Who is Diego Luna, the star of the new Star Wars series ‘Andor’, and where is he from? Age, movies, TV shows...
The new Disney+ show focuses on the star of the 2016 movie Rogue One, Cassian Andor, who was the first Mexican Star Wars character.
The release of a new instalment of the Star Wars saga is always met with great excitement from the franchise’s fans. Star Wars: Andor became available to stream on Disney+ on Wednesday, having already received a raft of positive reviews in the weeks leading up to the release.
The 12-episode series has been termed as a prequel for the 2016 movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which was itself a precursor to the original Star Wars film from 1977.
The titular role in the new series will be played by Mexican actor Diego Luna, who will reprise his role of Cassian Andor from Rogue One. Andor was the first Mexican portrayal of a character in the franchise’s illustrious history and he formed part of a talented and diverse cast. Luna’s portrayal of the charismatic freedom fighter won him great plaudits and introduced a new section of film-goers to his abilities.
Luna himself has a deep connection to the Star Wars franchise, but in a recent interview with Rolling Stone he admitted that he never believed that there could be a space for him in the iconic films.
“I thought I belonged very much in independent cinema. That was my home. Theatre was my home,” Luna recalls. “A Star Wars movie was what I went to see at the weekend with a box of popcorn in the cinema. It was far, far away from what I thought I was capable of.”
Luna delighted to star in a show of “gigantic scope”
Born in Toluca, Mexico in 1979 Luna was the son of a British costume designer and a Mexican set designer. His mother, Fiona Alexander, died in a car accident when Diego was just two years old, leaving father Alejandro to raise him.
Even from a young age Diego would be taken to work with his father on films sets, opening his eyes to the world of theatre and cinema. He began appearing in telenovelas from the age of seven and bagged his first major role in a movie in 2001 with Mexican road trip film Y tu mamá también.
The film, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, was both a critical and commercial success and it brought more opportunities for the young actor, still in his early twenties at this stage.
The following year he played Alejandro Gonzalez Arias in the Academy Award-winning Frida, the biographical drama exploring the life of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. He featured in Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal in 2004, alongside the likes of Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Stanley Tucci.
Luna continued to focus on the world of cinema for the next decade, until he got his big break in Hollywood with Rogue One. He went on to star in the lead role of Felix Gallardo in Narcos: Mexico, the Netflix series covering the rise of drug traffickers in Colombia and Mexico.
However it is the role of Cassian Andor which seems to have resonated with Luna and which he speaks so highly of. He jumped at the chance to reprise the role for the Disney+ television series, which he says combines “intimate character moments” with the “feel and gigantic scope of a Star Wars story.”
“I’ve never worked on a project so intense,” he said of the new series. “You know what’s going to happen but you don’t know how. The storytelling is psychologically driven — it’s about the complexity of characters, not necessarily the result of an event.”
And while the thrill of starring in the franchise still retains an allure for a child of the 1970s, Luna admits that he now feels more comfortable in such an illustrious production.
“Rogue One was always something very special in my life,” he says. “Now I feel even more at home in that galaxy far, far away.”