Disney announced today that it is developing a second live-action Star Wars show for its upcoming, newly named streaming video platform, Disney+, with actor Diego Luna reprising the role of Rebel Alliance spy Cassian Andor.
Andor was a pivotal character in the 2016 standalone Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. He played one of the Rebel Alliance spies who helped transmit the plans for the Death Star to his compatriots before perishing on the planet Scarif, setting up the events of A New Hope. In the announcement, Luna noted that he’s looking forward to reprising the character, and that “this new exciting format will give us a chance to explore this character more deeply.” Disney also confirmed that it’s developing a series based on Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Tom Hiddleston set to reprise his role.
The show is the second live-action TV series destined for Disney’s streaming platform. Earlier this fall, Lucasfilm announced The Mandalorian, a 10-episode series set in the post-Return of the Jedi era of the franchise, and is being written by Jon Favreau, who directed Iron Man and Iron Man 2. That show is currently in production, and will follow an unnamed Mandalorian gunslinger. No release date for either The Mandalorian nor this new show have been revealed.
It’s not a surprise that Disney is working on another live-action Star Wars for Disney+ — there are several shows in the works from Disney subsidiary Marvel Entertainment, and hints that Netflix’s Iron Fist — or at least the character — could make the jump over. Lucasfilm has also done some work tying various other properties into Rogue One — the animated show Star Wars Rebels led up to the film, and the film had some callouts to the show. A show about Cassian would certainly help add to the larger story leading up to A New Hope, fleshing out not only his backstory, but that of the burgeoning Rebel Alliance.
Lucasfilm and Disney are also in a period where they’re re-evaluating how they approach the Star Wars franchise. Word broke recently that work on a standalone Boba Fett film had stopped in favor of Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars show The Mandalorian, while Disney CEO Bob Iger said that fans should expect a “slowdown” when it comes to the pace of Star Wars films. But while they’ve pushed pause on certain films, it seems as though their television efforts are still moving forward.
Disney undoubtedly wants its streaming service to open with a bang, and that means front-loading it with as much appealing content as they can generate. Star Wars and Marvel shows are most likely to inspire fans to plunk down the cash to sign up, particularly as companies like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix already dominate the space.