The latest Star Wars show on Disney+, Andor, has garnered a lot of attention. The show follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he first gets involved with the Rebellion. It’s a pretty grounded take on the Star Wars universe that goes out of its way to show us the day-to-day lives of people living under the Empire. Andor explores not just what motivates Cassian to join the Rebellion, but how it came to be the kind of movement capable of taking down the Empire. The show had 12 episodes in Season 1 and is meant to have 12 in its second season as well but at this time anything beyond that is unknown. No further seasons have been announced thus far but to let Andor end after only 24 episodes would be a mistake.
Andor Is Different From Anything We’ve Seen Before
Andor is more than a bit daring. It takes away so much of what is familiar for us in the series. No longer do we follow the most powerful people in the universe, instead we just follow normal people living under the standard oppressive conditions of the Empire. In many ways, it shows us what Star Wars would look like for us normal people if we lived in it. The heroes are constantly scared and scrambling in the dark; the villains are not outright malicious, just overzealous mid-level bureaucrats doing their jobs. It’s a story that relies much more on espionage than grand battles, and it bolsters the quieter, more somber tone the show takes. Andor sets itself apart through both its choice in cast and its willingness to engage with the more overtly political aspects of the Star Wars universe.
This different approach to familiar material already sets Andor apart and would be enough to warrant giving it the space and time to tell the full story, but there’s also still so much to explore. Though the fates of characters like Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Cassian Andor are already known to us, the majority of the cast is made up of fresh faces like Bix (Adria Ajorna), Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård), and Vel (Faye Marsay) and we’d love to see what fate holds for them. These characters all have so much more to show us.
Though by the end of Season 1 Cassian has finally decided to commit to the Rebellion, he’s still far from the character we meet in Rogue One. Though it’s only a few years away, he’s far from the ride-or-die Rebel we know him to be and his storied history with K-2SO (Alan Tudyk) hasn’t even begun. With the methodical pace the first season took, it’s reasonable to assume that even by the end of Season 2 Cassian will have only just come into his own in the Rebellion. And while much of the excitement in the show is seeing this movement grow, the core has always been Cassian’s growth from a solo-act into a leader and to limit us to only witnessing a fraction of that growth feels remiss.
Andor Needs More Time and Space to Grow
Andor functions in much the same way that Star Wars: The Clone Wars did. We already know where these characters will end up for the most part. We know Cassian will die on Scarif during the events of Rogue One just like we knew Anakin would become Darth Vader by the end of Clone Wars, but the intrigue comes from seeing how they get there. These shows are completely about the journey and serve to expand upon characters in a way that couldn’t be done through film. A serialized format offers breathing room to explore the characters and their world in more depth and this is what makes Andor so engaging.
Not only are we watching Cassian evolve into the character we know him to be, but we’re also seeing the context that created him, seeing life under the Empire in more detail and brutality than we ever have before. It’s not just about Cassian, the show goes out of its way to show us how different characters engage with the Empire and with the Rebellion. Luthen, Vel, Maarva (Fiona Shaw), Kino Loy (Andy Serkis), Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), Karis Nemik (Alex Lawther); they all have their own reasons to fight and the most interesting part of the show is how Cassian learns from everyone’s different experiences and philosophies.
More seasons would allow more time to explore life under the Empire, the founding of the Rebellion as we know it, the fates of these characters, and an exploration of the Rebellion’s meaning. Andor, perhaps more than any other piece of Star Wars media, is concerned with addressing the philosophies that became the Rebellion. We see the differences between Mon Mothma, Luthen, and Saw Gerrera, and we hear Nemik’s manifesto all of which purport different ideas that all serve the same end goal. The show’s continuation would allow us to see how these disparate elements coalesce into a united force. Does Nemik’s manifesto become a text to rally behind? Do Saw Gerrera’s gorilla tactics see any imitators? Does the Rebellion as a whole see personal sacrifice more like Vel or Cinta (Varada Sethu)? We’ve seen Cassian become the type of person who leaves no man behind, but how does he become the man willing to lead a suicide mission?
Andor has so much to say not only about its characters but about its world. It shows us the fascist tyranny of the Empire without pulling punches, it shows the desperation and the darkness of the early rebellion, but it also shows us so many instances of connection and hope; the building blocks of the Rebellion and the Empire’s eventual defeat. It’s a fresh take on Star Wars that offers us an extremely grounded and human perspective on a conflict that can at times seem mythic. Andor is not the story of space wizards or maniacs who shoot lightning from their fingertips. It’s a story about people under tyrannical oppression, learning to have hope, and trying to fight back even when there isn’t any.
Andor deserves the space, grace, and time to explore the themes its pouring its heart into and we as an audience deserve to see what magnificent story they can tell us next.