'Andor': Physical sets 'make a big difference' for Star Wars actor Diego Luna (exclusive)

·Contributor
·4 min read

Watch: Diego Luna and Adria Arjona on Andor's physical sets

Andor star Diego Luna said it "makes a big difference" to be able to shoot the TV show on elaborate physical sets, rather than via digital technology.

The new Star Wars series on Disney+, which is set before the events of 2016 movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and depicts the title character's early days as part of the Rebellion, was filmed primarily on sets rather than via green screen or "the volume".

The latter technology, which utilises enormous LED panels to project a virtual set around the actors and physical elements, has been a key element of recent Star Wars projects including The Mandalorian.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Andor

But for Luna, who reprises the role of Cassian Andor, creator Tony Gilroy's decision to eschew the volume in favour of more traditional techniques was a huge benefit to the cast.

"Everyone working in this show was pleased to have the opportunity to approach this the way we have shot films all our lives," he told Yahoo.

Diego Luna reprises the role of Cassian Andor from Rogue One in the new Disney+ series Andor. (Lucasfilm/Disney)
Diego Luna reprises the role of Cassian Andor from Rogue One in the new Disney+ series Andor. (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Luna added: "That cinematic patience that it gives you of being in an amazing spot to witness — you are also discovering as you are filming it. It's just a different feeling, I guess.

"As an actor, you're also interacting not just with the real stuff but also with the clouds and the weather and that brings a different energy on set.

Read more: Rogue One writers reveal original Cassian Andor plans

"I think it's a beautiful journey to work also with someone like Luke [Hull], the production designer, who is so precise and takes so much time deciding everything. There is a reason for everything to be there.

"There is a reason and a use for everything on set, therefore as an actor it's complete freedom. If you push a button, something happens. If you open a drawer, there's something inside. That's amazing. It makes our jobs enjoyable and easier."

Diego Luna said it was a joy to be able to interact with the set and props while filming Andor. (Lucasfilm/Disney)
Diego Luna said it was a joy to be able to interact with the set and props while filming Andor. (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Adria Arjona, who plays Cassian's close ally Bix Caleen, said the extensive sets had "their own geography" as a result of the thorough design work put in by the production team.

"If you would run somewhere, it was very specific on where you should run to get somewhere," she said.

Read more: Pedro Pascal is trying to recruit Nic Cage for Star Wars

Arjona added: "One of the directors told me I could run whenever I wanted, as long as you get to the stairs.

"There was three ways to get there and he showed me the map. I could go left, I could go straight, I could go right and manage my way to get there.

"That was kind of cool. I was deciding where the camera was going to follow me and I've never had that. We usually only have this amount of space for the camera to film you because the stage dies there but, in this case, it was completely 360 and it went on for a couple of blocks."

Good Omens and Morbius star Adria Arjona plays Bix Caleen in Andor. (Lucasfilm/Disney)
Good Omens and Morbius star Adria Arjona plays Bix Caleen in Andor. (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Star Wars veteran Genevieve O'Reilly also returns in Andor as Rebel leader Mon Mothma, who is a senator at the time the show is set, and said the people responsible for sets and costumes were "geniuses at their own craft".

"To step into those sets and to get to inhabit those spaces and play within those spaces, it could only inform our work in a really special way," the actor said.

Read more: Every new Star Wars film and TV show on the way

She added: "I'm remembering the first time you meet Mon Mothma with Stellan Skarsgård's character Luthen and that space we play in. We were like two kids in a sweet shop.

"The detail of the craftsmanship and all of the work around us was just inspiring. It did inspire us."

Genevieve O'Reilly said Andor's physical sets helped to enhance her scenes with Stellan Skarsgård. (Lucasfilm/Disney)
Genevieve O'Reilly said Andor's physical sets helped to enhance her scenes with Stellan Skarsgård. (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Andor delves into the inner workings of the Rebel Alliance prior to the events of Rogue One and, subsequently, the original Star Wars trilogy.

Other characters from Rogue One are also set to appear, with Forest Whitaker confirmed to return as Rebel leader Saw Gerrera.

Read more: Obi-Wan Kenobi stars reflect on new love for Star Wars prequels

New cast members include Fiona Shaw as matriarchal figure Maarva and Kyle Soller and Denise Gough as figures within the Empire tracking the movements of Cassian and other rebels.

Andor debuts on Disney+ with three episodes on 21 September and subsequent episodes will drop weekly.

Watch: Trailer for Star Wars streaming series Andor