For better or worse, “Star Wars fatigue” is very real. Many attribute the phenomenon to Disney’s ambitious delivery of five feature films in just five years from 2015 to 2019. Add in the renewal of The Clone Wars, its follow-up The Bad Batch, and the live-action Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett series and, well… That’s a whole lot of content in a relatively short span of eight years. (Consider this: prior to The Force Awakens, we’d only had six live-action, feature films in the preceding thirty-eight years combined.) We’re not even three-quarters of the way through 2022, and we’re about to receive the third, live-action, Star Wars series since The Mandalorian premiered on November 12, 2019. Will Andor only exacerbate the feeling of franchise fatigue?

Based on what we’ve seen and heard so far, all signs indicate that the answer to that query is a resounding “no.” To the contrary, Andor appears to be exactly what Star Wars needs when it needs it the most. With relatively little exception, the epicenter of the vast majority of Star Wars content in the last forty-five years has been the Skywalker family and its effect on the galaxy far, far away. Even Rogue One, the prequel from which Andor is born, ended its final frame with Leia (Skywalker) Organa. As showrunner Tony Gilroy recently explained to Variety, “there’s a billion, billion, billion other beings in the galaxy.” Now we finally get to see the stories they bring to the franchise.

Andor: exactly what the franchise needs

Andor; Star Wars
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

There is so much more to Star Wars than the hero-centric stories with which we’ve been bombarded so far. Sadly, we’ve only gotten glimpses of what lies beneath the Skywalker surface. First, in Rogue One, then a bit in Solo, and a little more in the Mandalorian and BOBF. Andor, with its upcoming two-season run of twelve episodes each, will finally show us the rest of Star Wars.  Gilroy makes an excellent point when discussing the denizens of the Star Wars universe:

“The revolution is affecting them just as much as anybody else. Why not use the ‘Star Wars’ canon as a host organism for absolutely realistic, passionate, dramatic storytelling?”

~ Tony Gilroy, Andor Showrunner
Andor; Star Wars
Diego Luna reprises his role of Cassian Andor in the upcoming series on Disney+. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

In creating something wholly new with Andor (“legacy” character appearances being few and relatively minor), Gilroy is giving us something we can enjoy without the Skywalker shadow that looms over the rest of the franchise. “The hope, the dream, is that the really hardcore Star Wars community will embrace the show in a new way — that they’ll be thrilled to have someone come in and completely uncynically get down molecularly in their world and treat it like a real thing.”

Making Star Wars real

It’s that kind of realism and relatability that so many fans have been craving since the days of the original trilogy. Setting the fantasy element of the franchise aside, we saw an emotionally torn farm boy; an arrogant but equally conflicted scoundrel; and a princess burdened with obligation. They all felt real, as if they could exist in our world, or we in theirs. Andor aims to bring us back to that place. In doing so, it may very well break free of the Star Wars fatigue we’ve come to experience.

Disney+; Andor
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

We are an adventure story…. We are a thriller,” Gilroy tells us. “And in a really abundant way, we’re creating…something brand new.  And that’s just what the franchise needs.

Andor makes its three-episode premiere Wednesday, September 21st on Disney+.

Source: Variety