Tony Gilroy isn’t your average Star Wars showrunner. Best known for his work writing on the Bourne series and co-writing Rogue One, his vision for Andor looks to be completely different from what we’ve seen before from the current Star Wars TV era.
In a new interview, Gilroy discusses the scope of the new show, which is simultaneously bigger and smaller than what we’ve come to expect from the Disney+ Star Wars universe.
In an interview with SFX Magazine, Gilroy explains just how vast Andor is from a purely logistical point of view. “We’re dealing with, I don’t know, 190 speaking parts in the first 12 episodes,” he said, “And you’re carrying over 25-30 characters that we care about from the first half to the second half.”
The Andor story will be structured in two parts consisting of 12 episodes each. If those first 12 episodes contain roughly 190 speaking parts, there’s no telling what the character count will be by season’s end — or what it might mean for what appears to be a sprawling, character-driven tale.
In the interview, Gilroy also explained why the series’ (recently delayed) September 21 debut will consist of not one, but three episodes. “The first three episodes are pretty contained in our show, it’s pretty much about this one place and this one couple of days,” he said, “and then, when episode four starts, we just start adding characters and the world just gets really, really wide.” Starting with Episode 4, Andor’s setting, both time and place, will presumably widen in scope.
The Andor ensemble may be vast, but the stories are relatively small. Star Wars often focuses on the higher-ups of the universe: the Jedi, Sith, Mandalorians, and those in political power. Because Andor is the story of the Rebellion, it has to begin from the bottom. “Our show is about ordinary people. They’re behind the scenes, they’re going to build the road to the revolution,” Gilroy said.
Paradoxically, it’s the broad scope of this series that allows the story to keep its focus tight. If Andor was only six episodes long, like its predecessors The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, then it would only have time to briefly touch on the characters at the fringes of Cassian’s orbit. But, with 24 episodes at its disposal, Andor can afford to be what many fans want: a careful portrait of the people who built the Rebellion that helped launch the Star Wars universe as we know it.
Andor premieres September 21, 2022 on Disney+.