Andor Was Designed As A Gateway For New Star Wars Fans

As the world of film and TV becomes more and more dominated by big franchises that are years old and have dozens of entries, it becomes a daunting proposal for new viewers. The Marvel Cinematic Universe quite literally has a recap show on Disney+ whose entire purpose is to tell you the important parts of the story leading up to new movies because there is too much story out there! Meanwhile, "Star Wars" continues to focus on making new TV shows that connect not only to the movies but to each other, all while continuing story threads from animated shows with dozens of episodes. 

This is why "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" worked so well. As a prequel connected only to a tiny detail in the original "Star Wars," knowledge of the rest of the franchise was almost inconsequential. Sure, there are cameos, but if you don't know who those characters are, it isn't a big deal. Plus, the film shares the same look and feel as the original trilogy, but it's made with modern technology and sensibilities, has so many characters that you're bound to like at least one of them, and concludes with a great Darth Vader scene. It's the movie that is easiest to recommend to someone not familiar with the franchise. And a film that could get them hooked on the whole thing.

Now, "Andor" seeks to capture lightning in a bottle once again. The upcoming series aims to surprise longtime fans with a show that's different than anything they've seen before. More importantly, though, it will embark on the arduous task of attracting brand new fans who don't want to watch nine movies built around the same (cursed) family just to understand the rest of the franchise.

This world is real to us

/Film attended a press conference for "Andor" where showrunner Tony Gilroy discussed how the show exists because of the passionate "Star Wars" community, so they wanted to show them something new.

"We want to bring something to [the fans] that is in a completely different lane than what they had before, but we're doing it in a completely uncynical fashion," Gilroy said. "There's nothing cynical about our show. The word we use more everyday is 'real.' We want to make this place real to us, and we will bring a lot of things to that community that we hope they're really interested in and we hope they'll appreciate."

The emphasis on making the show feel "real" is exactly what made "Rogue One" so special. That film had a focus on practical props, 1970s-appropriate mustaches, and action that felt grounded in the limitations of technology, both that of our world and the fictional world of the film. The result was the closest thing to seeing the first "Star Wars" get made in 2016.

"Andor" seems to be treading the same ground, focusing practical filmmaking over digital spectacle. Gilroy shot on location wherever possible, and the trailers promise a gritty show that's undoubtedly taking place in space, but feels like a real place you could picture existing in the real world.

This could be your entry point to Star Wars

Still, "Andor" is not just catering to longtime fans of the franchise, it wants new audiences to fall in love with the galaxy far, far away too. 

"A lot of people are 'Star Wars' averse, and you should be able to watch our show," Gilroy said: 

"Our show is designed so this could be your entry point to 'Star Wars.'  You can watch our [24 episodes across 2 seasons] and that could be your way in. We're doing a show that does not require any prior knowledge whatsoever to get involved."

From what we know of "Andor," the show will tell the story of the very beginning of the Rebellion while presenting the dark period of total Empire control as a timely tale that newcomers to the franchise can easily follow. Gilroy added:

"Can we satisfy and electrify and excite the dedicated fans and can we at the same time bring [...] the smallest intimate drama and the smallest interpersonal relationships that are dropped down in the midst of epic, tectonic revolutionary historical moments where people have to make huge decisions. Can we attract another audience that is interested in that as well, and can we marry those two things together? That's the gamble, thats what were trying to do and thats why we're here."

"Andor" premieres September 21, 2022 on Disney+.