so if he had followed through.
Luna talked about when he first arrived at Pinewood for stunt work during pre-production, and after his first day there, “every part of [his] body ached and [he] felt like he went into battle.” He even thought to himself that he was “gonna have to quit this job:"
“I’m gonna say that probably, this was like the first or second day I arrived at Pinewood at the very beginning when we were in pre-production. And I go to the stunts where they have an amazing facility and stuff for you to climb, and to jump, and to fall, and roll, and I go like, ‘Let’s do a very simple one. I need to get back into this.’ And I pretend I was ten years younger, you know, what I had to play in this show. And the next morning, I was like, ‘Shit, I’m gonna have to quit this job. I can’t handle this anymore.’ Like, every part of my body ached, and I felt like I went into a battle. And it was just the first rehearsal, you know? I was talking to my family like, ‘I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to do this. Noone’s gonna believe I’m… I’m gonna have to spend the first two months in a chair.’ It was… Clearly, time passed, and gladly there was a fantastic stunt that helped me and managed to do all the stuff I can’t do anymore.”
Actress Adria Arjona joined in, commenting on how impressive the sets were. In fact, one, in particular, felt like an entire “ten city blocks” of a real town, and she remembers “kind of getting lost in it:”
“I feel like we’re all gonna talk about the same set, it was just… For some reason, I remember ten city blocks, that’s how big it felt for me. I think maybe it wasn’t. But I just remember the first day walking around, and kind of getting lost in it, and exploring, and it was so cool. And I also had made a silly, rookie decision of really going into this show and saying like, ‘I’m not in Star Wars. I’m making the conscious decision that I’m not in Star Wars. I’m in this amazing show that Tony [Gilroy] developed. We’re doing this.’ And then everything was a constant reminder, so it was like, ‘Aw crap.’ Every prop that was giving, every set that you would walk in, everything’s like, ‘Oh man, I really am in Star Wars.’ And sort of, like Kyle [Soller] said, your inner child starts coming out, and the butterflies are going, and you’re like, ‘What did I get myself into? Like I can’t get out of it now?’”
The actress continued, exclaiming again how the “set was incredible” and that “everything was filmable:”
“That set was incredible. I remember there was one day where one of our directors told me to run. And I was like, ‘Well, where do you want me to run?’ He’s like, ‘Anywhere you want.’ ’Cause everything was filmable. If I would go left, he could’ve filmed there. If I would go right, he could’ve filmed there, and if it was just me exiting, he could basically point the camera either left or right, and that was kind of cool.”
Diego Luna Almost Threw Away the Opportunity of a Lifetime
While these words were likely exaggerated in a jest-full manner, it’s hard to imagine Luna actually following through with quitting the project. He’s probably very glad he didn’t. Not only does the show seem to be quality from the outside, but this is easily the biggest project the actor has ever been a part of.
It’s just a shame that his character is heading towards an unchangeable fate: death via exploding planet. Though, there’s always the possibility of Andor popping back up in an animated project down the line.
As for Arjona and her love of the big town set, it goes to show that the series seemingly made the right decision in how they approached VFX for the project.
One of the aspects of the series that makes it unique amongst other recent Star Wars offerings is how Andor avoids The Volume technology. Instead, their process is more old school—large-scale practical sets and blue screens where needed. It does give the show a grittier, physical feel to it.
Hopefully, the series doesn’t disappoint when its first three episodes air on September 21, only on Disney+.