Star Wars has never shied away from darker, more adult concepts, but if Stellan Skarsgård is to be believed, Andor will be one of the darkest and most realistic Lucasfilm projects yet. Serving as a prequel to 2016's Rogue One, the forthcoming series (showrun by one of the original film's screenwriters, Tony Gilroy) will follow Diego Luna's Cassian Andor during his tenure as a spy for the Rebel Alliance.
Upon its release, Rogue One was praised for setting itself apart from the flagship Skywalker Saga, and of course, for not being afraid to kill off pretty much all its main characters at the end.
"Of course I’ve seen all the Star Wars films, because I’ve had children in the ‘80s, and the ‘90s, and the 2000s, and the 2010s," Skarsgård recently told The Daily Beast. "I’ve had children in five decades, which means you’ve seen all the Star Wars films — and seen all the toys as well. But when I saw Rogue One, it had much more atmosphere and seemed a little more mature — and that was Tony Gilroy, who’s the showrunner on this one. So, hopefully this one will be a little more than little plastic people falling over."
Beyond a few returning faces (like Cassian, Alan Tudyk's K-2SO, and Genevieve O'Reilly's Mon Mothma) most of the show's roles — including Skarsgård's — are being kept a tightly-controlled secret. When asked if he agreed to appear in the galaxy far, far away to impress his kids, Skarsgård exclaimed, "I do think like that sometimes!"
"I’ll go and do a children’s movie for that reason," he continued. "But also, I’m not the most mature person myself, so who doesn’t want to go and fly a spaceship?"
Now in production in Europe, Andor is being directed by Toby Haynes (Doctor Who, Black Mirror). Gilory was originally supposed to helm the pilot, as well as an undisclosed number of subsequent episodes, but had to relinquish control to Haynes when he was unable to travel internationally due to COVID-19 restrictions. Adria Arjona (Good Omens), Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter), Denise Gough (The Kid Who Would Be King), and Kyle Soller (Brexit: The Uncivil War) are also a part of the cast.
"It's a different approach because of the beauty and it's how things happen," Luna remarked last year. "It's not just what happens. It's not the typical way of approaching a story. It's about how things happen, which in fact, is the same that happened in Rogue One. You know the ending, but you don't know how it happened, and we have that challenge in front of us again, which is exciting."
Andor is expected to premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2022.