Andor (TV series)

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Andor
Andor.svg
Genre
Created byTony Gilroy
Based onStar Wars
by George Lucas
Starring
ComposerNicholas Britell
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Kate Hazell
  • David Meanti
Production locationUnited Kingdom
Cinematography
Editors
Running time38–57 minutes
Production companyLucasfilm
DistributorDisney Platform Distribution
Release
Original networkDisney+
Original releaseSeptember 21, 2022 (2022-09-21) –
present (present)
Chronology
RelatedRogue One

Andor, also known as Star Wars: Andor, is an American science-fiction action-adventure television series created by Tony Gilroy for the streaming service Disney+. It is the fourth live-action series in the Star Wars franchise, as well as a prequel to both the spin-off film Rogue One (2016) and the original Star Wars film (1977). The series follows thief-turned-Rebel spy Cassian Andor during the five years that lead to the events of the two films.

Diego Luna reprises his role as Cassian Andor and also serves as an executive producer. The ensemble cast also includes Kyle Soller, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Stellan Skarsgård, Denise Gough, Genevieve O'Reilly, Faye Marsay, Varada Sethu, and Elizabeth Dulau, among others. Lucasfilm announced a series focused on Andor in November 2018, with Luna attached and Stephen Schiff hired as showrunner. Schiff was replaced by Rogue One co-writer Gilroy as creator and showrunner in April 2020. Filming began at the end of November 2020, with Gilroy unable to direct as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Filming took place at Pinewood Studios in London and on location around the United Kingdom, and wrapped by September 2021.

The first season of Andor premiered on Disney+ on September 21, 2022, with three episodes. It received positive reviews from critics, who praised its writing, directing, performances, action sequences, visual effects, musical score, and the darker, more mature tone compared to previous Star Wars projects. The rest of the season's episodes were released weekly through November 23. A second season is currently being filmed in London. It will conclude the series, and lead into the events of Rogue One.

Premise[edit]

Beginning five years before the events of Rogue One (2016) and A New Hope (1977), the series follows an ensemble cast of characters during the time that a Rebel Alliance is forming in opposition to the Galactic Empire. One of these characters is Cassian Andor, a thief who becomes a revolutionary and eventually joins the Rebellion.[1][2]

Cast and characters[edit]

Starring[edit]

  • Diego Luna as Cassian Andor:
    A thief whose home planet, Kenari, was destroyed by a botched Imperial mining project. The series begins with Andor as a "revolution-averse" cynic and explores how he becomes "the most passionate person who's going to give themselves to save the galaxy" in Rogue One. Gilroy had described him as a natural leader who manipulates people, adding that he is "really a perfect kind of spy, warrior, killer."[1][2] Antonio Viña portrays a young Andor, when he was known as Kassa.[3]
  • Kyle Soller as Syril Karn:
    A Deputy Inspector for Preox-Morlana (Pre-Mor) Authority, a corporate conglomerate in charge of a trade sector. Karn works for Pre-Mor’s security services and is determined to capture Andor after learning he murdered two Pre-Mor security employees.[3] Soller described his character as having "an extreme sense of need to impress, and fill a hole in himself. And so that really is about ascending to the top of whatever field he’s in. The field he’s chosen is one of restriction and complete control, and one of domination."[4][5]
  • Adria Arjona as Bix Caleen: A mechanic and black market dealer who is Andor's ally and close friend.[3]
  • Fiona Shaw as Maarva Andor: Cassian's adoptive mother.[3]
  • Stellan Skarsgård as Luthen Rael:
    Caleen's dealer contact who is a part of the Rebel Alliance. He hires Cassian on his first mission as a Rebel operative. Luthen poses publicly as an eccentric antiques dealer from Coruscant.[6][7]
  • Denise Gough as Dedra Meero: A supervisor for the Imperial Security Bureau.[8][9]
  • Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma:
    A member of the Imperial Senate from the wealthy core world of Chandrila who tries to navigate the politics of the Empire while secretly helping fund the Rebel Alliance.[2]
  • Faye Marsay as Vel Sartha: A Rebel leader on the planet Aldhani and cousin of Mothma.[3]
  • Varada Sethu as Cinta Kaz: A Rebel on Aldhani who is the team's medic and healer.
  • Elizabeth Dulau as Kleya Marki: Luthen's assistant at his antiques store.[3]

Recurring co-stars[edit]

  • Joplin Sibtain as Brasso: Andor's co-worker and friend.[3]
  • James McArdle as Timm Karlo: Caleen's co-worker and boyfriend.[3]
  • Rupert Vansittart as Chief Hyne: Syril's Pre-Mor superior.
  • Alex Ferns as Sergeant Linus Mosk: A Pre-Mor officer.[3]
  • Gary Beadle as Clem Andor: Maarva's partner and Cassian's adoptive father. Cassian uses his name as an alias.[3]
  • Kathryn Hunter as Eedy Karn: Syril's mother.[5]
  • Alastair Mackenzie as Perrin Fertha: Mothma's husband.
  • Anton Lesser as Major Partagaz: The head Imperial officer at the Imperial Security Bureau.[10]
  • Alex Lawther as Karis Nemik: An idealistic Rebel on Aldhani who has written an anti-Empire manifesto.
  • Sule Rimi as Lieutenant Gorn: An Imperial officer on Aldhani who is secretly one of Vel's Rebels.
  • Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Arvel Skeen:[11] A mysterious Rebel on Aldhani.
  • Gershwyn Eustache Jnr as Taramyn Barcona: A Rebel on Aldhani who is a former Stormtrooper.
  • Stanley Townsend as Commandant Jayhold Beehaz: Gorn's Imperial superior on Aldhani.
  • Ben Miles as Tay Kolma: A banker who is Mothma's childhood friend from whom she seeks help.
  • Andy Serkis as Kino Loy: A prisoner and floor manager at the Imperial factory facility on the planet Narkina 5. Serkis previously portrayed Supreme Leader Snoke in the sequel trilogy.
  • Duncan Pow as Ruescott Melshi: A labor worker and inmate at the Imperial factory facility on Narkina 5 who will later join the Rebel Alliance alongside Andor. Pow reprises his role from Rogue One.[12]
  • Forest Whitaker as Saw Gerrera: A veteran of the Clone Wars and the leader of a militant insurgent group, the Partisans.[13]
  • Richard Dillane as Davo Sculdun: A shady businessman.

Dave Chapman voices Maarva Andor's droid B2EMO. Other residents of Ferrix include Zubin Varla as Xanwan, the head of the transport business on Ferrix and a friend of Andor; Abhin Galeya as Salman Paak, a salvage shop owner who runs the Repaak Salyard; Muhannad Bhaier as Wilmon, Salman's son who also runs the Repaak Salyard; Kieran O'Brien as Pegla, a sentry for Zorby's Western Shiplot, the starship lot on Ferrix; Raymond Anum as Nurchi; Victor Perez as Rashi; Neil Bell as the "Time Grappler" who signals the time in the bell tower by banging his anvil; and Pamela Nomvete as Jezzi, a member of the Daughters of Ferrix.[3] Bronte Carmichael appears as Mothma's daughter Leida. Ben Bailey Smith, Robert Emms, Michael Jenn and Lucy Russell portray Imperial Security supervisors Blevin, Lonni Jung, Larget and Grandi, respectively.[14][15] Other members of Imperial include Lee Ross as Kloris, Mon Mothma's driver and a spy for Blevin; Jacob James Beswick as Heert, Dedra's attendant; Wilf Scolding as Vanis Tigo, captain of Imperial garrison on the Ferrix; Nick Moss as Keysax, Tigo's lieutenant; and Noof Ousellam as Corv. Christopher Fairbank, Clemens Schick, Brian Bovell, Tom Reed, Josef Davies, Rasaq Kukoyi and Mensah Bediako appear as Ulaf, Ham, Jemboc, Taga, Xaul, Birnok, and Zinska, respectively, all of whom are prison inmates on Narkina 5.

Additional guest stars include Belle Swarc appears as Andor's sister Kerri;[3] Lee Boardman and Stephen Wight appears as Kravas and Verlo, the Pre-Mor officers who are killed by Andor; Nick Blood as Kimzi, corporal in Aldhani; David Hayman appears as the Chieftain of the Aldhani natives;[16] and Adrian Rawlins appears as Rhasiv, a prison medic on Narkina 5. Malcolm Sinclair appears as Colonel Wullf Yularen, a character from various Star Wars media, who was previously portrayed by Robert Clarke in A New Hope and voiced by Tom Kane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Sam Witwer provides the uncredited voice of the Shoretrooper who arrests Andor on Niamos. The Keredian brothers Dewi and Freedi Pamular are performed by Matt Lyons and Liam Cook, and voiced by Mike Quinn and Damian Farrell respectively.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
112September 21, 2022 (2022-09-21)November 23, 2022 (2022-11-23)
212[17]2024[18]TBA

Season 1 (2022)[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Kassa"Toby HaynesTony GilroySeptember 21, 2022 (2022-09-21)
Five years before the Battle of Yavin, Cassian Andor looks for his missing sister in the industrial planet of Morlana One. While investigating, Cassian is antagonized by two officers. An altercation ensues, leading to Cassian accidentally killing one officer and murdering the other. He flees to the planet Ferrix and attempts to hide his involvement by convincing his adopted mother Maarva's droid, B2EMO, and his friend, Brasso, to cover for him. Having a Starpath Unit (a valuable piece of Imperial navigation technology), Cassian asks his friend Bix to connect him with a black market buyer. Bix agrees and contacts the buyer. Meanwhile, Bix's boyfriend, Timm, is suspicious of Andor. To improve his report to the Imperial authorities, Morlana One's chief inspector of security elects to cover up the murders. However, his deputy, the dutiful Syril Karn, is determined to solve the case. He identifies Cassian's ship, traces it to Ferrix and learns that the fugitive is from the planet Kenari. In a flashback, a younger Cassian, known as Kassa, and his tribe on Kenari decide to investigate a crashed ship. Kassa rebuffs his younger sister's efforts to join them, leaving her behind to guard their encampment.
2"That Would Be Me"Toby HaynesTony GilroySeptember 21, 2022 (2022-09-21)
Timm, still suspicious of Bix's relationship with Cassian, reports Cassian to Pre-Mor Security, who issue a warrant for his arrest. Karn partners with Sergeant Linus Mosk, an equally dutiful Pre-Mor officer, to arrest Cassian. B2EMO informs Cassian and Maarva of the warrant. Cassian prepares to flee the planet. Meanwhile, Bix's buyer travels to Ferrix to obtain the Starpath Unit. In a flashback, Kassa and his fellow tribal members locate and investigate the crashed ship near a massive abandoned industrial strip-mining operation. When one of their own is killed by a crew member of the downed ship, the tribe kills the attacker and quickly leaves the crash site. Kassa stays behind to explore the ship.
3"Reckoning"Toby HaynesTony GilroySeptember 21, 2022 (2022-09-21)
Luthen Rael, Bix's buyer, arrives on Ferrix and meets Cassian in an abandoned factory. Karn and Mosk also appear with a dozen security officers. They confront Maarva, who refuses to cooperate. Intercepting a transmission from Cassian to B2EMO, Karn pinpoints Cassian's position. Cassian wants to sell the Starpath Unit and leave Ferrix. However, Luthen tries to persuade him to join the Rebel Alliance, citing Cassian's repeated success at stealing from and sabotaging Imperial ships. When Karn's officers raid the factory, the two men escape to a speeder hangar, and subdue Karn. After learning of Timm's betrayal, Bix rushes to aid Cassian, only to be stopped by the officers. Timm is killed when he attempts to intervene. The pod the security officers arrived in is destroyed due to sabotage by Brasso. Luthen and Cassian escape the planet while Karn and Mosk request evacuation. In a flashback, Maarva and her husband, Clem, scavenge the crashed ship on Kenari and find Kassa. Maarva decides to take him with them, fearing his fate if he is discovered there by the Republic.
4"Aldhani"Susanna WhiteDan GilroySeptember 28, 2022 (2022-09-28)
Luthen takes Cassian to the planet Aldhani, asking him to join a sabotage mission there. Cassian is reluctant but eventually agrees. Luthen asks him to use a pseudonym among the rebels, and Cassian chooses 'Clem'. Vel, the rebel group's leader, introduces him to the rest of the group but keeps Luthen's involvement a secret. They explain to Cassian that they plan on stealing the payroll of an Imperial sector from a key Imperial supply hub, taking advantage of a rare natural phenomenon in Aldhani's sky to escape since their getaway vehicle is slow. Meanwhile on Coruscant, Luthen, posing as an antiques dealer, meets with Senator Mon Mothma, and they discuss challenges in keeping their opposition to the Empire hidden. Karn goes to live with his mother after being castigated and fired. Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) lieutenant Dedra Meero seeks access and authority over the Ferrix incident, but is opposed by a colleague and a senior officer.
5"The Axe Forgets"Susanna WhiteDan GilroyOctober 5, 2022 (2022-10-05)
On Aldhani, 'Clem' hides his past from his fellow rebels and is met with distrust from most of them, particularly Skeen. Taramyn trains Cassian and the other rebels for the planned heist. While traveling to the Aldhani Imperial garrison, Cassian reveals that he is a mercenary. Vel decides to continue with the mission and hold off on dealing with 'Clem''s past until they have achieved their objectives. Imperial officer and double agent Lieutenant Gorn covertly aids the rebels. On Coruscant, Eedy Karn emasculates her son Syril as he explores new career prospects. Mon Mothma establishes a new charitable foundation while managing increasingly tense relations with her husband and daughter. ISB supervisor Blevin acquires a hotel as the new ISB headquarters on Ferrix. Meanwhile, his rival Meero and her assistant Heert reach the conclusion that the rebels are conducting a series of coordinated heists of Imperial weapons and technology. Luthen anxiously waits for a transmission from Cassian's rebel team.
6"The Eye"Susanna WhiteDan GilroyOctober 12, 2022 (2022-10-12)
Aided by Gorn, the rebels infiltrate the garrison by posing as an escort squad for Commandant Jayhold Beehaz, Gorn's superior. They take Beehaz's family as hostages and force him to give them access to the payroll vault. While loading the credits onto a freighter, they are discovered by Imperial forces. Taramyn and Gorn are killed in the ensuing firefight. Cinta is unable to make it onto the ship, so only Cassian, Skeen, Vel, and Nemik escape from Aldhani. During takeoff, Nemik is crushed by an unsecured load of credits, and suffers a severe injury. They land on the planet Frezno to treat Nemik's injuries. With Vel occupied looking after Nemik, Skeen proposes to Cassian that they flee and split the payroll between the two. Enraged and fearing for his life, Cassian kills Skeen. He tells Vel about what happened and informs her of his plans to take the amount he was promised as payment and leave. Vel gives Cassian Nemik's manifesto, in accordance with Nemik's dying wishes. Back on Coruscant, the ISB agents are gathered to formulate reprisals to the heist, while Luthen hears news of the theft and quietly celebrates.
7"Announcement"Benjamin CaronStephen SchiffOctober 19, 2022 (2022-10-19)
On Coruscant, Karn starts a new job at the Bureau of Standards. Colonel Yularen announces that the ISB has gained more surveillance and punitive authority, while Meero is challenged by Blevin for breaking protocol by accessing Imperial data without authorization. She persuades her superiors of her work's value and is assigned oversight of Ferrix. Luthen's assistant Kleya instructs Vel to find and kill Cassian, as he knows Luthen's identity. Mon Mothma meets with Tay Kolma, an old friend and banker, and asks him to help her access family funds. Cassian returns to Ferrix to settle old debts and learns that people blame him for the Corporate Security crackdown. The Imperial presence on Ferrix reminds Cassian of how his adoptive father, Maarva's husband, was murdered by clone troopers years ago. Cassian attempts to get Maarva to leave Ferrix with him, but she decides to stay and oppose the increased Imperial presence. Cassian travels alone to the tropical tourist paradise of Niamos. One month later, while living under the name "Keef Girgo," he is unjustly arrested by a Shoretrooper and sentenced to six years of imprisonment.
8"Narkina 5"Toby HaynesBeau WillimonOctober 26, 2022 (2022-10-26)
Cassian is brought to a prison surrounded by water on Narkina 5 where he spends every day working in monotonous heavy industry with hundreds of other prisoners. Vel and Cinta travel to Ferrix to search for him. When Maarva falls ill, Bix attempts to contact Luthen about Cassian's whereabouts, but Luthen, worried about being exposed to anyone monitoring communications, does not answer. He then leaves Coruscant to meet with Saw Gerrera. Rael attempts to hire Gerrera's rebel cell to act as air support for a raid on an Imperial power station at Spellhaus organised by Anto Kreegyr, but is turned away. Dedra Meero questions Syril Karn about his experiences on Ferrix, but declines his offer to help with her investigation. She leads a unit to Ferrix herself, where she apprehends Bix.
9"Nobody's Listening!"Toby HaynesBeau WillimonNovember 2, 2022 (2022-11-02)
Dedra Meero and an Imperial scientist named Dr. Gorst torture Bix for information and realize that Cassian may have been involved in the Aldhani attack. They fail to learn anything from Bix about Luthen. The ISB capture a Rebel pilot from Kreegyr's group, who reveals that a power station on Spellhaus is set to be raided. Mon Mothma reunites with Vel, revealed as her cousin, and encourages her to keep a low profile while maintaining the facade of a rich and politically uninvolved young woman. Mon and Tay Kolma continue working to covertly gather funds for rebel activities. Meanwhile, an older member of Cassian's prison work crew named Ulaf is euthanized by a prison medic named Dr. Rhasiv when he suffers a stroke and can no longer work effectively. Dr. Rhasiv confirms to Cassian and floor manager Kino Loy a disturbing rumor: instead of being released, a prisoner who had completed his sentence was sent to work on a different level, forcing the prison to kill all the prisoners on that level to cover up the mistake. Cassian and Kino realize that the prison may never let them go, convincing Kino to join Cassian's scheme to escape.
10"One Way Out"Toby HaynesBeau WillimonNovember 9, 2022 (2022-11-09)
By breaking a water pipe and flooding his work floor, Cassian disables the floor's security system, allowing work crews there to overpower the few guards and escape. Kino uses the prison's intercom system to encourage other floors to escape and the rebellion sweeps through the entire prison. Despite his role in the escape, Kino reveals that he can't swim. Cassian swims with the other escapees and reaches land. Mon Mothma meets with Davo Sculdun, a shady businessman who offers to help finance her projects, but Mon refuses after Davo requests that Mon arrange a meeting between her daughter and his son, an initial step towards marriage in their Chandrilan culture. ISB supervisor Lonni Jung, secretly a rebel informant, meets with Luthen and updates him on ISB activities. The two men reflect on how they are both trapped in their roles.
11"Daughter of Ferrix"Benjamin CaronTony GilroyNovember 16, 2022 (2022-11-16)
Maarva dies, prompting a funeral ceremony on Ferrix, which Dedra Meero encourages in the hopes that Andor will attend. Vel informs Kleya about Maarva's death and learns of Mon Mothma's reluctant plan to marry off her daughter to secure funding through Davo Sculdun. Mon's daughter Leida begins taking part in group gatherings focused on Chandrilan culture and traditions, much to the distress of Mon and Vel. Syril Karn also learns about the funeral from Linus Mosk. Saw Gerrera decides at the last moment to assist Kreegyr's attack on Spellhaus, but Luthen advises him against it, revealing that the ISB know about the impending assault. While returning to Coruscant, Luthen escapes from an Imperial patrol, destroying several TIE fighters and a tractor beam. With help from Keredians Dewi and Freedi, Cassian and fellow prisoner Melshi are able to escape from Narkina 5 and travel to Niamos to recover Cassian's belongings. After Cassian discovers that Maarva has passed, Cassian and Melshi part ways, intending to publicly expose the Empire's unjust prison system.
12"Rix Road"Benjamin CaronTony GilroyNovember 23, 2022 (2022-11-23)
Cassian returns to Ferrix for Maarva's funeral and learns of Bix's imprisonment. Dedra Meero and the local Imperial garrison prepare to use the funeral to take Andor alive for questioning regarding Axis, while Luthen plans—with Vel and Cinta's assistance—to kill Cassian using the Imperial ambush as cover. Mon Mothma continues being surveilled by the ISB, who succeed in stopping Kreegyr's attack but leave no prisoners, angering Meero. Mothma's 13-year-old daughter Leida is introduced to Davo Sculdun's 14-year-old son. During the funeral, B2EMO displays a recording of Maarva, who rallies the populace to fight the Empire, creating a riot in the main quarter. During the confusion, Cassian rescues Bix, while Syril Karn saves Meero from being attacked. Meeting with B2EMO, Brasso, and several others in a shipyard, Cassian convinces them to take Bix somewhere safe away from Ferrix. Moved by the rebellion on Ferrix, Luthen returns to his ship where Cassian is waiting. Knowing that Luthen is there to assassinate him, Cassian offers Luthen the choice to either kill him or take him in, to which Luthen smiles. In a post-credits scene, droids assemble the machinery produced by the Narkina 5 prisoners on the firing dish of the Death Star.

Season 2[edit]

Ariel Kleiman, Janus Metz, and Alonso Ruizpalacios will direct episodes of the second season, with Kleiman directing six episodes.[19]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced in November 2017 that Disney and Lucasfilm were developing live-action Star Wars television series for the new streaming service Disney+.[20][21] One of these series was revealed a year later to be a prequel to the film Rogue One (2016). The series was described as a spy thriller show focused on the character Cassian Andor, with Diego Luna reprising his role from the film. Production was expected to begin in 2019 after Luna completed filming the second season of Narcos: Mexico.[22] Jared Bush originally developed the series, writing a pilot script and series bible for the project.[23]

By the end of November 2018, Stephen Schiff was serving as showrunner and executive producer of the series.[23] Tony Gilroy, who was credited as a co-writer on Rogue One and oversaw extensive reshoots for the film,[24] joined the series by early 2019 when he discussed the first story details with Luna.[1] In July 2019, Rick Famuyiwa was in early talks to direct several episodes after doing the same for the first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian.[25] Gilroy's involvement was revealed that October, when he was set to write the first episode, direct multiple episodes, and work alongside Schiff;[24] Gilroy had officially replaced Schiff as showrunner by April 2020.[4] Six weeks of pre-production for the series had taken place in the United Kingdom by then, but this was halted and production on the series delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[26][27] Pre-production had begun again by September ahead of a planned filming start the next month. At that time, Gilroy, who is based in New York, chose not to travel to the UK for production on the series due to the pandemic, and was therefore unable to direct the series' first episode. Instead, the UK-based Toby Haynes, who was already "high on the list" of potential directors for the series, was hired to direct the first three episodes. Gilroy would remain executive producer and showrunner.[28] Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced the series' title, Andor, in December 2020, along with its 2022 release date. Luna was revealed to be executive producing the series, which was set to consist of 12 episodes.[29][30] In February 2021, Ben Caron and Susanna White were set as additional directors.[31][32] Sanne Wohlenberg and Michelle Rejwan also executive produce.[31]

In February 2022, star Stellan Skarsgård indicated that the series would have a second season, with filming for it beginning in late 2022.[33] That April, cinematographer Adriano Goldman said there had originally been plans for the series to last five seasons, but he believed those had changed and it was now expected to last three.[34] At Star Wars Celebration a month later, Lucasfilm confirmed a 12-episode second season.[17] Gilroy explained that the original five-season plan was deemed to be "physically impossible" due to the series' scale,[35] and instead they realized that they could end the series with one more season that led directly into the events of Rogue One.[17][35][36]

Writing[edit]

In addition to Gilroy and Schiff, writers for the series include Beau Willimon and Gilroy's brother Dan.[4][37] Gilroy urged his writing team to put aside their personal reverence and nostalgia for Star Wars, fearing that such a reverence could change their behavior and work.[38] Gilroy wanted the series to be accessible to all viewers, not just Star Wars fans, with the hope that those fans would be able to watch the series with their friends and family who are not interested in the rest of the franchise.[2] Luna expressed his excitement at being able to explore the character of Andor further in the series after the bittersweet experience of making Rogue One, in which the character dies.[30] Since Andor is a prequel to the film, Luna said it was "nice to go into a story [of which] you already know the ending. Now you can [flesh out] the nuances and the layers. I think it's fun to do something that isn't just about getting to the end. It's about delaying that."[39] Luna was able to suggest elements of the character's backstory that he had thought of during the filming of Rogue One,[2] and was grateful that Gilroy made the character a refugee.[1] He explained, "It's the journey of a migrant, which to me is everything I come from. That feeling of having to move is behind this story very profoundly".[2] Luna felt that because of this, it was "difficult to find out where he comes from", and felt that Andor wanted to "find the opportunities, the freedom, the chances they don’t find where they’re born".[40]

The first season begins five years before Rogue One and tells one year of Andor's story when he first becomes a revolutionary. The next four years are then covered by the second season, which leads directly into the events of the film.[36][2] Gilroy approached the two seasons as two halves of a novel and described the show beginning as "a very simple, almost film noir situation for a thief [Andor]. A skeevy kind of guy gets in big trouble, tries to sell something he has to save his ass".[2] Luna said the series was about the building of a revolution,[30] and said it was important to explore "the revolutionary we can become to change things, to stop war, to make this world a livable place" which he felt was relevant to real-world issues.[2] Gilroy stated, "This guy gave his life for the galaxy, right? I mean, he consciously, soberly, without vanity or recognition, sacrificed himself. Who does that?" He wanted to explore that idea in the first season, beginning with Andor "being really revolution-averse, and cynical, and lost, and kind of a mess". The season shows the destruction of Andor's homeworld when he was a boy and is then based on Andor's adopted planet, which becomes radicalized against the Empire.[1]

Luna and Gilroy said the series was also about "how the disenfranchised can stand up to effect change".[40] Co-star Fiona Shaw described Gilroy's political commentary in the scripts as a "great, scurrilous [take] on the Trumpian world", adding that "our world is exploding in different places right now, people's rights are disappearing, and Andor reflects that. [In the show] the Empire is taking over, and it feels like the same thing is happening in reality, too".[41] Meanwhile, Gough has stated that her character arc in the series deals with gender politics, while Gilroy explained that "We have a very, very, very deep dive into the Imperial side of the story".[9] After starting with Andor's story in the first three episodes, the fourth begins to expand the scope of the series to include the rest of its large ensemble cast, such as Rebel leader Mon Mothma, whose path will cross with Andor's in the second season. Gilroy felt Star Wars fans would see Mothma in a new light after watching the series, and added that there were key characters and events in the series that would be different or "more interesting" than fans previously realized: "What you've been told, what's on Wookieepedia... is really all wrong".[2]

Design[edit]

Luke Hull served as production designer on the series,[42] and described it as "very cinematic".[30] Neal Scanlan provided the creature and droid effects after doing the same for all of Disney's Star Wars films, including Rogue One.[43] He said his team was treating the series the same as they did the films,[30] and due to Gilroy's involvement the series would fit within the same "pocket of [Star Wars] history" as Rogue One with a "slightly harder edge" than other Star Wars projects.[43] Scanlan added that unused creatures developed for the films could be brought back for the series,[44] alongside newly created creatures.[30] An outdoor city set, which co-star Adria Arjona estimated to be three to five city blocks long, was built practically for the series.[45]

Casting[edit]

Diego Luna was confirmed to be reprising his role as Cassian Andor from Rogue One with the series' announcement in November 2018.[22] In April 2019, Alan Tudyk was announced as also reprising his Rogue One role of K-2SO.[46] A year later, Stellan Skarsgård, Kyle Soller, Genevieve O'Reilly, and Denise Gough joined the cast. O'Reilly reprises her role of Mon Mothma from Rogue One and other Star Wars media.[47][4] Adria Arjona joined the cast in August 2020,[48] and Fiona Shaw was revealed to also be appearing in December,[29] when Tudyk was not included in an official cast list. A month later, Tudyk confirmed that he would no longer be appearing in the first season due to Gilroy's story changes but he could appear in potential future seasons.[49] Robert Emms was cast in a supporting role in June 2021,[15] when Skarsgård revealed that Forest Whitaker was reprising his role as Saw Gerrera from Rogue One.[13] In February 2022, David Hayman confirmed that he had a role in the series after being spotted by fans during filming.[16] The first season has over 200 named cast members and over 6,000 extras.[30]

Filming[edit]

Filming began in London, England, at the end of November 2020,[39][50] with the production based at Pinewood Studios.[51][52] The series was filmed under the working title Pilgrim,[51] and was the first live-action Star Wars series to not make use of the StageCraft digital background technology. This was done because the scripts were more suited to being filmed on locations and large sets, and Luna noted that taking a different filming approach for the series made it similar to Rogue One, whose filming style was distinct from other Star Wars films.[53] Toby Haynes directed the first three episodes,[28] with Ben Caron, Susanna White, and Haynes each directing another "block" of three episodes.[6][32] Jonathan Freeman and Adriano Goldman served as cinematographers.[34][54] The series was previously reported to begin filming in 2019,[22] and then June 2020,[54] but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[27] Both UK and U.S. COVID-19 protocols were followed on set, including daily temperature checks and tests for COVID-19 three times a week.[52] Filming at Pinewood Studios was expected to end in July 2021.[52]

By late January 2021, a large village set had been built on the grounds of a former quarry in Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, not far from Pinewood Studios, with filming expected to last there until April.[55] Filming in April also took place at the Coryton Refinery in Corringham, Essex,[56] and in East London at Canary Wharf[57] where the plaza under the bridge to the Elizabeth Line station served as the entrance to the Imperial Security Bureau on Coruscant. Canary Wharf had also been a filming location for Rogue One. The concrete walkways of the Barbican Centre were used to represent buildings on Coruscant. Several days of filming occurred in Cleveleys on the Fylde Coast of Lancashire in early May, with the town's promenade and beach area dressed as an alien location, later revealed to be the resort planet of Niamos[51] followed by another several days filming in the disused Winspit quarry in Dorset.[58][59] Second unit and location filming began for at least a week at the end of May in Black Park, a country park in Buckinghamshire near Pinewood Studios which was also used for filming Disney's Star Wars films.[60][61] By the end of May, main production on Pilgrim had moved to Glen Tilt in Perthshire, Scotland, and was expected to continue there until late June.[62][63] Around 500 crewmembers travelled to Oban, Scotland, for filming at the nearby Cruachan Dam. This started by June 18, with sets built around the dam and filming also happening in its tunnels.[16][64] From June 22 to 24, filming took place at Middle Peak Quarry near Wirksworth, Derbyshire.[65][66] Production was expected to wrap in mid-2021,[15] and Luna confirmed that it had finished by September 27.[67]

The second season began filming on November 21, 2022,[68] and will last until August 2023, with Gilroy anticipating a year for post-production as with the first season.[18] Episodes will once again be filmed in "blocks" of three episodes at a time, with each block moving the story a year closer to the events of Rogue One.[6] Gilroy stated he would not direct in the second season because of his commitments as showrunner.[38] Ariel Kleiman, Janus Metz, and Alonso Ruizpalacios will direct episodes of the second season, with Kleiman directing six episodes.[19]

Music[edit]

Gilroy contacted Nicholas Britell about composing for the series in 2020, before filming began so he could compose source music that would be played on set. Gilroy and Britell, who are neighbors in Manhattan, first met for the project in August 2020. Kennedy and Gilroy wanted the series to have a unique sound, and Britell said it would be "orchestral-plus" with a "wide range of sounds" including some that he had created. He added that the large scope of the series meant that "every episode has new demands, new music, and new ideas. It's important that as the story evolves, the music should evolve too."[69] Britell was publicly revealed to be the series' composer in February 2022,[70] and was still working on it that May when he said they had been "working nonstop for months, actually years, at this point". Recording was underway by then at AIR Lyndhurst studios in London, with a full orchestra. Britell was unable to travel to London due to the pandemic, but had a team in place there that also worked with him on other television series.[69]

Marketing[edit]

A sizzle reel featuring behind-the-scenes footage of pre-production and filming was released during Disney's Investors Day presentation in December 2020, when the series' title and cast was officially announced by Kennedy.[29][30] Gilroy, Luna, and O'Reilly promoted the series at Star Wars Celebration in May 2022, where they revealed the first teaser trailer.[36][17] The Hollywood Reporter's Aaron Couch said it showed the "gritty side" of the Star Wars universe.[71] Daniel Chin of The Ringer felt the series had a unique identity in the Star Wars franchise, with a darker tone, and said the teaser "paints a picture of the formative years of the rebellion against the Empire".[72] Ryan Scott from /Film felt the teaser gave the "most comprehensive view at the show up to this point". He said the series could explore the morality behind the Rebels, writing that while they are usually seen as heroes there is also "much gray area in there to be explored".[73] Writing for CNET, Sean Keane felt the trailer did not give much away but gave an "intriguing taste of the show's espionage tone".[74]

Luna promoted the series and debuted the official trailer on Good Morning America on August 1.[75] Hattie Lindert from The A.V. Club highlighted the action scenes in the trailer, saying "In addition to the epic scale and darker tone, the series also promises intense fight scenes created with limited green screen use" and also noted Gilroy's experience with action films due to his work on the Jason Bourne films.[76] The Hollywood Reporter's James Hibberd enjoyed Andor's increased screen-time in the trailer compared to the teaser, and felt the series was a "welcome scenic change from the company’s previous Star Wars shows".[77] At CNN, Scottie Andrew felt it "reveals a bit more about Andor's evolution from common thief to galactic martyr".[78] Luna and Kennedy promoted the series at the 2022 D23 Expo,[79] with CNET's Keane writing "The trailer paints a pretty grim setup for revolutionary fighter Cassian Andor and his pals, as fighting the Empire and row upon row of Stormtroopers looks like a one-way ticket to death".[80] Meanwhile, Collider's Rachel Leishman felt the trailer "gives us a bit more of a look at where the rebellion is and who is fighting back against the Empire" and was excited for the portrayal of the Empire in the series, writing "Seeing these little missions and the feelings that the rebels have towards the Empire feels so perfectly align with what we know about Cassian that this trailer really just has us excited for what is to come with the series".[81]

Release[edit]

Andor premiered on Disney+ on September 21, 2022, with the first three episodes being released. The rest of the 12-episode first season was released weekly,[75] until November 23, 2022.[82] The series previously was expected to debut in 2021,[83] before production was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.[27] It was originally set to premiere on August 31 with two episodes.[17] In November 2022, Disney announced that the first two episodes of the first season would air on ABC on November 23, on FX on November 24, and Freeform on November 25, and be available on Hulu from November 23 through December 7.[84] A similar move was to be also replicated across various countries in Europe, including Portugal, Spain, Poland and the Netherlands, with the first two episodes airing on Fox, on November 24 or 25, depending on the country.[85]

The second season will also consist of 12 episodes,[17] with Gilroy expecting it to release in late 2024.[18]

Reception[edit]

Audience viewership[edit]

According to Whip Media's viewership tracking app TV Time, Andor was the 2nd most anticipated new television series for September 2022.[86] According to the streaming aggregator JustWatch, Andor was the most streamed television series across all platforms in the United States, during the week of September 25, 2022,[87] the 7th during the week of November 7th, 2022 to November 13, 2022,[88] and the 6th during the week of November 14, 2022 to November 20, 2022.[89] According to the streaming aggregator Reelgood, Andor was the most watched program across all platforms during the week of September 28, 2022,[90][91][92] the 3rd during the week of October 5, 2022,[93][94] the 3rd during the week of October 14, 2022,[95] the 7th during the week of October 26, 2022,[96] and the 8th during the week of November 11, 2022.[97]

According to Whip Media, Andor was the 3rd most streamed original series across all platforms in the U.S. during the week of October 16, 2022,[98] the most streamed original series across all platforms in the U.S. during the week of October 23, 2022,[99] the most during the week of October 30, 2022,[100] the most during the week of November 6, 2022, [101] the most during the week of November 13, 2022,[102] the most during the week of November 20, 2022,[103] and the most during the week of November 27, 2022.[104]

Critical response[edit]

Andor: Critical reception by episode

Andor (2022): Percentage of positive critics' reviews tracked by the website Rotten Tomatoes[105]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 96% with an average rating of 8.50/10 based on 575 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "A gritty adventure told from the ground perspective of the Empire's reign, Andor is an exceptionally mature and political entry into the Star Wars mythos – and one of the best yet."[105] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 74 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[106]

In a four star review, The Guardian called Andor "the best Star Wars show since The Mandalorian",[107] while Variety was positive towards Andor's departure from other Star Wars projects with a "story of people who have nothing to do with Solos, Skywalkers or Palpatines, but whose lives matter nonetheless".[108] The defected Imperial Stormtrooper character Taramyn Barcona from Episode 6 was compared positively to the former imperial character Migs Mayfeld from The Mandalorian, and to the discarded stormtrooper rebellion plotline from the Star Wars: Duel of the Fates unfilmed script.[109] The prison arc of Episode 9 was positively compared to George Lucas' first feature film THX 1138.[110] Polygon considered Andy Serkis's character from the prison arc to be better than his previous sequel trilogy character Snoke.[111]

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