Star Wars: Andor

ctg

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Days after it was revealed Andor was continuing production on season two during the writers strike, its showrunner Tony Gilroy has stopped working on the show.

Per the Hollywood Reporter on late Tuesday night, the multihyphenate behind the Disney+ series has stopped all functions he’d normally do on the show, including casting and music-related tasks, while not actually being physically on set. Though its scripts were said to be completed prior to the strike, he was still doing the executive producer parts of his job. At the time, it was believed that his actions were brought on by Disney’s memo to all its showrunners telling them to continue working as the strike went on.

In his statement, Gilroy wrote that he “discontinued all writing and writing-related work on Andor prior to midnight, May 1. After being briefed on the Saturday showrunner meeting, I informed Chris Keyser at the WGA on Sunday morning that I would also be ceasing all non-writing producing functions.”

After the news that he’d continue working on Andor’s second season, Gilroy was subject to criticism online and among other Hollywood writers. Keyser, who stands as co-chair for the WGA’s negotiating committee, later corroborated the conversation he and Gilroy shared to THR.

Andor was one of a handful of high-profile shows whose productions chose to continue as the strike was underway. At time of writing, those other two shows—HBO Max’s House of the Dragon and Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power—are still working on their respective sophomore seasons. Speaking to the former, George R.R. Martin recently said that scripts for Dragon have been locked in prior to May 1, and having gone through “four or five drafts and numerous rounds of revisions,” cannot be changed at this point in time.

The second season of Andor is expected to release in August 2024. And it appears that once again, bullying works.

and
As for Andor specifically, the Peabody Awards note: “Few other long-running franchises loom as large in today’s contemporary pop cultural imagination than Star Wars. With its many trilogies, spin-offs and TV series, George Lucas’s original creation can feel like a ubiquitous force as all-encompassing as its fictional and much-reviled Empire. Yet amid stories of destiny-driven heroes and doomed superpowered villains, Tony Gilroy’s Andor tackles that familiar galaxy with an eye not (just) for spectacle but for a keen-eyed commitment to do what sci-fi and fantasy can do best: mirror our own mundane trials and tribulations back with enough remove that their lessons become unavoidable ... it introduces us to a network of galvanized figures who wish to better the state of the galaxy, painting a portrait of how revolutions are built on their own recurring failure, of how hope can and needs to spring eternal in the face of authoritarianism run amok. For conjuring up a terrifying world uncannily like our very own, one that stresses the need for grassroots organizing lest a fascistic state wholly subsume any spark of rebellion—and for imagining how IP-driven storytelling can flourish in today’s corporate-driven television landscape—Andor receives a Peabody.”
 

ctg

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Kino Loy, played by Andy Serkis, left a mark with his multi-episode stint in the latter half of Andor Season 1. His arc ended with a massive prison escape, leaving Kino's future open-ended. During an interview with EW, Serkis was asked about a potential return for Kino in Andor Season 2.

"Well, there weren't really many discussions about the afterlife of Kino. All that we do know is that he survives. I mean, we don't see him die. We see him left for a further life of the character," Serkis explained. "But prior to that, there were no discussions at all about [what] might happen afterwards. I was just excited enough about the arc that I had to play, which was a really beautifully crafted illustration of a man who has a belief system that gets broken that then has nothing to believe in, that then gets kind of reignited by someone who inspires him to find himself again, and then self-sacrifices."

"So it was a really extraordinary journey to go on within a prison setting, and a very sterile prison setting – quite a heartfelt journey considering the environment that they're in," he continued. "But that's the brilliance about Tony Gilroy's writing. He provides these environments for characters to thrive and survive in. And you learn about their internal journey, their psychology, their complexities and flaws in response to the world that they're in."

Well, that ends the speculation.
 

Toby Frost

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I've watched a bit more of this and it's really very good indeed. Its complexity and downbeat feel make it seem very adult - it's not especially violent but I don't know how much a child would get out of it. All the strands are very good. The only bum note for me is Helga of the Space Gestapo, who feels too much like a caricature - no fault of the actress, who is perfectly good at a fairly monotone role (which is odd, as the chap who is her superior is very good at being both kindly and evil at once). I find it interesting that the officious bureaucrat/failed policeman character looks like the square-jawed hero of a crude 1950s SF story. No doubt he is eager to become a hero of the Empire.
 
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@Toby Frost i have a feeling you’ll change your mind about Space Helga ;) She has an great arc.

All this people-surviving in SW is like the opposite of Coronation Street. No Galactic war needed in Wetherfield; just a road and a pub. Killer combo :D

I’m utterly obsessed with the upcoming new Ahsoka series. Her arc in CW was heartbreaking and loved her in Rebels
 

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I hope so. As yet it's a slightly dull role, but there's no reason why her story can't become more interesting. She's also the only main character who doesn't seem to have a home/personal life, which could be interesting. On the other hand, I really hope she doesn't turn out to be someone else's relation/ex-lover/etc or Luke Skywalker's second cousin, as the Star Wars world feels much too small as it is!
 

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Where are you, out of interest?

On the other hand, I really hope she doesn't turn out to be someone else's relation/ex-lover/etc or Luke Skywalker's second cousin
I don't think this is too much of a spoiler -- no. The show is far too classy for that, and remains so right to the end.

Her arc in CW was heartbreaking
Agreed. The very end of CW was almost as good as the very end (very end) of Andor.
 

ctg

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As yet it's a slightly dull role, but there's no reason why her story can't become more interesting.
It is not a small role, and it's not going to be one in the season 2 either, from what I've read. It shows clearly the Imperial bureaucracy in its all inefficiencies and effects under Palpatine's dictatorship.

Lt Meero is a sec officer and a crucial part of what happened in Fenrix and with the whole hunt for Andor, who was in their custody all the time. Without them knowing it and anyone doing anything so simple a facial scan in the Imperial Archives.

The whole system is quite frankly effed, but she's one of the very efficient officers in a Gestapo/Stasi like intel department. Most of her counterparts are either yes-men or then they're filling their pockets through corruption.

Not a dull role.
 

Toby Frost

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Well, I'd say that it doesn't matter what her position and powers are. Superman and Batman are very powerful, and both can be really dull because they only do one thing. Meero is basically stuck in "angry and on a mission" mode whenever she appears, unlike any of the other leads. That doesn't mean that she has to have a nice side - she might be totally evil even when she's off-duty - but she doesn't seem to do anything except her job in one particular way. Of course, this might all change as the story goes on.
 

ctg

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That doesn't mean that she has to have a nice side - she might be totally evil even when she's off-duty - but she doesn't seem to do anything except her job in one particular way.
That might come out in the next season if it doesn't end up on the floor in the editing room.
 

Toby Frost

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Well, this was very good. I've reached the end of the first series and while there was something slightly predictable about the conclusion (the real question was how much carnage there'd be at the funeral), it remained extremely good right up to the finish. Bringing it back home for the last episode was probably a good idea. I must admit that I'd guessed the very end earlier. Interesting that Kino Loy disappeared at the end of the penultimate episode and was replaced by another former prisoner.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a book called The Impostors, which was a comedy-drama set in the same world as the Space Captain Smith books, but with a darker and more thoughtful tone. Andor is particularly interesting to me, as it seems to be doing something similar in relation to the Star Wars films. It's worked, I think, although Andor has had to hide some chunks of the Star Wars setting (in particular, the Jedi) to do so. I find the Jedi the weakest part of the whole setting, but they are integral to it, so it's something of a gamble. Anyway, this really has been very good and I look forward to the next season.
 

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It's worked, I think, although Andor has had to hide some chunks of the Star Wars setting (in particular, the Jedi) to do so.
But generally, what it does use -- chiefly TIE fighters and stormtroopers -- is more effective here, partly because they are used much more sparingly, but also because right through the series the Empire is portrayed as dangerous and competent, rather than menacing but often hapless.

I find the Jedi the weakest part of the whole setting
I agree, ironically because they're way too strong. But if, say (in my fantasy world) Disney decided that the tone of Andor was the way to go for everything in future, I think the Jedi could be retconned and made more dramatically effective in the same way as the Imperial elements were. I'd love to see them taken back to their samurai roots with their magic/mysticism toned down to an "is it real or isn't it?" level.
 

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Toby, very glad you enjoyed it. I hope you liked Dedra a bit more by the end. I had a lot of chats with my sis and friends about how despite ourselves we find ourselves rooting for some Imperials as much as we do for the resistance/Rebels.

I suppose the only thing I had in the way of less positive thoughts, was that Cassian (is so unlikeable. He’s utterly competent but also utterly thankless.

Loved the show and was delighted when Yularen showed up at ISB.
 

Toby Frost

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Here comes a rambling long post...

A while ago, someone long gone commented on this forum that villains were always more interesting than heroes. I don't think that's true at all (just look at some of the bizarre hardcases who fought for the Allies in WW2), but villainous characters in the past have been odder than goodies and, because they're trying to seize power, more proactive. A lot of cliched "good guys" are square-jawed and dull. Andor does a good job of avoiding this.

Almost everyone in Andor is trying to push their own faction forward, and themselves as well. That makes them interesting. There's nobody who, when they appear, you know the plot will stop for. There aren't any bits where you can safely go and put the kettle on. It helps that the acting is consistently good.

Overall, the two characters I found the least interesting were Andor himself and the resistance leader guy. At times, Andor feels slightly flat as a character: he seems to end up in one scrape after another, but doesn't really drive the plot that much. The resistance leader feels a bit too powerful, like a Jedi without the magic bits. I find his assistant much more appealing (although for a while I misheard her name and thought she was Princess Leia, which was confusing).
 

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I had a lot of chats with my sis and friends about how despite ourselves we find ourselves rooting for some Imperials as much as we do for the resistance/Rebels.

I think this is inevitable here, though, because they are presented as having the same important attributes as normal viewpoint characters.

They have a clear goal
That goal fits with what they believe to be morally right (and it is convincing that they would believe that to be morally right),
They are intelligent and hardworking in finding solutions to overcoming the obstacles to reaching that goal,
There is nothing grotesque or obviously off-putting about how they present.

As long as they are well-written and acted, I think an audience can be made to root for almost any character, even if they would run a mile from such a person in real life.

The only parts of Andor I wasn't quite convinced by was getting the getaway craft through the meteor storm (there seemed too many moving objects for them to have accounted for in their calculations) and the bit where Cassian gets arrested was just too ridiculous, even given the point it was trying to make, and played for laughs.
 

ctg

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The resistance leader feels a bit too powerful, like a Jedi without the magic bits. I find his assistant much more appealing (although for a while I misheard her name and thought she was Princess Leia, which was confusing).
I take you are talking about the spymaster and not Mon Mothma, the factual resistance leader. Please enlighten me, how is he supposed to fight against Palpatine and the SW Imperium by being handicapped? In fact, he is by his own design. His shop is Coruscant and it's known by the Senate and all the other powerful people. He has invested a lot of money on his ship and if he loses it, he loses a lot of stuff. Not just that fancy Ai.

He cannot operate front and centre, because that would put the crosshairs on him straight away. The ISB wants him alive. So as soon as his identity is revealed, he is the most hunted man in the galaxy. Therefore, his only way to survive is to operate in the shadows through factions like for example Saw Garrera. And that didn't go well, as he had to sell one of his groups to ISB to keep the rebellion going.

How does it make him overly powerful?
 

Toby Frost

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How does it make him overly powerful?

Because he's a master tactician, a secret agent, a skilled talker, a gunfighter and an expert fighter pilot who never puts a foot wrong. I'm not talking about his position, but the fact that he has all the cool stuff and doesn't seem to have the same fear as the rest of the characters. He feels like the only rebel with "plot armour". That's what makes him overly powerful.
 

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