What Andor Needs To Do Differently Than The Other Star Wars Shows

A new "Star Wars" series is gearing up for release, and depending on your personal tastes, you may or may not be excited. Ever since entering the world of streaming television with "The Mandalorian," shows set in the "Star Wars" universe have received a mixed reception from fans. While many appreciate their cutting-edge visual effects and connective tissue to the "best" aspects of the franchise, others aren't as keen on how reliant they seem to be on callbacks and references. These television series, made as a hold-over between movies after the lackluster reception to "The Rise of Skywalker," have certainly been a mixed bag in that regard.

However, there's something about the upcoming "Andor" that feels different from the other "Star Wars" shows that have been released over the past couple of years. It feels more insular than the others, and it also strangely helps that the central character, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), has a clearly defined end in sight.

Still, this somewhat-unique experience in the "Star Wars" universe isn't guaranteed just yet. With the show still looming on the horizon, here's what we hope "Andor" can accomplish so that true feeling of magic the franchise used to elicit can be felt once again.

Expand the literal Star Wars universe

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding Cassian is what happened to his home planet of Fest. Obviously, with a mission as unpredictable as the one endured by the "Rogue One" crew, you shouldn't get too close to your teammates. However, you could tell that Cassian had never gotten over whatever happened to the planet that he briefly references as his home.

While there is a plethora of planets throughout the canon "Star Wars" universe, few have actually been brought into live-action. There are so many different places for these characters to visit, but they often keep coming back to the same planets over and over again. By fully exploring what happened to the world of Fest, as well as other planets that were also ravaged by the Galactic Empire, "Andor" could actually humanize these unexplored planets. The rich world-building that the original films thrived on has gone to the wayside, and here's to hoping this new entry returns to these roots.

Return to being a character study

At the core of the entire "Star Wars" franchise are three characters: Anakin, Luke, and Rey. Throughout their respective trilogies, these characters discover special aspects about themselves that were hidden away for too long, with their arcs consisting of how they react externally and internally to these rapid changes. Sure, we've had "The Book of Boba Fett" and "Obi-Wan Kenobi," which largely focused on their titular characters, but their development was often pushed aside to accommodate the storylines of other legacy names. Because of this, few of the key figures in the current slate of "Star Wars" shows really get proper characterization.

Cassian is not a Skywalker, nor is he even sensitive to the Force. That doesn't mean he still isn't a complex and compelling character that could provide key insight into what the Galactic Empire's rule was like from a civilian's point of view. While other characters will obviously interact with him, having him be the undeniable anchor of his show can allow the show to once again become a character drama like the three defining trilogies of the franchise. He can't be shoved aside for other characters like Boba Fett was in his own show, nor should his entire arc revolve around another figure like Obi-Wan's was. Cassian should have his entire story told, which actually leads into the next and perhaps most critical dealbreaker for the show.

Be its own thing

The ultimate problem with many "Star Wars" series nowadays is that they try too hard to connect themselves to the main Skywalker storyline. This has resulted in weird CGI deep-fakes, clumsy exposition, and other detrimental aspects that elicit groans rather than cheers from the audience. At least, audience members that care more about the overall story rather than just seeing plot points and characters they recognize.

However, "Andor" can hopefully change this. While it is obviously taking place right before the events of "A New Hope," it appears to be largely disconnected from the "Star Wars" universe as a whole. Instead, it focuses on a character, Cassian Andor, that fans really don't know a whole lot about other than his role in the Rebel Alliance and his eventual death, as seen in "Rogue One." This could be the breath of fresh air that the "Star Wars" franchise needs. If it stays largely contained and doesn't attempt to wedge itself between major events in the timeline, "Andor" could be the hit the franchise desperately needs in-between movies and "The Mandalorian."

While this all sounds exciting and ripe with potential, we won't know if "Andor" lives up to these expectations until it premieres on Disney+ on September 21.