During the annual Star Wars Celebration event, Lucasfilm unveiled the first official trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series Andor. The show will star Diego Luna, reprising his role as Cassian Andor from the 2016 film Rogue One. Andor, the goal-oriented and underhanded Rebel spy of the Rogue One crew, helped show protagonist Jyn Erso the importance of fighting for a worthy cause.
Diego Luna revealed that he was coming back to play Cassian again years ago when Disney and Lucasfilm were still spinning up the TV side of their Star Wars universe. The actor was one of the best parts of Rogue One, so the news he was getting his own prequel series was extremely exciting for fans. Naturally, if you’ve seen Rogue One, you know the Andor series will need to be a prequel to make any narrative sense.
Warning: Spoilers for Rogue One follow after this.
Cassian, like all of the members of the Rogue One squad, didn’t survive the attack on the planet Scarif. He, along with Jyn and the remaining rebels, lost his life when the Empire tested out its Death Star Superweapon for the first time on the planet’s surface. However, Cassian told Jyn that he’d been fighting the Empire since he was a child, and we first meet him when he’s already in the middle of his career as a Rebel spy. Naturally, there’s plenty of high-stakes Rebellion-saving action in his past that will make the ideal backdrop for a TV series.
How Many Episodes?
The series will air on Disney’s streaming service starting in August, and it will consist of two twelve-episode seasons. This is a notable departure from other live-action Star Wars shows, many of which have run for only six episodes. These “limited events,” like The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, have run for shorter episode counts to keep their narratives tightly focused.
Andor, on the other hand, sounds like it will be a more traditional TV experience. Given the subject matter, it will likely run more like a political drama and a spy show instead of the more heroic and straightforward adventures seen in shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
During the Star Wars Celebration event, Andor’s crew confirmed that they’ve already wrapped filming on twelve episodes and have twelve more to go. The crew will reportedly pick up shooting the second season starting in November. Many fans have pointed out that it’s interesting that Disney greenlit a second season for the series months before its first season even debuted. This could show that the studio has immense faith in the series to resonate with audiences (and drive Disney+ subscriptions ever higher).
I’ve Been in This Fight My Whole Life
The show’s crew confirmed during the Star Wars Celebration that Andor will leave its title character right where we find him when Rogue One catches up to him in a seedy back alley. So, in the meantime, we can expect the Rebel spy’s solo show to follow his adventures across the galaxy as he uses cloak-and-dagger techniques to further the fight against the Empire.
The show’s trailer suggests that the proceedings might be a bit grimmer than some fans would expect from Star Wars. After all, Cassian is no Jedi, and he doesn’t follow a strict moral code like those lightsaber-wielding knights. Andor will likely see its title character engaging in morally dubious acts to keep the nascent Rebellion alive.
One of the best things about Rogue One is that it takes the Rebellion and its fight against the Empire seriously. The battle against a totalitarian government is endless for Cassian and his allies, as their quality of life will never be acceptable under the Empire’s rule. These sweeping themes lend Rogue One an air of gravitas that makes it one of the most gripping entries in the Star Wars franchise.
The trailer gives fans their first look at new actor Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma, one of the Rebellion’s leaders who audiences first saw in Return of the Jedi. Her presence could also mean that Saw Gerrera, the Rebels’ foremost firebrand, could make an appearance during the show. Gerrera and Mothma have a deep philosophical disagreement regarding how they should wage war against the Empire, and their disagreement forms the backbone of Rebel’s behind-the-scenes drama with the Rebellion.
Mon Mothma expects to beat the Empire by playing by the rules and fighting a clean war. Gerrera feels as though this view is naive, and that the Rebels can’t win by playing fair. Cassian tends to side more with Saw in this regard, as he feels the Empire doesn’t deserve sympathy or the benefit of a fair fight.
The show will likely see Andor weaving in and out of the criminal underground of the galaxy as he tries to throw off the Empire’s war effort. The idea of a spy show set in the Galaxy Far, Far Away is one of the most exciting things Lucasfilm has put on Disney+ yet, and we’re hoping to see some familiar faces show up to help (or harry) our swashbuckling hero.
Given that this series will take place after the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rebels, there’s a good chance that some of the Empire’s foremost Jedi hunters, the Inquisitors, could make an appearance. Several of the lightsaber-wielding warriors didn’t survive the events of Rebels, but recent Star Wars entries have shown that Darth Vader had quite a few of these Force-sensitive hunters on hand during the Age of the Empire.
The Inquisitors and their attendant Purge Troopers are usually invoked when the Empire needs to ferret out a Jedi. However, Cassian is a savvy enough opponent that he could come up against the Inquisition in his adventures. If the Empire’s leadership feels sufficiently threatened by his endeavors, they might call on the black-cloaked former Jedi to defend their interests.
The question lingering over this potential plot thread, though, is whether any Inquisitors we know from earlier entries in the series are even still alive by the time the show starts. Fighting Jedi is a risky proposition, so most of the order’s ranks have been depleted by the time the Rogue One crew steals the Death Star plans.
Cassian’s work as a spy will surely bring him into contact with the criminal underworld. Depending on the show’s timing, Cassian could bump into the notorious Black Sun crime lord, Maul. While we know Obi-Wan Kenobi will strike down the former Sith on Tattooine four years before the events of A New Hope, the Andor series could pick up early enough in Cassian’s career as a spy to see the two cross paths.
This could also give Lucasfilm a chance to explore more storylines that were left hanging with the 2018 film Solo, which left off with the stinger that Qi’ra, Han’s friend from Corellia, was actually working for Maul and the Black Sun syndicate the whole time. Really, any excuse to get Emilia Clarke involved with a TV show is an excuse worth making.
Of course, since we know where Maul needs to be by the time of Rebels, any role for him in the show would be inherently limited. But even seeing him acting as the shadowy force behind some of Cassian’s allied criminal groups could go a long way toward paying off Solo’s ending reveal.
Andor might give Lucasfilm another chance to show off characters from Rebels in live-action. The Mandalorian has already brought Bo-Katan Kryze and Ahsoka Tano from the animated side of Star Wars over into live-action, so we’d love to see Andor do the same for characters like Hera Syndulla, Aleksander Kallus, and Zeb. Naturally, Sabine Wren’s first appearance in live-action will likely have to wait for The Mandalorian’s third season, or perhaps the upcoming Ahsoka standalone series.
However, characters like Hera and Kallus would be a perfect match for Cassian’s particular slice of the Star Wars galaxy. Hera is a major force in the Rebellion, as the leader of the Ghost crew and one of the most successful rebels to ever take on the Empire. Kallus, meanwhile, is a former Imperial Security Bureau member who defected and joined Hera and her crew after developing sympathies for the Rebellion.
Andor offers a perfect opportunity for Lucasfilm to give these fan-favorite animated characters more screen time, especially since Cassian is going to need some allies who aren’t the characters he first meets in Rogue One.
When Do We Start?
Of course, everyone also hopes that Alan Tudyk will get to reprise his role as the snarky K-2SO, the reprogrammed Imperial security droid who travels with Cassian throughout Rogue One. With any luck, the show will give audiences a glimpse of how Cassian managed to convert K-2SO into a Rebel-aligned droid.
The series will stream exclusively on Disney+ starting on August 31, 2022. Lucasfilm will unveil the first two episodes on the same day, and then the series will air once each week on Wednesdays. Are you ready to return to the seedier side of the Star Wars galaxy?