See the darker side of the Rebel Alliance as we look at everything we know about Andor, the Star Wars prequel series coming soon to Disney+.
Rebel agent Cassian Andor returns to screens later this summer with the premiere of the new Star Wars TV show, simply named ‘Andor’, with the promise of filling in some of the missing years of the Star Wars saga and showing what happened in the run-up to the Rebels stealing the plans for the Death Star. You can see where Rogue One fits into the Star Wars timeline in our guide to watching the Star Wars movies in order.
Spoilers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ahead!
Things ended pretty bleakly for Cassian Andor (played by actor Diego Luna) at the end of Rogue One, as he was killed alongside Jyn Erso when the Death Star fired upon the planet Scarif. His new series rewinds five years; when we meet him, Andor is a thief without a cause, a refugee from his home planet invaded and conquered by the Empire. Survival is his aim, and striking a blow against the Empire is the furthest thing from his mind.
With The Mandalorian season three, The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi all featuring fan favorites and mainstays of the franchise, Star Wars: Andor is possibly the one show Star Wars fans know least about. There is an intriguing trailer, which begins with a tribe of children watching a burning ship plummet from the sky, then shows flashbacks to the Clone Wars, followed by lots of action and suspense.
Beyond what we’ve seen in the trailer, plot details have been sparse. So let’s gather together everything that we do know, in anticipation of Star Wars: Andor’s long-awaited premiere.
Star Wars: Andor release date
Andor will debut on Disney+ on August 31 (opens in new tab) with a double episode, and will continue weekly after that for an initial 12-episode season. A second, concluding, season has already been confirmed (opens in new tab) and will enter production in November 2022.
Andor has been in gestation a long time. It was originally announced by Disney and Lucasfilm back in 2018, with Stephen Schiff as the show-runner. The show underwent some revisions, with Schiff being replaced by Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote the screenplay to Rogue One, and the show eventually entered production in November 2020 at Pinewood Studios in the UK, having been delayed by the global pandemic. There were several location shoots, including at an oil refinery in Essex, at a dam in Oban in Scotland, and at quarries in Derbyshire and Dorset. Principle photography was concluded in September 2021.
The soundtrack score is composed by Nicholas Britell and is described as “orchestral-plus (opens in new tab)”.
What is the plot of Andor?
Gilroy has spoken at length to Empire Magazine (opens in new tab) about the two-season structure of Andor, with the first season chronicling a year in Star Wars history, and the second 12-episode season will tell the story of what happened to Cassian Andor and the Rebels in the following four years, with each year taking up a 3-episode block in season 2.
At the beginning of the show Andor is a cynic, but as he is drawn into a deeper story that results in the rise of the Rebellion he becomes a revolutionary, and the Rebels’ go-to agent when there’s a dirty job that needs doing. As we saw in Rogue One, he killed an informant in cold blood rather than be captured and give away the Rebels. As such he becomes a James Bond-esque agent, but without the suave. Indeed, Star Wars: Andor has been described as a spy thriller, while Diego Luna himself has said that Star Wars: Andor is the story of a migrant trying to find his place, something very relevant to the real world.
We do know that at the end of season 2, the story will ultimately take Andor to his fateful meeting with Jyn Erso and his death, but little else is known about what happens before that.
Which characters are returning?
Mexican actor Diego Luna returns in the title role, having previously played Cassian Andor in Rogue One. Joining him is Genevieve O’Reilly, playing senator and secret Rebel leader Mon Mothma. O’Reilly previously played Mon Mothma (who was first seen in Return of the Jedi, where the character was played by Caroline Blakiston) in Rogue One, and also voiced the character in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels, but the trailer for Andor promises O’Reilly a much meatier role this time, as we see her secretly conspiring against the Empire and she intones darkly, “They’re everywhere. They’re watching me now.”
Stellan Skarsgård (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Avengers, Dune) is playing a character called Luthen, who in the trailer appears as though he may be a Rebel leader and a possible associate of Andor’s.
Like Luna and O’Reilly, Forest Whitaker also returns from Rogue One playing his character Saw Gerrera, and he will have at least one scene with Luthen, according to Skarsgård.
Other actors taking part include Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller and veteran Irish actress Fiona Shaw, who we see at the end of the trailer telling someone off-camera “that’s the sound of a reckoning.”
In the trailer we also see actor Anton Lesser (Qyburn from Game of Thrones) playing a high-ranking Imperial officer dressed in a white uniform.
Lucasfilm have revealed a new droid (opens in new tab), B2EMO (Bee-Two, or just Bee, for short), who is described as an “old and weary groundmech salvage assist unit.” Bee-Two’s body is scarred and bashed up, and we see the droid briefly in the trailer trundling through what looks like a devastated city or base. We can expect lots of cantankerous fun from Bee-Two.
Speaking of droids, Andor’s partner-in-crime from Rogue One, K-2SO, will not be returning in the first season, but the former enforcer droid’s voice actor, Alan Tudyk, has said that discussions have taken place about him being in the second season.
Another character that may return at some point in the show, although we’ve had no confirmation as of yet, is Alderaan Senator Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) – a Rebel leader alongside Mon Mothma and the adoptive parent of Princess Leia. Having played the character in both Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, Smits returned to play Bail Organa in Obi-Wan Kenobi, so it’s entirely possible that he’ll also turn up at some point in Andor – perhaps with two very familiar droids in tow?
Intriguingly, Andor runs concurrently with the animated series Star Wars: Rebels in the Star Wars chronology. Could it be possible that we might see some live-action versions of characters such as Ezra Bridger and Sabine Wren? Another character from Rebels that might also pop up is Ashoka (Rosario Dawson), who has already made appearances in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett and who will be getting her own upcoming Star Wars TV show in 2023. We will have to wait and see!
Keith Cooper is a freelance science journalist and editor in the United Kingdom, and has a degree in physics and astrophysics from the University of Manchester. He’s the author of “The Contact Paradox: Challenging Our Assumptions in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence” (Bloomsbury Sigma, 2020) and has written articles on astronomy, space, physics and astrobiology for a multitude of magazines and websites.