It doesn’t feel like that long ago that the idea of Diego Luna’s Rogue One character Cassian Andor getting a solo series felt strange. But over the past two months and change, Andor has proven itself to be a pretty great show. Not just “great for Star Wars,” but legitimately great in a way that could easily make you forget you’re watching a prequel about a guy who’s fated to eventually die as part of a larger effort to save the galaxy.
Andor was given a two-season order from the jump, and showrunner Tony Gilroy has been up front in the past about how the sophomore season in particular will lead directly into Rogue One. But the recent season one finale, the incredible “Rix Road,” uses its final moments to truly make clear what awaits Cassian and the rest of the show’s principal cast.
After Cassian commits himself to joining Luthen’s rebel cause, the post-credits scene for “Rix Road” shows that the Death Star is in active production. What’s more, it’s being made using the assembled machinery that Cassian and his fellow prisoners were forced to work on during the “Narkina 5″ arc, meaning Cassian was essentially creating the means to his own destruction.
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gilroy explained how its continued assembly will be a “looming threat” and drive the show going forward. The next season, he said, “is about who picks up the final breadcrumbs that lead to the beginning of Rogue One. […] Cassian knows some shit, but he’s looking for answers.”
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One thing he won’t ever know, added Gilroy, is that he had an unwilling hand in the device’s creation. Similarly, the filmmaker said that the show will won’t create new scenes for within the movie’s timeframe, and will progress “linearly” into the film. “[The show’s end will] be him walking out to get on the ship and go there. So we’re not going to go into Rogue One.” Cassian and his team discovering in full what the Death Star is won’t be tweaked by the show’s existence, and likewise, his introduction in that movie will remain intact.
Before season one of Andor even aired, it was reported that season two would be spread across four years, with every three episodes covering a year of the titular hero’s life. When asked, Gilroy described the timeline of those arcs as “super condensed. […] They won’t be spread out.” While there’ll be some focus on what happened in between those time skips, he referred the second season as more concentrated compared to the first.
As for what that means for Cassian as a character, Gilroy told Entertainment Weekly that we’ll see him grow into his leadership role that eventually sees him put a crew together to steal the Death Star plans. “He has to negotiate his way through the Luthen experience and the benefits and disasters that that means and that relationship,” said Gilroy. “Our show’s gonna end up in Yavin and he’ll walk out and he’ll be there to be the guy who gives his life.”
Much of season two will also see how these disparate rebel factions come together for something greater. This is something season one briefly touched on in Luthen’s scenes with Saw Gerrera, who has no love for some other rebel cells hitting the Empire. Season two intends to further expand on that tension between those groups, and it’ll fall on Cass to help get everyone to see eye-to-eye.
“How do you operate when your business is paranoia?” asked Gilroy. “How do you collaborate when paranoia and secrecy are your product?…And how does the empire exploit those differences?” Amidst all of this, the season will feature “all the relationships and all the love and all the betrayal” that defined some of season one’s quieter, strongest moments. But one thing that won’t be up for questioning is Cassian’s loyalty to the cause. “He’s in, he’s committed. So now it’s what do you do with it?”
Andor’s first season is available in full now on Disney+.
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