Disney Forbid Lucasfilm From Making Andor Too Sexy

Tony Gilroy says while Andor has pushed some boundaries in terms of Star Wars, sex is not allowed in the series.

By Jennifer Asencio | Published

The Disney+ Star Wars series Andor has not been afraid of getting more dark and mature than the franchise is known for, a quality that has brought the show acclaim. However, Lucasfilm does have its limits, as creator Tony Gilroy explained in an interview with Variety. While the show has crossed a lot of boundaries previously unknown in the galaxy far, far away, there are some lines the universe of the Sith and Jedi cannot step over–specifically, there couldn’t be any sex in Andor.

“There’s things we can’t do — I mean, we have standards and practices,” Gilroy told Variety. “We can’t have sex… We can’t do some things that we would want to do. But within that, we’re cool.”

Sex and violence are not unknown in the Star Wars universe, but Andor takes both to limits not previously surpassed. No one who drooled over Princess Leia’s slave bikini in Return of the Jedi would have predicted the spicy after-sex scene in episode two of Andor. While violence included dismemberment, beheading, and the destruction of planets and star stations that contained millions of people, gore has also never figured much into Star Wars.

Death and betrayal, slavery, totalitarianism, and torture are all part of the family-friendly franchise, so Tony Gilroy’s gritty vision of the character evolution of Cassian Andor as he navigates from the underbelly of the Empire to his heroic role in Rogue One was something Lucasfilm could approve of. Gilroy says he wrote the first three episodes prior to official development in the writer’s room and intended them to explore the boundaries of what Disney+ and Lucasfilm would allow. As the writer of Rogue One, he already had some relationship with the studios and the clout to be put in charge of a show about one of its main characters.

The brothel scene in the premiere episode of Andor

Episode one of Andor sees the titular character walking into a brothel, indicating the direction the showrunner wanted to take Cassian on his journey to heroism. The story is told in three-episode pods that include a prison break, a heist, and a raid by Imperial forces against an enemy. While violence is unavoidable in a franchise that has “wars” in its title, the show indicates that Star Wars is capable of maturing along with its audience while not dipping into levels of sex and violence that go too far for the studio’s liking.

Andor also unexpectedly made history by depicting a same-sex relationship between two characters. Tony Gilroy said that he never intended to make a political statement and just wrote those characters as who they were, but the overwhelming support for them has also put the show into the history books. The charm of Andor seems to be in its depiction of regular people living under the Imperial regime.

In a universe where a celebrated hero can also kill younglings and a ruthless emperor maintains a stranglehold over an entire galaxy, mature themes already exist. However, Andor can also be all of this without having to resort to the gore and sex of a show like Game of Thrones. Star Wars may not be for 12-year-olds anymore, but the franchise has grown up with its audience in the way only Star Wars can, where wounds are cauterized by lightsabers and laser beams, and sex doesn’t have to involve actually watching the act.

Catch up on Andor on Disney+. The studio has already announced that season 2 is starting production.