A new “Star Wars” show is upon us. That’s right, with the release of the first three episodes of Disney+’s “Andor,” Editor-In-Chief of The Playlist, Rodrigo Perez and Co-Host Mike DeAngelo dust off their blasters and launch into a galaxy far, far away with a brand-new podcast dedicated to what the hosts are calling “the evolution of Star Wars.” On what we’re officially called ‘The Rogue Ones: A Star Wars Andor Podcast,’ each week our hosts will recap and review the latest “Andor” episode and welcome cast members and creatives from the show to discuss all things “Andor” and maybe a few other “Star Wars” properties.
For the uninitiated, “Andor” serves as a prequel to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which itself was set just before the events of “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.” The Lucasfilm series follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) five years before meeting Jyn Erso and the gang, as he finds himself thrust into the middle of a budding rebel cell with plans to put a stick in the Empire’s eye. The show also stars Stellan Skarsgard, Genevieve O’Reilly, Adria Arjona, Kyle Soller, Fiona Shaw, and more.
In the first episode of The Rogue Ones, our hosts break down their thoughts on the initial three episodes that dropped on Disney+ this week. After the discussion, two stars from the series, Kyle Soller (who plays the Imperial adjacent Syril Karn) and Adria Arjona (who plays Cassian Andor’s ally Bix Caleen), drop by to chat about getting their roles, what sets “Andor” apart from other “Star Wars” shows and films, and their favorite movies in the “Star Wars” canon.
Soller (“Brexit: The Uncivil War”) said that when he landed the part and Gilroy explained the role of Syril to him—something of a wannabe Imperial officer with a lot of ambition, but one who experiences great failure early on— the writer/creator told him that the character’s morality wasn’t a fixed thing yet. Part of that was because, at the time, Gilroy was still writing the grand plan, but part of it was also because that ambiguity is part of the character.
“What he did manage to do is say, ‘This character starts here, but I’m not really sure where he ends up,’” Soller explained. “‘It could go here, it could go there.’ But I realized he was just being amazing at giving an actor a gift of sitting and then not knowing. Especially with a character like Syril, who is in a state of becoming and understanding who he is and what he might want to be. It was a great opportunity to sit in the unknown, in that creative space. That space could be really positive or dangerous; we don’t know what someone is going to do.”
“[Syril] exists within that gray area that Cassian and all these characters exist in,” he continued. “They make questionable choices and decisions. Good and bad isn’t as straightforward as ticking a box; these people are really complicated.”
Adria Arjona, known for “Morbius,” “Narcos,” and most recently, Olivier Assyas’ “Irma Vep,” plays Bix Calleen in the show, and it’s clear from the beginning that she and Cassian have a lot of baggage and history between them. During the interview, Adria details Bix’s feelings regarding Cassian and even goes so far as to explain why her character ended up with someone like the already fan-despised Timm and not Cassian.
“They’ve been friends [Cassian and Bix] forever, and timing has never been on their side.” Arjona shared. “We meet Bix being like, ‘I am done with Cassian. I’m going to be with Timm – who is stable, who is always here, who never leaves, who never has a double agenda, who’s supportive.’ And she gets to be a business owner and manage a cell yard and have ownership of that, and then Cassian walks in, and she’s sort of like, ‘Oh, God…’ Because he’s disappointed her and Maarva (Fiona Shaw) for years now, but there’s a love and trust between them that’s unbreakable. Bix doesn’t trust anybody else more, and Cassian doesn’t trust anybody else more. So, when a friend asks for help, you do so.”
Here’s our complete podcast breakdown of the three episodes, plus our entire conversations with Arjona and Soller.
The Rogue Ones is part of The Playlist Podcast Network—which includes The Playlist Podcast, Be Reel, Deep Focus, The Fourth Wall, The Discourse, Bingeworthy, and more—and can be heard on Apple Podcasts, AnchorFM, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and now on Spotify. Be sure to subscribe and drop us a comment or a rating, as we appreciate it. Thank you for listening.