Writer/director Tony Gilroy has always been a keen critic of real-world politics, from “Michael Clayton” to even his work as a co-writer on “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” He’s now expanding upon the universe fleshed out in the latter film for his upcoming Disney+ “Star Wars” series, “Andor,” starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, the cynical thief turned rousing rebel leader.
Also among the cast that includes Genevieve O’Reilly, Forest Whitaker, and Stellan Skarsgård is beloved Irish actress Fiona Shaw, starring as Maarva. Shaw recently spoke to Empire Magazine about the series, which is set in the five years leading up to “Rogue One” and centers on the Rebel Alliance’s front against the Galactic Empire, led by the revolutionary Andor.
The series, as Shaw explained, offers a “scurrilous” take on a world where rights our disappearing, i.e. our own.
“Tony has written a great, scurrilous [take] on the Trumpian world,” said Shaw, an Emmy nominee for her performances in “Fleabag” and “Killing Eve.” “Our world is exploding in different places right now, people’s rights are disappearing, and ‘Andor’ reflects that. [In the show] the Empire is taking over, and it feels like the same thing is happening in reality, too.”
As the rebellion also fights back against the Palpatine regime, Cassian Andor becomes increasingly less cynical and turns toward a more revolutionary point of view. (Recall that “Rogue One” culminates in the death of Andor, and so the series, billed as a time-jumping spy thriller, will head in that direction as well.)
“I was impressed by Tony’s social-realist intentions,” Shaw said. “He’s created a whole new morality. It’s very deep and humane – there is grief, mourning, hope, fear. It’s not just primary colors here.”
“’Andor’ comes from the same place as everything else that’s come out of this office,” said Gilroy, who wrote all three of the “Bourne” films and also served as a producer on “Nightcrawler,” directed by his brother Dan Gilroy. “’Clayton,’ the Bournes, ‘The Devil’s Advocate,’ now this… It’s all full-on drama.”
Luna told Empire that the show is “insanely ambitious, dark and real,” adding, “Even as Tony was pitching me, I was like, ‘This is amazing. You are sick.’”
“Andor” premieres September 21 on Disney+