With seemingly every single episode of Andor season one, it’s only gotten better. Every character gets richer, the Star Wars lore gets deeper, and the grip on your chair gets tighter as the tension mounts and mounts and mounts. That was the plan for showrunner Tony Gilroy, and in a new interview, he looks ahead to the season finale and the one line that will put it all in perspective.
“The first year is really about him becoming, and the last line of this tranche of 12 episodes will sum up where we’ve been trying to get to,” Gilroy told Rolling Stone. “And we come back a year later [for season two]. It’ll be very different. The next four years [of story] are not about becoming a revolutionary. They’re about learning to be a leader and how difficult it is to put the alliance together and what happens to people who are the original gangsters versus the establishment and a lot of different other issues ... I’m hoping what we’re gonna do in the second half [of the series] will make the meal feel really satisfying.”
Through the first 10 episodes, we’ve slowly but surely seen Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) learn to be a leader, as several other leaders like Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård) and Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) struggle with organizing a group to oppose the Empire. But how Cassian will end up coming back to those characters is still up in the air, and Gilroy says the final two episodes of this season will begin to show the path forward.
“I saw somebody say that we were spreading ourselves too thin with all these characters. But we [will] be pulling people together,” he said. “That is not something that we would let go by. And we won’t be leaving you with much of an enigmatic ending. Hopefully, [episodes 11 and 12] are the most powerful two episodes that we have in the show. It’s our emotional catharsis. It’s our physical catharsis. It’s our summing up for these 12 episodes. We’ve invested a lot in it, so we have high expectations that we’re paying it off.”
Once that payoff happens, it’s on to season two. Gilroy has been prepping season two of Andor for a year and will be begin filming in the United Kingdom before the end of the year. Previously, the showrunner stated that season two’s 12 episodes will be broken into four three-episode arcs, each separated by about a year, leading right up to the start of Rogue One. And now he explains how he’s going to use that unorthodox narrative to enrich the previously established tone.
“I’m carrying forward something like 30 characters. So what becomes interesting is now we can play the negative space,” Gilroy said. “When you jump a year, what happened in between? You know the people, you know what their trajectory was. It’s energizing. We will be starting new characters, obviously, in the next 700 pages. There will be all kinds of new things and will be just as granular as we ever were. And really, the second half is about, what does time do to these people? People grow up and people get tired and people betray each other and people change their minds and people get weak and people get crazy.”
If you’re a fan of Andor, you’ve got to read the full Rolling Stone article. Gilroy address criticism that the first three episodes of the show are too slow, talks about crafting the prison arc and why it’s important to Cassian, explains why there aren’t more aliens or creatures on the show, says Perrin Fertha is one of his favorite characters, and even is asked what the prisoners were making. It’s a great piece.
The final two episodes of Andor season one will be out November 16 and 23, respectively, on Disney+.
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