Andor's Tony Gilroy has explained the meaning behind Season 1's Star Wars post-credits scene.
Season 1 of Andor - the longest live-action Star Wars Disney+ series to date - came to a close with "Rix Road," an emotional and action-filled finale that already has audiences looking forward to Season 2.
But after the credits rolled, Andor's first season had one last surprise in store in the form of a post-credits scene, a first for the series thus far.
Interestingly enough, the scene not only referenced past events involving Cassian Andor but also what awaits in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Now, in the wake of the finale's release on Disney+, Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy has commented on that extra bit of footage and what it means moving forward.
Tony Gilroy Breaks Down Andor's Post-Credits Scene
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Andor Episode 12.
Andor's post-credits stinger begins with a close-up of the same mechanical pieces Cassian and his fellow prisoners were assembling in prison.
As the camera progressively zooms out, audiences realize that these pieces aren't just part of the Death Star, but actually, the laser which will later obliterate planets in Rogue One and A New Hope.
In talking with SlashFilm, producer Tony Gilroy opened up about this powerful reveal, referring back to Cassian's debut in Rogue One and how "All roads lead to that scene:"
"Well, where is he going? By the end, the first scene of 'Rogue [One]' is him going off to go to the Rings of Kafrene to try to chase down the rumor about this thing. What does Tivik say to him, man? 'There's a weapon.' They're building a weapon. What kind of weapon? A planet killer. All roads lead to that scene."
Still, Gilroy was quick to point out that Andor Season 2 isn't just about the Death Star, but rather the path Cassian takes to get there:
"Now, that's not entirely what our show is going to be about. People don't know the existence of it, do they? Some people do. Krennic does. The people in the ISB. Very few of them might. But all roads are ultimately leading to 'Rogue One.'"
The showrunner shared similar details with The Hollywood Reporter, describing the Death Star as "the looming threat" but also how Season 2 is about "who picks up the final breadcrumbs" leading up to Rogue One:
"It’ll still be the looming threat. Rogue One is all about discovering what it is. [Season 2 is] about who picks up the final breadcrumbs that lead to the beginning of Rogue One."
Gilroy also elaborated more on Cassian's first scene in the 2016 film, particularly on the character of "Tivik, who is from Saw's group," who Cassian famously shoots in the back in order to escape:
"In Rogue One, Cassian goes to the Ring of Kafrene to meet Tivik, who is from Saw’s group, and he says, 'Oh my God, it’s a planet killer.' Cassian knows some shit, but he’s looking for answers. So we’ll [cover] the breadcrumbs that lead up to that, sure."
The finale's post-credits reveal was a sad twist of irony in that Cassian had assembled the Death Star which will eventually end his life.
Not only did Gilroy acknowledge that in his comments, but he also revealed that truth is one that "Cassian will never know:"
"But we have a situation where Cassian will never know that what he was building is actually the machine that’s going to kill him."
More Rogue One Connections in Andor Season 2?
Given Gilroy's comments, just because the audience has seen the Death Star's construction and knows what it is, that doesn't mean the cast of Andor will know about it in Season 2.
That's important information to note as fans begin to form their expectations ahead of the show's second and final season.
Instead, fans should focus on what Gilroy shared, which is that Season 2 is "about who picks up the final breadcrumbs."
As to the "who," Andor's finale surprisingly left most of the show's main characters on the table, meaning there are a number of players still in the game to drop breadcrumbs and pick them up.
Speaking of players, Gilroy dropped a few of his own, including Tivik and Krennic, both Rogue One characters.
With the exception of Saw Gerrera, Andor has had few Rogue One cameos; but perhaps, as the second season leads up to the events of the film, that's all about to change.
In June of 2021, The Direct was informed that Ben Mendelsohn would be reprising his role as Orsen Krennic for Andor.
Whether Tony Gilroy planned for Krennic's comeback in Season 1 and later bumped it to Season 2 is unknown.
However, in light of Gilroy's latest comments, his presence in the Disney+ show seems less like a question of if but when.
Finally, there's the bombshell that Cassian will never know he helped build the Death Star.
For the character's own sake and sanity, that's probably a good thing. But the question is why? Maybe, the audience knowing is enough for Gilroy and what he wants to accomplish?
Perhaps the showrunner's reasoning behind this will become clearer in Season 2; but in the meantime, the choice is an interesting one worth discussing.
All episodes of Andor Season 1 are available to stream on Disney+.