Since taking over the Star Wars brand from George Lucas, Disney’s two shots at stand alone Star Wars stories were oppositely successful. The gritty war-torn drama of 2016’s “Rogue One” won acclaim and over a billion dollars at the global box office, while the more light-hearted comedic telling of Han Solo’s early days in this year’s “Solo,” was not as well liked and made less than $400 million at the theater. Still not a bad haul for a movie, but not nearly good enough for a Star Wars movie.
In my humble opinion, “Rogue One” was the best Star Wars since the original Star Wars, and today comes news that Disney will be revisiting characters from “Rogue One” on their soon to be launched streaming service.
According to Variety, “Rogue One” star Diego Luna will reprise his role as Rebel super spy Cassian Andor in what was described as a “rousing spy thriller,” for Disney+, the company’s new streaming service set to debut next year. The “Rogue One” prequel is set to begin production late 2019, so I imagine it will be likely debut in 2020, after “The Mandalorian,” the series currently in production under the guidance of John Favreau.
That show seems to have a very “Game of Thrones” like $100 million, eight episodes per season, budget, so I would imagine that “Cassian” (let’s just go ahead and name it, why don’t we), will be in the same range. In the announcement about the show, there was no word on other actors from the movie coming back for the series, namely Alan Tudyk who played Cassian’s droid buddy K-2SO, Jimmy Smits who played Bail Organa, or Genevieve O’Reilly who played Mon Monthma. But I would expect them all to reprise their roles, at least for an episode or two if needed, particularly Tudyk. Being that this is a prequel to the movie, I doubt Felicity Jones makes an appearance, but it’s Star Wars, so you never know.
Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me. 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.
This is the perfect format for exploring a spy character like Cassian. The slow burn of spy stories can be strung out over eight separate hour long episodes, over multiple seasons. It’s perfect!
I’ll be fascinated to see what directors they get for the show’s episodes. For “The Mandalorian,” Favreau, has brought in an all-star line up of Hollywood’s best and brightest, including directors of big budget blockbusters, hit TV shows, and experts from Lucasfilm who have helmed the cartoon series for years. I would expect whoever helms this show to do the same, which begs the question, Who is helming this show? Can we nominate Gareth Edwards to reprise his directorial role for at least one episode, if not as Executive Producer of the entire project?
This is also a good chance for Dave Filoni, who did “Star Wars: Clone Wars” with George Lucas, then created “Rebels,” and “Resistance,” and is now helping on “The Mandalorian.” Giving him a chance to be heavily involved in Cassian’s show would give it a huge boost, and be a great reward for a man who is the most creative and knowledgeable of Lucasfilm.
What worked so well about “Rogue One” is that it showed the dirty side of the Rebellion, something that many people who only watched the main Star Wars movies missed. If you ingest all of the Star Wars there is to consume (TV, comics, novels, games, etc.) you see that the picture of the Rebels was more complicated and difficult than you initially thought upon that first viewing of Star Wars as a kid. Which is great! I love the more complicated picture now as an adult, and Cassian’s streaming stories will be able to flesh all that out. I could not be more excited!
The other thing that “Rogue One” did so well was get the look of Star Wars so perfectly right. Those scenes walking through the markets on Jedha, or back on the Rebel base, felt so incredibly real it was amazing. So much better than anything in the green-screen dominated prequels. I have every bit of faith that whoever Lucasfilm gets to take us back to “Rogue One,” they won’t mess it up and will provide the same amazing locations we saw in the movie, and many new ones throughout Cassian’s story.
Now the only question is, will General Hera Syndulla make her live action debut in Cassian’s show? Guess we’ll have to wait until at least 2020 to find out. May the Force be with you!