Warning: This article contains spoilers for Andor episode 8.
A sequel trilogy veteran just returned to the Star Wars universe in the latest episode of Andor, but not in the way that fans would expect. In keeping with how the acclaimed, and yet still underappreciated, show has carved out its own, grittier corner of the galaxy, episode eight brought back a familiar face from the franchise’s Disney era, albeit in a brand-new role. And the star in question was delighted to sink his teeth into a totally different character.
Yes, The Lord of the Rings icon Andy Serkis is back in the Star Wars fold, this time playing prison labor foreman Kino Loy. The low-level incarcerated bully is a far cry from the Gollum actor’s previous contribution to the lore — the First Order’s Supreme Leader himself, Snoke. While speaking to Vanity Fair about his surprise comeback, Serkis admitted that he knew fans would expect his new character to connect to Snoke in some way, but he was delighted to portray someone far removed from the uber-villain:
“I know! It’s a difficult one because I’m sure that’s exactly what people will think. And why would they think other? I was a bit confused as to whether to do it or not, but it was purely because I love Rogue One. I truly loved the grounding of that film in a world which felt both real and yet still felt epic. Also, I’m getting to play a character at the opposite end of the spectrum of a highly powerful Supreme Leader. [Kino Loy] is someone who is a real person in this world.”
“Real person” is the operative term here, as The Rise of Skywalker infamously revealed that Snoke was just a cloned puppet controlled by the resurrected Emperor. For many fans, Serkis’ initial role was a huge disappointment — at no fault of his own, however. So this unexpected new chance to show off his talents within the galaxy far, far away is extremely welcome. Maybe one day the Venom: Let There be Carnage and Mowgli director could even hop behind the camera for some future Star Wars project, too.
Andor continues Wednesdays on Disney Plus.