“Andor” Creator Tony Gilroy’s Intriguing Advice For His Team About Their “Star Wars” Series
Andor isn’t quite like any of the Star Wars live-action series we’ve seen thus far on Disney+. Compared to The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Andor is almost heroically unconcerned with the legends of the larger Star Wars galaxy, be they Boba Fett, Darth Vader, or Obi-Wan Kenobi himself. The show is a street-level view of regular people, most of whom living on the margins of society, reacting and rebelling against the Galactic Empire’s increasingly autocratic regime. In fact, creator Tony Gilroy, who came in to help get Rogue One, the best Star Wars prequel film ever made (in our humble opinion), into shape, had some intriguing advice for his Andor creative team. The gist? Don’t worry about Star Wars. “You’re here because we want you to be real,” Gilroy said, as The Hollywood Reporter details.
When Gilroy joined the Rogue One production, along with his considerable skills as a storyteller (this is the man who wrote and directed the nearly perfect film Michael Clayton, for starters), he brought one highly unusual skill to the franchise—he wasn’t a big Star Wars fan. This gave him the critical distance he needed to push Rogue One into some genuinely new territory for a Star Wars film, including the film’s shocking conclusion. Considering Andor would star one of Rogue One‘s main characters, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Gilroy was the logical choice to lead the series—but it would take a long time for Gilroy to officially become Andor‘s man for Disney+.
Once he was finally on board, Gilroy noticed something early on during Andor‘s production—his creative team, including his performers, were changing the way they might go about their work because of their reverence for, and connection to, Star Wars. This was when Gilroy gave them some freeing advice; let go of their fondness as much as they could.
“In every department, we’ve had all kinds of people come in, and they know it’s Star Wars, so they change their behavior,” Gilroy told THR. “They change their attitude. They change their thing. And you go, ‘Wait, no. Do your thing. You’re here because we want you to be real.’ So it’s a testament to the potent power of Star Wars. It really gets into people’s heads, but to change the lane and do it this way, it takes a little effort.”
Gilroy gives THR a lot more about his creative vision for Andor, including the manifesto about the series he wrote for Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy that eventually won her over and got him into the driver’s seat. The road to Gilroy running Andor was a long and winding path, but the end result has been a Star Wars series unlike any that have come before, and that, it turns out, is exactly what we’ve been waiting for.
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Featured image: Maarva (Fiona Shaw) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.