In a new interview with Vanity Fair magazine, Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy has said confidently that the series will change parts of Star Wars canon that we thought we knew. Andor, a prequel story to Rogue One, is scheduled to premiere on Disney+ later this summer, after another Star Wars live-action series, Obi-Wan Kenobi, completes its run. Actor Diego Luna, reprising his role as Rebel spy Cassian Andor, says of the story “What you know is really all wrong.” OK, we’re just going to say what everyone’s thinking. We have a bad feeling about this.
Andor is set five years before the events of Rogue One and will focus on Cassian’s life leading up to the fateful events in the film. That’s a lot of unexplored territories, and according to Gilroy, “There are certain events that happen in these five years that are important and need to be paid attention to. There are certain people, characters that are legacy characters, that the audience, the passionate audience, really feels that they have an understanding of and know.”
However, Gilroy then warns that while much of what we know about the characters and story featured in Andor is correct, it isn’t the whole story. “What we’re saying is, ‘What you know, what you’ve been told, what’s on Wookieepedia, what you’ve been telling each other … is really all wrong.” Now, we could take that statement as mere hyperbole, just to stir the fandom up and get them excited about the series. However, it could also be a warning to fans that the new creative minds at Lucasfilm are rewriting George Lucas’ vision for Star Wars. As recent history has proven, that rarely is a good thing.
Just as Star Wars fans had united in their love and support for The Mandalorian and the narrative possibilities it opened, Lucasfilm seems intent on spitting the fandom once again for no good reason whatsoever. SlashFilm’s Eric Vespe, reporting on the story, was nearly giddy that Star Wars was “taking risks” again, which “most of us sane fans can appreciate.” He cites what Rian Johnson did with the narrative for The Last Jedi as proof that Star Wars is best when it defies expectations. Most fans would disagree on that – despite being a visual feast, Johnson’s narrative was oddly structured and failed to deliver. It marginalized and disrespected core characters fans waited decades to see showcased, elevated pointless subplots and featured giant lapses in logic, all in the name of resetting the canon.
Thankfully, Rian Johnson is nowhere near the creative side of Andor: Tony Gilroy is. We want to give Gilroy the benefit of the doubt when he says what we thought we knew about Star Wars is likely to change. After all, he deserves some creative latitude after saving Rogue One from being a complete mess, reportedly. After numerous issues with the production and direction of the film, Gilroy was hired late in the process to rewrite and reshoot much of the film, particularly the third act. He not only gave us the iconic Darth Vader “hallway” scene, but he also delivered a film that managed to respect the source material and match the tone of the films it was building on, even as it killed off all its major characters.
We’ve already seen that Star Wars can go in new directions, and even add or change its own canon, even while remaining faithful to the saga we all know and love. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau proved this with The Mandalorian. With Andor, we could see the backstory to the rise of the Rebellion which has been hinted at only in Star Wars animation in recent years, in Rebels and Resistance. We know that the original trilogy character Mon Mothma will return in the series, and the Empire will play a huge role in the plot. It will certainly look like Star Wars. It remains to be seen if it will feel like Star Wars. Tony Gilroy, you’re our only hope here. You seem to “get” Star Wars. Show that to us again. Just don’t get cocky.