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How 'Rogue One' prequel 'Andor' will span 5-year period across two Sarlacc-sized seasons

"If Star Wars is a very successful hotel or restaurant, we're in the kitchen."

By Josh Weiss
Star Wars Andor Screen Grab

Lucasfilm's Andor is shaping up to be the most ambitious Star Wars television project to date. Thanks to the latest issue of Empire Magazine, we now know that the Rogue One prequel series is set to explore a five-year period across 24 episodes broken up between two seasons. Season 1 comprises the first year of Cassian Andor's (played by executive producer Diego Luna) tenure as a rugged spy for the budding Rebel Alliance, while Season 2 tackles the remaining four.

"The scale of the show is huge," teased showrunner and Rogue One screenwriter, Tony Gilroy. "Directors work in blocks of three episodes, we did four blocks [in Season 1] of three episodes each. We looked and said, 'Wow, it'd be really interesting if we come back, and we use each block to represent a year. We'll move a year closer with each block."

"It is an intense, epic story with a huge ensemble cast and many, many characters you're meeting along Cassian Andor's way," added executive producer Sanne Wohlenberg. "We're following these particular formative years of the rebellion, as well as the Empire. It's always an extraordinary moment of time when people are under pressure to wake up and stand up for who they are, and are prepared to make sacrifices."

Like the film that spawned it, the show opts for a gritty, street-level approach to the beloved galaxy far, far away. The magical space wizards who wield glowing sabres and trust in the Force are nowhere to be found here. Instead, we'll receive a grounded story about ordinary citizens trying to rid themselves of a fascist dictatorship.

"If Star Wars is a very successful hotel or restaurant, we're in the kitchen," continued Gilroy, who penned five out of the 12 episodes contained within the first season. "We're the molecular, the granular, we're behind, underneath. We've got 1,500 pages of script to tell that story,. So we have a lot of things to say, and we explore pretty deeply."

In addition to its titular protagonist, the series also features the return of sassy Imperial droid, K-2SO (voiced by Resident Alien's Alan Tudyk), maverick resistance fighter Saw Gerrera (Forrest Whittaker), and future Rebel Alliance leader, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly). "When we start Andor, she's steeped in the Empire," O'Reilly said of Mothma whose time as a member of the Galactic Senate convinces her that an underground movement is the only way to enact real change.

Stellan Skarsgård (Dune), Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter), Denise Gough (The Kid Who Would Be King), Adria Arjona (Good Omens), Kyle Soller (Brexit: The Uncivil War), and Robert Emms (His Dark Materials) co-star in roles that have yet to be revealed.

Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan also serve as executive producers alongside Luna, Gilroy, and Wohlenberg. Dan Gilroy (Tony's brother and writer-director of the critically-acclaimed Nightcrawler starring Jake Gyllenhaal) and Beau Willimon (creator of Netflix's equally acclaimed House of Cards) wrote three episodes apiece. Stephen Schiff (The Americans) wrote Episode 7. Toby Haynes (Black Mirror), Susanna White (The Deuce), and Benjamin Caron (The Crown) share directing duties.

Andor will stealthily make its way onto Disney+ Wednesday, Aug. 31.

Looking for more sci-fi TV? Check out shows like Resident Alien, Brave New World, Project Blue Book, Eureka, Heroes, Intergalactic, and more streaming now on Peacock. Looking ahead, SYFY has new series The Ark in the works from original Stargate film writer/producer Dean Devlin, as well as Stargate SG-1 producer Jonathan Glassner.