In just a matter of weeks, Star Wars fans will finally get to sink their teeth into Andor on Disney+. The series serves as a direct prequel to Star Wars: Rogue One, following Diego Luna's Cassian Andor who was introduced in the 2016 big-screen epic.
Andor will carry on the dark tone from Rogue One, with the "hard edges" of the Star Wars universe being a focus of showrunner Tony Gilroy. Taking place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, the streaming series will seemingly fill in some blanks left in the Star Wars story.
But as one would expect, this is a delicate dance in moving around different elements of an ever-expanding intergalactic narrative. And Gilroy has spoken out on Andor's place in the timeline and how hard it was to not step on too many toes of other titles in the galaxy far, far away.
Andor's Place in the Star Wars Canon
Speaking with Empire Magazine, Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy broke down his thoughts on working within the established Star Wars canon and the boundaries that exist because of that.
Gilroy said that he takes joy in the fact that everyone already knows the end of Andor's story, remarking that "limitations like that are liberating.” While the idea of working around in the same time period as so many other projects (including Star Wars Rebels) may seem daunting to some, Gilroy noted that while "canon might be happening" elsewhere in the galaxy, what's happening for the characters in Andor "is something completely different:"
“But our show is about ordinary people. They’re behind the scenes, they’re going to build the road to the revolution. We’re really in the kitchen with these people - our people are back there washing dishes, so canon might be happening off stage, but what’s happening for them is something completely different. Every day our aspiration in every department, on every costume, every weapon and every sideburn is always how to make it real."
He stated that within Star Wars there are "four or five levels of canon," so for any problems he just went to their "[Star Wars Lore Advisor] Pablo Hidalgo."
Gilroy also said within the series "everybody has their own rebellion," specifically calling out Mon Mothma. He mentioned that the series details some "really interesting things...about her:"
“Our goal is to have as many varieties as you possibly can, and Mon Mothma has her own rebellion. People will find out a lot more about that as the show goes on, because there’s some really interesting things that we’re going to say about her."
Gilroy emphasized though that they are not "reversing canon or anything" but is hoping to reveal what these characters were "really about:"
“It’s not that we’re reversing canon or anything we’re just going to tell you that, wow, you had no idea what some people were really about - and maybe you don’t understand why she’s doing it."
Tony Gilroy Pokes the Fans
Canon these days is a delicate subject to broach. One misstep and a certain contingent of fans will be knocking on the door, pitchforks in hand. So the fact that Tony Gilroy seems to be embracing working within the constraints of continuity is refreshing.
He sees Andor's place smack-dab in the middle of the Star Wars universe as an opportunity rather than something that is going to hold him back. Sure, there are other things going on elsewhere in the universe at this time, but that doesn't have to matter about what is happening in this series.
That is the benefit of the vastness of the Star Wars universe. Sure, the Star Wars: Rebels crew may be off doing something off in one corner, but that doesn't have to have any effect (at least right now) on the events of Andor.
Star Wars: Andor debuts on Disney+ on September 21.