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Why Andor's Diego Luna Is Still Haunted By Rogue One

In the new Disney+ show "Andor," actor Diego Luna will reprise his role from "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" as the titular Cassian Andor for a series that explores how the character became dedicated to the Rebel cause. Although we already know the ultimate, tragic fate of its hero, as is the nature of a prequel, Luna finds himself drawn to Andor's backstory.

As the first "Star Wars" movie not created as part of a central trilogy, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was a creative risk for Disney. Telling the tale of the Rebel heroes who risked everything to bring the Death Star plans to the Alliance, the film segues directly into the opening moments of "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope." The biggest creative risk comes at the very end, when Andor and his team sacrifice their lives to ensure the success of their mission. In advance of "Andor," the stand-alone film will be returning to IMAX theaters with new footage attached.

During a Disney press event promoting "Andor" that Looper attended, Luna spoke emotionally about the significance Cassian Andor holds for him, why he thinks "Andor" is directly relevant to our current moment in history, and why "Rogue One" still haunts him.

Diego Luna wanted to know what makes a 6-year-old grow into a Rebel hero

Diego Luna revealed that Cassian Andor's motivations have haunted him ever since "Rogue One," a major factor that drove him to step back into the role for this new series. Of course, fans will undoubtedly remember the ending of that film for being unsparingly bleak — Cassian and his team die in the process of delivering the Death Star blueprints into Rebel hands.

According to Luna, it was a story that made him hungry to know more about his character, who references a brutal life in service of the Rebel Alliance. "I think 'Rogue One' is a film about an event," Luna said. "You don't get to know those characters. You don't get to understand exactly where they come from, what needed to happen. And for me, it's quite relevant today to tell the story of what needs to happen for a revolutionary to emerge, to exist, to come to life."

Additionally, Luna was intrigued by some of the allusions his character made to a shadowy past. "The character says stuff that ... haunts me in 'Rogue One,'" Luna mused. "[He says] that he started the fight [when] he was six years old. What does that mean, exactly? Why a six-year-old would miss his childhood and start a fight ... He talks about a dark past. He talks about doing terrible stuff for the rebellion. What is he referring to? I think that story matters."

Indeed, "Andor" will dive into Cassian's childhood on his home planet, as well as his life prior to being recruited by the Rebel Alliance, exploring how someone raised during the darkest moments of "Star Wars" under the unsparing rule of the Empire would grow into the very seed of its destruction. "Andor" premieres on September 21 exclusively on Disney+.