Andor set out with an ambitious mission: to tell the story of Cassian Andor from his first brush with the Rebellion up to seconds before the events of Rogue One. The first season, which premiered on Disney+ to much acclaim, covered the first year of Andor’s journey. The second and last season, which is currently filming, has a much bigger task ahead of it, as it intends to tell four years’ worth of story over only 12 episodes.
But just how will the series tackle this? A quote from Tony Gilroy suggests the story is in safe hands, unlike another Star Wars show.
In conversation with Entertainment Weekly’s Star Wars podcast Dagobah Dispatch, Gilroy spoke about the challenges of cramming four years into one season of TV. “We’re going to use negative space in storytelling,” Gilroy said. “The trick is to make it worth it.”
Much like Season 1, Season 2 will be split into three-episode arcs, and there won’t be a lot of spoonfeeding to catch viewers up on what happened between them. “They’re almost like needle drops; what are the most important three, four, five days a year later that tell you everything you need to know?” Gilroy said. “And how do you tell it without doing the Jacobean ‘Well, I haven’t seen you since…’ and without doing anything of the awkward exposition?”
Seamlessly bridging time gaps is something Star Wars has struggled with lately. Star Wars fans were shocked to learn The Mandalorian Season 3 took place about two years after Season 2, as there was no indication time had passed. Andor has to find a balance between completely ignoring time gaps like The Mandalorian did, and drawing too much attention to them, which would feel awkward and forced.
It’s clear Tony Gilroy knows how much he’s bitten off with this complex structure, and he’s aware of the consequences of getting the balance wrong. Andor fans hoping that Season 2 will live up to Season 1’s quality can take this as a good sign: the script should avoid the time-gap issues of its sister show. How those scripts will translate to live-action given the ongoing writer’s strike is another story, but at least one major obstacle appears to have been surmounted.
Andor Season 1 is streaming on Disney+.