While there were a number of surprises announced during Disney's Investor's Day event, such as Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron film and the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, a live-action series about Rogue One's Cassian Andor was a project fans had long been aware of but knew little about.
During the event, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy finally shed some light on the project, revealing the series will be called Andor and that it had already begun principal photography in London with plans to debut on Disney+ in 2022. She also released a sizzle reel, one of the few that non-investors were actually able to see.
The reel featured Diego Luna, who plays Cassian Andor, discussing the impact of 2016's Rogue One, as well as the series' artists, designers, and supervisors diving into the pre-production work and the project's rather ambitious logistics.
In the Andor sizzle reel, costume designer Michael Wilkinson confirmed, "Twelve episodes, 12 scripts, over 200 named cast members. Over 6,000 crowd people. A lot of creatures to come in from the creature department," for Andor.
Now, a 12-episode series is longer than what fans have come to expect, as The Mandalorian has been released in 8-episode seasons thus far. But as Creature and Droid FX Creative Supervisor Neal Scanlan shared, the team behind Andor is approaching the series as they would a film.
That certainly seems to be true considering a 200 named cast plus 6,000-person group for crowd shots is significant for any project. Also worth noting is that Wilkinson confirmed creatures were coming in from the creature department, possibly implying that they're from possible past Star Wars projects.
WHAT THIS MEANS
Clearly, Lucasfilm is looking to prove that Andor isn't just a small side project but rather an ambitious undertaking in light of the success of The Mandalorian on Disney+ and the popularity of 2016's Rogue One. In fact, much of the sizzle reel seemed focused on showing fans the scale of the project and its possibilities.
On its own, a spy thriller genre series set in the Star Wars Universe and during the building of the Rebellion has plenty of storytelling potential for fans to get excited about. But Michael Wilkinson's comments about the large named cast and possibly familiar creatures could mean we see familiar faces from other Star Wars stories appear in Andor.
After all, Rogue One already referenced the Star Wars Rebels series, which was set right in line with the timeline of the film. The setting of Andor could allow for more possible crossovers and even appearances from familiar clone troopers.