How Andor Will Stand Out From Other Star Wars Shows

Back in 2016, Lucasfilm offered "Star Wars" fans a standalone tale that went against the grain of the franchise's established formula. Markedly different in terms of plot, stakes, and general aesthetic, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" told a riveting story about brand new characters who aided the Rebellion, committing to the cause till the bitter end. The upcoming Disney+ show, "Andor," will be expanding the world of "Rogue One," while focusing on Cassian Andor's (Diego Luna) journey as a Rebel spy and assassin during a politically volatile time period.

But, how does "Andor" stand out from the plethora of "Star Wars" content lined up for the near future? During a press junket for "Andor" attended by /Film, Diego Luna explained that "Andor" features a distinct world that is huge and astonishing but rich and intimate, with a focus on individual character arcs. Luna also highlighted that "Andor" writer/showrunner Tony Gilroy wrote a heavily character-centric story, which adds depth to the established premise. The actor said:

"Well, first of all, this one is written by Tony Gilroy, which makes it very special...Tony is not a writer that lives in the language of right or wrong, black or white. He spends most of his time in the complexity of the grey areas, in the contradiction of characters. [Andor] is full of that experience..this is a show about real people. These are dark times in the galaxy, there are no Jedis around, and people have to articulate a reaction to oppression. It's the most grounded 'Star Wars' you'll get."

Gilroy, who helped shape "Rogue One" into a gripping tale about unflinching commitment to a cause, has returned to "Andor" to create a "Star Wars" story that follows compelling individual storylines. Here's how "Andor" aims to stand out from other franchise entries.

Grounded complexity is key

As Luna states above, "Andor" is set to explore the complexities of grey areas and the difficult human choices that come with such a stance. The show's protagonist, Cassian Andor, is the prime example of a character caught between the crossfires of what's right and wrong. Cassian's journey into a rebel hero is one filled with moral conundrums, as he evolves from a by-the-book intelligence officer to one of the greatest assets for the Rebel Alliance. 

"Rogue One" already establishes Cassian's fate in the aftermath of the Rogue One mission, and "Andor" will potentially delve into how he got to this point. This makes "Andor" an intensely personal story about a conflicted man who starts questioning the orders he is expected to blindly follow, and other characters, such as Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones in the 2016 film) and Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) help shape Cassian's arc in pivotal ways. Agents like Cassian have been asked to commit terrible acts in the name of the Rebellion, and "Andor" could be exploring this particular aspect of the story in great detail. 

The scope of "Star Wars" characters has always been massive. There are characters like Ahsoka and Cal Kestis who claim the mantle of "the hero" with ease, while others like Anakin Skywalker and Darth Revan remain morally ambiguous to this day, having walked both sides of the Force. But what about characters who are not Jedi or Sith, but merely people fighting against a tyrannical regime during incredibly dangerous times? "Andor" will bring this "grounded" aspect of the "Star Wars" universe to life via characters who have to often make the tough call of disobeying orders or playing the long game for the greater good. 

"Andor" will premiere on September 21, 2022, on Disney+.