Live-action Star Wars will soon return when Andor lands on Disney+ on Wednesday, August 31. Given the conclusion of the event series Obi-Wan Kenobi, it's a quick turnaround for Lucasfilm and the lead Rebel spy - but a welcome one. 12 episodes will begin rolling out at the end of August, with production beginning shortly in the second (and final) season that will cover the four years leading directly into Rogue One.
As has become customary for new Star Wars releases, Lucasfilm is covering Andor with a tight lid until the time is right. The current trend for Disney+ series has been to drop the full trailer roughly a month in advance of a premiere, followed promptly by an onslaught of TV spots that slowly trickle out new shots and lines. Lucasfilm never reveals the true nature of the stories to come, but the marketing material does the job of keeping fans hungry for more.
During Star Wars Celebration, star Diego Luna and the series creators shared the teaser trailer for Andor, giving audiences their first look at a gritty galaxy under the thumb of Imperial oppression.
With the show's release date inching surprisingly closer, there's been almost no word on the project since - until now. A new TV spot was recently released, confirming Andor does indeed have a pulse and featuring a few new shots.
TV Spot Highlights New & Old Andor Footage
The first TV spot for Star Wars: Andor was briefly posted on the series' official Twitter account before promptly being taken down. It was subsequently featured as a promotion on ESPN during the MLB Home Run Derby (hats off to future Rays legend Juan Soto) and shared on social media by Twitter user @Zcure1.
Much of the spot was composed of shots previously seen in the teaser trailer, with two new looks at Cassian Andor also dropped in. The short teaser marks the beginning of Lucasfilm's marketing campaign for Andor, providing an opportunity to highlight some of the most intriguing moments to pay attention to before the full trailer drops in the next few weeks.
A group of Imperial Security Bureau officers meets in a room unlike any Star Wars fans have seen before. Colonel Yularen (of The Clone Wars and Rebels fame) is the most notable ISB officer to wear a uniform of this kind, indicating that the figures in the shot are of significant importance.
As the Empire deals with a rise of insurgencies five years prior to the events of A New Hope, the scene in question could feature high-ranking Imperials determining how to crack down on their new adversaries - Cassian Andor being chief among them.
In one of the new shots from the spot, Cassian is seen marching through what appears to be a scrapyard of Republic warship remnants. Unlike Cal Kestis in Jedi: Fallen Order, it doesn't look like Cassian is hanging around for work. The location is seemingly on the same planet as much of the released footage has come from, one that may be the lead character's homeworld.
Having grown up a Separatist and been thrust into the Clone War at the age of six, Andor is no stranger to fending for himself. Whether he's merely passing through the work area or stealing parts for himself will be determined soon enough, but the Cassian fans meet in the show won't be the selfless one seen in Rogue One.
Denise Gough is clearly playing an Imperial of some kind, and given the death trooper escort detail, she's probably a member of the Tarkin Initiative. The elite soldiers have protected other high-ranking officers like Thrawn, but Gough's Imp has a slightly different uniform than the ISB agents previously seen.
With Rogue One centering around the construction of the Death Star and Cassian being on the prowl for news about the weapon at the start of the film, Gough's character could end up being a target for the eventual Rebel spy when the Alliance catches wind of the Empire's science efforts.
A shot that seemed to slip under the radar when the teaser debuted features four Phase Two clone troopers approaching an armed man. However, unlike the last few appearances from clones that have shown them tragically turning on their Jedi leaders, the encounter in Andor may not be a case of betrayal.
Given that Cassian is from a Separatist planet, the clones are only enemies in the context of the world they're fighting on. In what's surely a flashback sequence to the Clone Wars, the man preparing to swing on the soldiers is clearly aligned with the CIS himself and looking to be lit up by the Republic's troops. Don't be surprised if he turns out to be Cassian's father.
Here's a guy who has the potential to be fascinating. Though he's only seen from his backside in this shot, the character is played by Kyle Soller and appears to be part of some kind of militaristic force. His uniform calls back to that of the Bespin Guards seen in The Empire Strikes Back, but given the destruction he's overseeing, this group is used to far more violence.
There's a good chance Cassian is the cause of the damage, as the teaser trailer shows Soller observing a hologram of Andor. He could be preparing to hunt the rogue down on behalf of his task force, or the footage may actually be misdirecting fans and the two happen to be allies.
Seemingly on a mission for the Rebellion, the lead spy is hopping into a TIE Fighter to make an escape. Why exactly he's in need of such a quick exit will be revealed in time, but there are some plausible options.
If the theory regarding Denise Gough's involvement with the Tarkin Initiative holds water, this may be Cassian on his way out of the Imperial facility after either extracting information or executing a hit. More sinister forces could even be at play, like Director Krennic or Grand Moff Tarkin himself, but Rogue One proves this will be a long game for Cassian.
Cassian Andor, Rebel spy. The other new shot in the TV spot shows the Fulcrum agent looking off in the distance, a little worse for wear. It looks like he's having a tough life for a 21-year-old, which will certainly shed light on the hints of backstory dropped in Rogue One.
Diego Luna teased a colder version of the character from the outset, and the dead look in his eyes tells the tale in this frame: he's devoid of hope. As the series progresses, Cassian will find a cause that's worth fighting for, and eventually, he'll make the ultimate sacrifice with the belief that his actions will make the galaxy a better place.
The full teaser can be seen below:
Here is the widescreen version of the new Andor TV Spot 1 . #StarWars #Andor pic.twitter.com/axExPCFHFc
The Dark Side of the Rebellion
Rogue One demonstrated that not every aspect of being a rebel is sunshine and rainbows. For every Luke Skywalker and Han Solo who get a medal for their services, there's a Cassian Andor who has to do the dirty work that makes the heroics possible (though to an Imperial, heroics would be subjective). By some means, Cassian will be recruited by the Rebellion, perhaps initially as a means of self-preservation, and he'll do what his higher-ups require of him.
Killing the wounded informant in Rogue One was just the tip of the iceberg; Andor is a spy thriller, and the hero of the story is going to be doing some pretty nasty things to accomplish his tasks. Ahsoka Tano and Agent Kallus are two other Fulcrum agents who come to mind, and their paths weren't easy - particularly for the latter, who did his work from within the ISB. Cassian will likely have an even more challenging road ahead, which should lead to an abundance of unethical, if not entertaining, decisions.
How exactly the Empire will be presented is going to be what sets the tone for the series. Rogue One and Rebels have given some of the most in-depth looks at how oppressive Palpatine's regime is, and Andor will have to dial that up to 11 to show audiences why Cassian and the Rebellion take the desperate measures they do. The Death Star won't be ready for another five years in the timeline, but the ISB appears to be preparing a crackdown on any miscreants defying Imperial rule while the planet killer is under secret construction.
It can't be understated how slept-on Andor looks to be. Cassian Andor isn't exactly a household name in the way Obi-Wan Kenobi or Boba Fett is, but this series has the potential to be the strongest under Lucasfilm. Between the exceptionally creative team behind the project, the production value with real sets and locations, and the two long seasons mapping out the main character's journey, there's so much upside at play. The show could end up ranking among the best of what Star Wars has to offer.
The first two episodes of Star Wars: Andor debut on Wednesday, August 31 on Disney+.