After years of waiting, Andor has finally arrived on Disney+. The Diego Luna-led Star Wars series serves as a prequel to Rogue One, telling the story of its lead character, Cassian Andor, before he becomes the Rebel spy and hero that stole the Death Star plans.
The anticipation surrounding Andor has been sky-high, especially after the overwhelmingly positive reactions that it earned from fans and critics. This comes after the fact that it became apparent that it has a minimal amount of Star Wars Easter eggs, making it stand out from other shows that banked on such references, such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian.
Now, in celebration of Andor's three-episode debut on Disney+, the series' showrunner has offered some grim insight into what lies ahead for the characters in Season 1 and beyond.
Andor Season 1 Has a High Death Toll
Andor creator and director Tony Gilroy sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about Season 1 while confirming its high body count.
Given that there are characters on Andor who weren't in Rogue One, such as Adria Arjona's Bix and Stellan Skarsgard's Luthen Rael, Gilroy was asked about the character's fates.
While confirming that there are around "200 speaking parts" in the show's first 12 episodes, the Andor showrunner first explained that he made "30 phone calls" to the actors that he knew were going to go forward in Season 2:
"We literally have around 200 speaking parts in the first 12 episodes. When I figured out season two, I had to make about 30 phone calls to the actors that I knew were going to go forward. I had to call them up and say, 'Hey, this is what I’m thinking. This is when you live. This is when you die. This is how many episodes you’re in.'"
Gilroy also confirmed that Season 1's "body count is high all the way through," indicating that Andor happens during a "very intense period of time:"
"I mean, the body count is high all the way through, but people live. It’s a revolution. It’s a very intense period of time. People are doing very dangerous things. Some people live and some people don’t. How do we know who lives or dies at the end from the previous Star Wars? You wouldn’t know. I mean, there’s people buried in Yavin. Who knows who’s there.
When pressed if fans will change the way they look at Rogue One after watching the two seasons of Andor, Gilroy simply said, "yes, definitely."
Gilroy also confirmed that he will not return to direct in Andor Season 2, though he will serve as its showrunner.
The veteran filmmaker noted that "this job is just too huge," saying that he doesn't have "the time to spare." Gilroy also revealed that Yellowjackets director Ariel Kleiman will be the director of the first block of episodes of Season 2:
"I am not. I can’t. This job is just too huge. I don’t have the time to spare. It’s a really poor use of my time. Ari [Ariel] Kleiman is out in Pinewood. I was out there this morning. We start shooting in November. He started prepping three weeks ago. He’s got his hands full out there just to get to November. I have all the rest of the things I have to do. There was some fantasy that I would end up doing the last block, but I just can’t, to be honest with you."
Lastly, Gilroy offered high praise to the directors who are on board for Season 2, describing them as "really ambitious:"
"So the directors who’ve come in have all been great, and they’re really ambitious. They’re really greedy. You need an extra retrorocket to go off when it’s time to direct. When someone else comes in and says, “Man, I want to make this great. I want to make it better,” it’s really exciting. So I can say that I’m not directing. I’ll be here [in Pinewood], but I’m not directing.
Why Andor Needs a High Kill Count
Throughout its first three episodes, it was made clear that Andor is set during the dark times, showcasing a grim look at the galaxy that is held hostage by the Empire. Despite that, the threat of the Empire hasn't directly affected Andor yet due to the fact that Cassian's act of killing two security officers happened in Star Wars' Corporate Zone, a sector in the galaxy that is governed by the independent Corp-Sec authority.
The show's opening scene of Cassian instantly killing two officers is a subtle tease of what lies ahead in the series as it kickstarted tons of deaths at the end of Episode 3.
And now, it seems that the kill count has just started ticking upward.
Tony Gilroy's comments about Andor having a high death toll isn't an exaggeration, but the deaths are required in order to cement the story that the Star Wars series needs to tell. From it being set during the dark times to building a Rebel alliance, sacrifices definitely needed to be made.
During Episode 3, Timm Karlo, the lover of Bix, fell to his death. The character's demise meant that no one is safe (well, apart from Cassian) in the series leading into the events of Rogue One.
This puts other characters who will serve as allies to Cassian in precarious situations, namely Luthen, Bix, and Maarva. Considering that they weren't featured at all in Rogue One, there's a high chance that some or even all of them will be killed when Andor ends its two-season run on Disney+.
Hopefully, the deaths that Andor will showcase will be earned as Cassian heads into his dangerous mission to save the galaxy in Rogue One.
Andor's first three episodes are now streaming on Disney+.