Tony Gilroy, the show runner for Andor, which debuts on Disney Plus September 21st, sat down with Variety to talk about how his series is more for grown-ups than the previously released Star Wars shows on the streaming platform.
In fact, Gilroy believes he and his team created the series in a way that would appeal to casual audiences who don’t really give two shits about Star Wars. Although, he does “hope” that more hardcore fans of Star Wars embrace his approach too.
“You should be able to watch the show and not give a shit about ‘Star Wars’ ever, or [have ever] seen any ‘Star Wars.’ This show should work on its own. 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.”Tony Gilroy
In the article Tony further explains that he never initially intended to take this project on, but he was included with Lucasfilm’s early plans for the series. According to him, their plans were essentially too basic, so he wrote them a manifesto of sorts on what Andor should be, which eventually led to him taking on the series.
In Tony’s mind, he wanted the series to be about real people, and not the fantastical side of the Star Wars universe.
“I wanted to do it about real people. They’ve made all this IP about the royal family, in essence. It’s been great. But there’s a billion, billion, billion other beings in the galaxy. There’s plumbers and cosmeticians. Journalists! What are their lives like? 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
Gilroy also ensured that if any legacy characters were used, they weren’t included just for fans.
“Never fan service. It’s never cynical. It’s always meant to be there. It’s always protein; it’s never icing.”Tony Gilroy
Even the cast picked up on the more realistic and non-Star Wars approach to Andor by Gilroy. Kyle Soller, who plays Syril Karn, described his first script read as an unusual and unexpected experience.
“It was completely different from what I expected the ‘Star Wars’ scripts to look like. I had to flip back and look at the title: No, this is ‘Star Wars.’ I just felt like, ‘Wow, this is incredibly grown up, gritty, messy.’” At one point, he adds, Syril comes home “and spends some time with his mother, which is so un-‘Star Wars’-y.”Kyle Soller
Gilroy doubled down on his more adult-take on Star Wars while explaining that Andor probably isn’t for kids.
“I don’t think it’s a show for 9-year-olds, probably. We are an adventure story. We are a thriller. And in a really abundant way, we’re creating a lot of IP. Some of it’s ground level: products and TV shows, all kinds of things. They’re all brand new.”Tony Gilroy
While Tony’s arrogance is ever present in any interview he does, most fans probably dig what he’s selling, as long as they’re not kids looking forward to another fun Star Wars show to watch on Wednesdays.
Nick and I will talk more about Tony’s latest interview on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.