Andor Will Take Place During The 'Darkest Times' Of The Star Wars Universe

The climate surrounding online fandom has changed so much and in such a short amount of time that I have to wonder how a movie like "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" would go over today, even just 6 years removed from its original release. Spoiler alert, in case you somehow missed the $1 billion-grossing "Star Wars" spin-off/prequel film to the 1977 original: every single one of our heroes dies a horrible death by the end of the story, bummer of an endnote that was only redeemed by the appearance of a digitally de-aged Princess Leia coming into possession of the Death Star plans. (Depending on who you ask, though, that little CGI stunt only made the downbeat ending feel even bleaker, particularly because this would be one of Carrie Fisher's final "appearances" before her untimely passing.)

If you remember, the word of the day surrounding that Gareth Edwards-directed film revolved around "dark." The grittier and far less operatic drama depicted the galaxy-wide conflict through the boots-on-the-ground perspective of flawed characters, most of whom were bereft of any special powers or abilities. While the execution of the film left some viewers mixed, "Rogue One" certainly delivered on its stated goals. Now that it's receiving a spin-off/prequel of its own in the form of "Andor," the upcoming Disney+ series, we're once again in for another round of marketing that plays up the dire stakes of this period in franchise history.

It is called "Star Wars," after all, not "Star Peace." (Sorry, sorry, I couldn't resist.)

'A great tool to comment on our world'

Diego Luna will reprise his role as Cassian Andor in the new series, following the character's early path to the more straight-laced rebel he would become later on. In an interview with Vanity Fair, the actor opened up about the important role "Star Wars" has in affecting real-world change and, fittingly enough, how its setting in the "darkest times" plays into that. To Luna,

"I believe science fiction and stories that happen in a galaxy far, far away are a great tool to comment on our world — on your life and my life and the way we interact. We need to explore the revolutionary we can become to change things, to stop war, to make this world a livable place. So 'Andor' talks about that. I think it can inspire a lot of people on how much you can do by yourself."

But in order to get to that point of inspiration, "Andor" must first dive deep into the Rebel assassin/spy as a figure who's "morally complicated in a really dark way," in the words of series showrunner Tony Gilroy. He briefly explains that the series will be set 5 years before the events of "Rogue One," though further flashbacks will take us to Andor's childhood to fill in the blanks suggested by the 2016 movie and witness how his adopted home planet becomes "radicalized" in response to Empire rule. According to Luna, the series won't shy away from such hopelessness.

"He's someone surviving in dark times. If you know the 'Star Wars' universe and story, these are the darkest times."

"Andor" will premiere on Disney+ later this summer on a to-be-announced date.