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‘Star Wars’: Diego Luna to Lead Spinoff Series

Diego Luna will star in a new “Star Wars” series for Disney’s upcoming streaming service. The show will be a prequel to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”

Luna will reprise his role as rebel spy Cassian Andor, the cocky daredevil who helped Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso steal the Death Star plans in the hit 2016 movie. Given that film’s high mortality rate, a sequel would have been a difficult proposition.

“Going back to the ‘Star Wars’ universe is very special for me,” Luna said in a statement. “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.”

The show is one of several ambitious series coming to Disney’s Netflix challenger, which it has christened Disney+. As Variety first reported, Disney is developing a number of limited series centered on popular characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or the MCU, as it’s commonly known). These shows may have actors such as Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen reprising their big screen roles as Loki and the Scarlet Witch in programming that debuts on the streaming service. The company has also tapped Jon Favreau to write and executive produce another “Star Wars” TV series titled “The Mandalorian,” which centers on a “lone gunfighter” and his adventures in the far reaches of the galaxy.

The “Rogue One” prequel will unfold in the early years of the Rebellion and is described as a “rousing spy thriller.” A release date for the series has not yet been announced, but production will begin in 2019. Disney expects to launch its new direct-to-consumer service late next year. The company believes that customers are moving more deeply into the world of subscription streaming and it needs to be there to vacuum up their dollars. Even though companies such as Amazon and Netflix have a head start, Disney hopes that its suite of brands, which include not just Lucasfilm, but also Pixar and Marvel, will give it an advantage.

“In this era of unprecedented consumer choice, brands matter more than ever,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said on an earnings call with investors as the “Star Wars” news broke on Thursday.

“We always believed we had the brands and content to be extremely competitive and to thrive alongside Netflix, Amazon, and anyone else in the market,” he added.

Luna’s credits include the very un-Disney erotic drama “Y Tu Mamá También,” as well as “Milk” and “Flatliners.” He will next appear in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and also stars in Woody Allen’s “A Rainy Day in New York,” which Amazon would probably be happy to sell to Disney’s new streaming service…or any company that would have it.

Luna will start shooting the “Rogue One” spinoff after he completes work on the next season of Netflix’s “Narcos.”

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