Star Wars: Diego Luna to reprise role as Cassian Andor for new streaming series

Cassian Andor will appear once more in the galaxy far, far away.

Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced on Thursday that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Diego Luna will reprise his role as the Alliance Intelligence officer who served the Rebellion, aided in the effort to restore the Republic, and teamed with fellow Rebels (including Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso) to steal the Galactic Empire's plans for the Death Star. 

"But what for?" we can hear you ask. "Why is he coming back?"

Well, dear reader, Luna is set to star in a brand-new live-action Star Wars series set for exclusive release on Disney's streaming platform Disney+, scheduled to begin operations in 2019. The Cassian-centric series joins Jon Favreau's show The Mandalorian, also expected to debut next year.

Though Cassian (spoiler alert) died in the final moments of Rogue One — perishing alongside Jyn, Ben Mendelsohn's Orson Krennic, and everyone else alive on the remote tropical planet Scarif after Grand Moff Willhuff Tarkin destroyed the Rebel base as the Death Star flew into orbit — he'll be alive and seemingly quite well in the upcoming series. 

According to the official Star Wars website, the show takes place long before the events of Rogue One, during the "formative years of the Rebellion." Disney and Lucasfilm have described the project as a "rousing spy thriller" that will "explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire." No other details were released at the time the news broke. 

The man of the hour, Luna himself, had some lovely things to say about the series and the opportunity to return to the world of Star Wars after spending two years out of it. (Rogue One, the first in Disney and Lucasfilm's prequel spin-off films used as interstitial additions between main franchise installments, debuted in theaters in December of 2016.)

"Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me," he said in a statement accompanying the series announcement. "I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply."

While the two most recent Skywalker saga entries Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi pulled in more global revenue than Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did ($2.07 billion and $1.3 billion to $1.05 billion), the standalone film was still incredibly profitable and became an instant hit with critics and fans — which is impressive considering they had never before seen a Star Wars prequel story (and we're not talking about those prequels) of Rogue One's kind. In addition to applauding Rogue One for "breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground" and "spin[ning] Star Wars into a whole new orbit," viewers also went ga-ga for Luna's Cassian. Countless fans revered the actor's performance, arguing that it was not only was entertaining and captivating, but also that it represented a "celebration of Latino culture." 

Disney and Lucasfilm are wise to bring Luna back to the Star Wars universe to breathe new life into one of the most well-liked new franchise characters, as it seems the move will provide all parties with a happy ending: the companies get to reap the success of a second streaming series, Luna gets another Star Wars gig, and fans get to see Cassian grace their screens again. Everybody wins!

This yet-to-be-titled Star Wars series doesn't yet have a release date, but it's expected to begin production next year.