Andy Serkis Talks Kino Loy of Andor and His Return to Star Wars

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Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in Star Wars: Andor.

Image: Disney/Lucasfilm

During the last month and a half, Andor has proven to be a pretty excellent show, and its cast is a big reason why. In each arc thus far, Cassian (Diego Luna) has drawn a variety of different characters into his often-chaotic orbit who, like him, are trying to survive under the rule of the Empire. This most recent has seen Cassian as an inmate in the penal colony. Narkina 5, where he has rubbed elbows with fellow inmate/semi-warrior Kino Loy (Andy Serkis). The actor/director previously made his Star Wars debut with the Sequel trilogy as Emperor Snokewhere it looked like he was primed to be the Palpatine of those movies before he was abruptly cut in half by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) during the last jedi. (Let’s not go into it apparently being a shell of Palpatine?)

Serkis has he spent the last few days talking about his brief time at Snoke and how that affected his return to the franchise.. When she recently spoke with slashfilm, admitted he was hesitant to join the show when approached by showrunner Tony Gilroy. Mainly, those concerns stemmed from fueling fan theories: “Is Kino really playing?” Snoke?”—but it was his love for rogue one that succeeded. “The world of ‘Rogue One’ feels so gritty and real and human and complex,” she explained. “Unlike the world that Snoke lives in, which has a lot to do with dark and light, this one has a lot more to do with the gray areas of the ‘Star Wars’ universe.”

Setting aside concerns of Snoke’s connections, Serkis confessed feeling less pressure with this show compared to the movies. And it helped that her inclusion on the show was a complete secret, thereby eliminating any speculation that might have created a false sense of promise when inevitably He showed up. “Nobody knew about [me] until last week,” he said. “There was no pressure in the sense that he was out there. I think it was great not to have announced it sooner. […] It’s a nice surprise, I think, I hope for everyone.”

Serkis’s personal backstory for the character, revealed to colliderwas that Kino was a show owner fighting for labor rights and unionization when the Empire took him in. but youThat desire to help others was something that it gradually faded while he was in prison, Serkis continued, and he “sheds any desire to care for people other than himself. Just do your time and get out.”

Yes, about that…

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The first episode of the Narkina 5 arc, appropriately titled “Narkina 5”, portrays Kino Loy as a tough guy who just wants the prisoner construction operation to run smoothly while his sentence is up. Last week’s episode, “Nobody is listening!”, sees Cassian make an active effort to get Kino to participate in a prison break he is preparing with other inmates, and Kino does his best to stay out of it. For the inmate portion of the episode, that pressure is felt throughout, and the prison guards, tightening their authority over the inmates, gradually begin to wear Kino down. Once he learns the end of the sentence from him it will only result in him being transferred to another prison level, Kino joins Cassian’s prison break, pun intendedctuated by a banger from a finish line. (“Never more than 12.”

Of Kino’s switching sides, Serkis praised Gilroy’s writing and Narkina 5 Arc Writer, house of cards showrunner Beau Willimon, calling it “terrific.” He went on to say that Kino has kept an eye on him so focused on breaking out to the point of a prison break or questioning whether he would actually leave was never something he considered until Cassian’s repeated attempts to radicalize him. Having that really cemented into his mind, Serkis said, is “intolerable for him. It is like a trigger that allows you to stop thinking only about yourself and your liberation. […] Start thinking about the greater good and how it might enable and affect a trip out there with Cassian.”

The end of each Andor arc has seen losses on both the Empire and Andor sides, but some, like Vel (Faye Marsay) and Cinta (Varada Sethu) have so far managed to live and advance their stories. Whether Kino ends up biting him during the heist or hanging out with Andor, the character is definitely up there in a cast that has been chock full of strong characterizations and great performances thus far.

Andor premieres new episodes Wednesday on Disney Plus.

Want more io9 news? Find out when to expect the latest Wonderful Y Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe in film and televisionand everything you need to know about house of the dragon Y The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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