Andy Serkis Reveals His ‘Andor’ Character’s Mysterious Backstory

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Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in 'Star Wars: Andor' star wars

Credit: Lucasfilm

It seems like Andor, the critically acclaimed prequel series to 2016’s Rogue One, is one of the few Star Wars projects that’s managed to avoid widespread fan criticism, production delays, and budget constraints since it arrived on Disney+ last year. Andor‘s success is mainly due to the show’s masterful writing and three-dimensional characters, one of them being Andy Serkis’ Kino Loy. And now, ahead of Season 2, Serkis is revealing his character’s secret backstory, which he actually created himself.

Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Lucasfilm

Andor is the surprising underdog of Disney+’s slate of Star Wars projects, considering it’s one of the best-rated projects the franchise has debuted in years. Created by Rogue One writer Tony Gilroy, the series was somewhat of an unexpected hit for Disney, earning Star Wars its first prestigious Peabody Award in May.

Starring Diego Luna as the eponymous hero, the Rogue One spinoff follows Cassian Andor as he reluctantly joins up with the Rebellion after a heist goes wrong. Rounding out the cast is Adria Arjona, who plays Bix Caleen, Stellan Skarsgård, who plays Luthen Rael, and Genevieve O’Reilly, who plays Senator Mon Mothma.

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in 'Star Wars: Andor' (2022). Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

Despite its critical success, Andor received a fraction of the viewership of shows like 2022’s Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni’s The Mandalorian, and Season 1 of The Book of Boba Fett. Its slow-burn, spy drama ditched the fast-paced pew-pew, light-saber swinging antics seen in most Star Wars projects and didn’t bait audiences with the inclusion of big-time legacy characters.

However, its viewership and audience appreciation steadily rose over the weeks, and Andor Season 2 is now on track to premiere sometime in 2024.

Luthen Rael riding with Cassian Andor
Credit: Lucasfilm

As the series continues production in the U.K. amid the ongoing WGA strike, Serkis, who returned to the galaxy far, far away after playing Supreme Leader Snoke in the Sequel Trilogy, is opening about his Andor character’s secret backstory after becoming a fan-favorite part of the show.

Kino Loy helped Cassian escape his imprisonment on Narkina 5 over a three-episode arc and was pivotal to the story as fans saw him help an entire group of inmates find their freedom. Sadly, it appeared as if Serkis’ turn in Andor would end just as soon as it started, with Kino Loy being unable to follow Cassian and the other escaped inmates as they leaped from the prison into the waters below—sinking viewers’ hearts with his devastating line, “I can’t swim.”

Kino Loy and Cassian Andor "On Program"
Credit: Lucasfilm

Luckily for fans, Kino Loy is alive and well and will be back for Season 2 of Andor. And recently, looking back on his Season 1 arc, Serkis shared new details about his character’s backstory, promising a new chapter for the former prison day shift manager as he potentially joins Cassian and the Rebellion.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the actor came up with his own lore for the hero, deciding he was “someone who had a family and was a firebrand union shop steward” that would “stand up for worker’s rights” until he was beaten down and silenced by his prison sentence on Narkina 5.

Melshi (Duncan Pow) and Cassian (Diego Luna) plot their escape from Narkina 5 in 'Andor' episode 11, "Daughter Of Ferrix". Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Lucasfilm

Serkis also commented on how filming the prison break scenes made him and his castmates truly feel like they were immersed in the moment thanks to the “hostile” set design and how it did “strange things” to their minds:

The desensitization of wearing a paper suit and walking in bare feet was the most strange thing about the process. Week in, week out, everybody looking like a carbon copy of yourself, you feel like you’ve lost your identity. And everything about that set was hostile in its clinical-ness. It did strange things to your head, like it was designed to do.

There are endless possibilities for Serkis’ Andor character moving forward, and it’ll be interesting to see how the former prisoner evolves over future episodes. Lucasfilm has confirmed that Andy Serkis will be one of the main cast members of Season 2, hinting that Kino Loy’s story will significantly expand when the show hopefully returns in fall 2024.

Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in 'Star Wars: Andor'
Credit: Lucasfilm

The actor also teased an increased presence for Kino Loy in Season 2, claiming that he’s currently “working out his next move,” leaving fans in the dark about where exactly he is and how he survived the jump into the ocean on Narkina 5. For now, all fans can do is wait patiently for Andor Season 2 production updates, and cross their fingers that it’s not delayed by the ongoing Hollywood writers’ strike.

Will you be tuning in for Season 2 of Andor? Would you like to see Kino Loy get an extended role in the story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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