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Andor creator Tony Gilroy has been talking for quite some time, since well before the series debuted earlier this fall, about his ambitions for the Rogue One prequel series. This is, in Gilroy's eyes, not just a show about how Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) goes from small-time crook to freedom fighter, but how the Rebel Alliance as we see it in A New Hope is forged from a loose coalition of extremists, politicians, and fighters with nowhere else to go. Season 1 showed us all those moving pieces, and specifically pushed Cassian toward the Rebellion in big ways. Now, it's time to talk about what's next.
**Spoilers for the Andor Season 1 finale below**
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the end of the first season, which wrapped up with a riot on Ferrix and Cassian's declaration that Luthen (Stellan Skarsgard) should either kill him or take him into the Rebel fold, Gilroy described the title character's all-or-nothing closing words as a "blood oath," a point of no return for a character who's spent much of the season struggling with his own sense of purpose. Now that he's essentially made that oath, and we leave him in Luthen's hands in the season's final moments, it's time to think about how that translates to the man Cassian will become by the time Rogue One comes around.
"He has to negotiate his way through the Luthen Rael experience and the benefits and disasters that that means and that relationship," Gilroy explained. "And what's happening on a large scale is that canonically we're gonna end up in Yavin. 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. But that alliance in Yavin – are those the hardcore revolutionaries who really built everything? Or it's sort of the coalition government there that's already contentious. Well, what happens and what has happened to all the original gangsters and outliers and all the people who built this thing along the way, and how do you operate when your business is paranoia?"
As Gilroy previously promised in laying out his vision for the show, Andor will ultimately cover five years of the early history of the Rebel Alliance, leading right up to the launch of the Rogue One story. That means that Season 2 will run across four years of galactic history which are primed to be some of the most tense and contentious we've ever seen in Star Wars. For Gilroy, that means examining not just how the Empire rises up to keep fighting the Rebellion, but how the Rebellion contends with its own growing ranks. Then, of course, there's the matter of doing all of that while also continuing the story of a group of characters we've come to know and love over the last 12 episodes.
"How do you collaborate when paranoia and secrecy are your product? How do you scale up? How do you join forces? And how does the empire exploit those differences? What are the effects of time on these people?" Gilroy pondered. "And then obviously within that, we're gonna try to tell a really, a ripping yarn, a really good adventure story. And we're gonna try to have all the relationships and all the love and all the betrayal and all the other stuff. But yeah, [Cassian's] in, he's committed. So now it's what do you do with it?"
That same sense of commitment, of not going back, runs through many of Andor's major characters, and it's something we'll see play out over the next four years in a number of ways. But one of the most interesting figures in the story, aside from Cassian and Luthen, is Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), who takes her own no-going-back steps in the Season 1 finale in the form of a potential marriage alliance to help fund the Rebellion. For Gilroy, it's a major step in what might be the hardest road in the show, one that will only get harder as Season 2 dawns.
"Well, I mean, Mon has the arguably the hardest road of any character in the show because everything she has to do is under glass," Gilroy said. "Everything is observed. She has no place to hide. She can't shoot a gun or go jump off a cliff or blow something up. She has no cathartic physical way to escape from the trap that she's in. I mean, just go be her in that moment and consider all the various possibilities. Because if she goes down, everything goes down and what happens to her family then? Every decision that she has is tough."
Those tough decisions will continue when Andor returns for its second season on Disney+.
Looking for more high-concept sci-fi? Check out SYFY's Battlestar Galactica, streaming now on Peacock.