Andy Serkis Gives Star Wars Character His Own Backstory

Andy Serkis gave his character from Andor a backstory, describing the prisoner's job and family.

By Phillip Moyer | Updated

Anyone familiar with Star Wars’ pre-Disney Expanded Universe (now known as “Legends”) remembers a time when practically every character that appeared onscreen was eventually given their own backstory in a later book, comic, or video game. Stories were written that covered everyone from the assassin droid that appeared briefly alongside Boba Fett (later known as IG-88) in Empire Strikes Back to the one Stormtrooper who got shot by Princess Leia in A New Hope. While that practice has more or less fallen to the wayside in the wake of Disney’s franchise takeover, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that actor Andy Serkis invented his own backstory for Kino Loy, the character he played in three episodes of the Disney+ series Andor.

According to Andy Serkis, Loy used to be a “firebrand union shop steward” and had a family waiting at home for him. In his previous life, he always cared for the rights of workers. However, being forced to live in the horrific prison conditions on Narkina 5 beat the contentious nature out of him, reducing him to a submissive shadow of his former self.

Loy, who appeared in episodes 8, 9, and 10 of Andor season 1, was the work crew leader who helped stage a breakout from the imperial prison facility Narkina 5. Cassian Andor took time to convince the broken Loy to take part in the Jailbreak, and Loy’s involvement was instrumental in making Andor’s plans work. However, the jailbreak led to a heartbreaking conclusion for Andy Serkis’ character, whose fate was left up in the air by the end of the story arc.

andor cameo

Season 2 of Andor is scheduled for release in 2024, but so far, Serkis is not listed as a cast member for the upcoming season.

While Andy Serkis says that he doesn’t know Kino’s ultimate fate, series creator Tony Gilroy told Entertainment Weekly that Serkis’ character is still alive. Whether that means we’ll see him again (and possibly get canonical confirmation of the character’s backstory) is not yet known.

Andy Serkis’ appearance in Andor is not the first time that he has played a character in Star Wars — he previously played the mysterious (and never adequately explained) Supreme Leader Snoke in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. However, this time around, Serkis appeared in person, rather than providing motion capture for a computer-generated character. 

Andy Serkis is famous for his motion capture work — specifically, his performance playing the pitiable creature Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. He also played the ape leader Caesar in the Planet of the Apes reboot series, and the gigantic gorilla Kong in Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake.

However, Kino Loy is far from the first non-CGI character that Andy Serkis has played across his 34-year acting career. For example, all of his pre-Gollum works had him appearing onscreen in the flesh. He has also played the butler Alfred in The Batman, the arms dealer Ulysses Klaue in Black Panther and Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the tech billionaire David Robey in Luther: The Fallen Sun.