Star Wars might have only just got done with one TV series, but it’s already on to the next — and Andor might be one of the most intriguing shows in the galaxy far, far away so far, if only for the immense span of time it’s going to cover.
Chronology in Star Wars shows (and hell, the franchise in general) has always been a little weird — the passage of time hasn’t really mattered so much in shows like Clone Wars or Rebels, set during a very specific timeframe of events, or The Mandalorian, which has a much broader, unexplored setting in the post-Return of the Jedi world. Obi-Wan Kenobi, for example, was set over a handful of days or weeks at most, which is wild considering how much actually goes on. But the saga’s next live-action series, Rogue One prequel Andor, is going to be very different: across two seasons, it’s covering five years of time for its titular Rebel spy, all the way up to where we meet Cassian in the movie. But it’s going to cover them… unevenly, to say the least, according to showrunner Tony Gilroy.
The first season of Andor will cover approximately a year in Cassian’s life as an operative for the Rebellion, itself about five years before the events of Rogue One, across 12 episodes. Its second, however, will use the same amount of episodes to cover four years — time jumping ahead every three episodes.
“The scale of the show is so huge,” Gilroy told Empire Magazine in a new interview, conducted at Star Wars Celebration last month. “Directors work in blocks of three episodes, so 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…’ from a narrative point of view, it’s really exciting to be able to work on something where you do a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and then jump a year.”
It’s going to be very interesting to see just how Andor handles compressing such a vast period of time like this. Will the tone radically change one set of episodes to the next? How much are we going to end up actually seeing of these moments, what happens in between that Cassian will carry on with him as the series’ throughline? It’s especially intriguing considering we’re not really going to get to see that quite yet while season 1 sets the stage for just a single year of storytelling. Time will, it seems, tell.
Andor’s first season hits Disney+ August 31.
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