Diego Luna, Genevieve O’Reilly, Kyle Soller, & Denise Gough (ANDOR) Roundtable Interviews

Andor is just around the corner! We participated in three roundtable interviews with Diego Luna (Cassian Andor & Executive Producer), Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma), and Kyle Soller (Syril Karn) & Denise Gough (Dedra Meero) where we got to ask them about their roles in the upcoming series. What makes Cassian so compelling? If the Rebellion is built on hope, what is the Empire built on? How does Mon Mothma’s incredible fashion inform Genevieve’s performance? All this and more on this incredible episode of Skytalkers. Thank you SO much to Disney and Lucasfilm for this opportunity! Click here to download the episode directly!

We want to thank our fellow roundtable participants — and honor to be a part of this with you!: Talking Bay 94, Star Wars Explained, Triad of the Force, Jedi News UK, Skywalking Through Neverland, Star Wars Holocron, Father Son Galaxy, Pink Milk, Fangirls Going Rogue, and Coffee with Kenobi.

ANDOR Global Press Conference: Tony Gilroy, Diego Luna, and Cast Discuss Their Upcoming Show

(L-R): Tony Gilroy and Diego Luna on the set of Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

At the beginning of the month, Caitlin and I got the opportunity to not only chat with the stars of ANDOR, but also sit in on the global press conference with the cast and crew of the show. It was a fantastic experience and their answers are some we’re still thinking about (particularly Tony saying, “There’s nothing cynical about our show.”). Here’s an edited and abridged version of the Q&A session, featuring answers from Tony Gilroy (Executive Producer, Writer, & Showrunner), Diego Luna (Executive Producer & Cassion Andor), Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma), Adria Arjona (Bix Caleen), Kyle Soller (Syril Karn), and Denise Gough (Dedra Meero). The press conference was moderated by Joe Neumaier, film critic for New York’s WOR radio. Thank you, Disney and Lucasfilm, for the opportunity!

This series is a new perspective on the Star Wars galaxy, involving the burgeoning rebellion in its infancy in the years prior to the film Rogue One. What inspired you to create the series? And what was your vision for it? 

TONY GILROY:  I think the main idea is we have a character in Rogue One.  And we know where he ends up.  And we know how accomplished and complicated he is.  And the idea that we can do a story that takes him literally from his childhood origins and walk him through a five-year history of an odyssey that takes him to that place, during a revolution, during a moment in history in a place where huge events are happening and real people are being crushed by it, the fact that we could follow somebody as an example of a revolution all the way through to the end, that was the walk-in for me. That was the buy-in, the opportunity to do that.  Look, there are a lot of characters in our show.  Everyone is going to be circulating and spinning and intersecting around the Cassian Andor story as we move towards Rogue One.   But it’s a potent moment in history.  And a lot of people are facing a lot of really difficult times and difficult decisions along the way.  And that’s what the show is about, the opportunity to do that on a large scale, on a big canvas, that’s why I’m here.  

Diego, what do you find exciting about stepping back into the role of Cassian Andor?  Do you have a sense in many ways of completing the character in this series, kind of filling in details, as well as our understanding of him? 

DIEGO LUNA:  Definitely, definitely.  First of all, just the chance to be back working with this family, getting to do more stuff with Tony, which is someone I admire, and I love his company and, and collaborating with him is amazing.  So just being back felt great.  But I think Rogue One is a film about an event, you know?  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 live, you know.  What gives meaning in the life of someone to be willing to sacrifice everything for a cause, you know?  What needs to happen?  That that journey matters to me.  And the character says stuff that it haunts me in Rogue One.  You know that he started to fight since he was six years old.  What does that mean, exactly?  You know, why a six-year-old would miss his childhood and start a fight?  That, to me, is really interesting to know.  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.  That story is interesting.  And there is a lot of material there for us to play.  So I was really excited to be able to go into that journey and give those answers, you know?  

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Genevieve, but we have seen Mon Mothma before.  And your return to the role is a real treat.  But what can we expect to find out more about her over the course of this series?  And what was it like exploring those different sides of her? 

GENEVIEVE O’REILLY:  You know, like you’ve said, we’ve met Mon Mothma before in different iterations, in different versions of the Star Wars storytelling.  And each time we’ve met her, we’ve met this kind of composed, regal, dignified woman who often like with Cassian in Rogue One, she is to send people out on a mission.  I think what’s extraordinary about how Tony has written Andor and where he has chosen to begin this story is so very different to where we find Mon Mothma in Rogue One.  She is still that very dignified senator.  But for the first time, we get to see the woman behind the role.  We get to see a private face of Mon Mothma.  We get to flesh out not just the senator, not just the would-be leader of a Rebel Alliance, but also the woman. 

Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Adria, your character Bix is a strong female character.  It must have been great bringing that sense of empowerment through the screen.  What do you like most about Bix? 

ADRIA ARJONA:  Well, I liked a lot of things about Bix.  I think she’s fearless.  And she’s bold, yet really deep inside, she’s incredibly loyal and compassionate and cares a little too much for the people around her.  And I think that’s sometimes at her own detriment.  I think this boldness and powerful thing is sort of like a facade that she puts on for…  She almost puts that as a show.  But deep down, she cares deeply about the people around her.  And I think that’s the part that I love the most about Bix. 

Denise, how does your character Dedra Meero fit into the story? 

DENISE GOUGH:  So Dedra is an ISP officer.  And when we meet her, she’s at the kind of low end of the ladder.  And she’s incredibly ambitious and meticulous.  And what I love about playing her is that, you know, she’s in this very male-dominated world.  And she’s seeing around her the way that people are missing what she can see is happening.  And we’ve been talking a lot about this today, both about Dedra and Syril and how they come into this world.  They’re sort of outsiders within the ISB.  And so yes, she’s clawing her way up the ladder.  And I love portraying the effect that power just has on a person, like the danger of that pursuit of power and control, regardless of gender.  I mean, I do kind of love that you’re thinking oh, go girl.  And then you remember, she’s in a fascist organization. And so yeah, I’m getting a real thrill being able to play her. 

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Rogue One by Theme: Hate, Trust, and Redemption

With Andor right around the corner, Caitlin and Charlotte revisit 2016’s ROGUE ONE and talk about it through the lens of 3 different themes: Hate, Trust, and Redemption. In part one, we talk about hate, self-loathing, and righteous hatred. In part two, we talk about how trust has a domino-effect throughout the film and ultimately serves as the glue. Finally, in part three, we talk about how ROGUE ONE is a redemption story. All this and more on Skytalkers. Click here to listen to the episode directly!

LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation Extravaganza: Yvette Nicole Brown, David Shayne, Ken Cunningham, & Review

LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation is here! On this special episode, we have a spoiler-filled (you’ve been warned!) discussion about the show, followed by a chat with the incredible Yvette Nicole Brown (Lieutenant Valeria) about her Star Wars fandom, returning to LEGO, her amazing LEGO collection, and so much more. Then, Ken Cunningham (Director) and David Shayne (Writer and Executive Producer) return to Skytalkers to talk about Summer Vacation, Ben Solo, friendship, and more. Plus, all our guests answer the Star Wars Dinner Question! All this and more on this episode of Skytalkers. A HUGE thank you to our friends at Lucasfilm for this amazing opportunity! Click here to download this episode directly!