Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy has impressed returning Star Wars actor Andy Serkis by giving the sci-fi saga a more realistic tone. Andor, starring Diego Luna as the thief-turned-Rebel-spy Cassian Andor, is a prequel series to the smash 2016 spinoff film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gilroy, recognized as a co-writer on Rogue One and oversaw substantial reshoots, entered production in early 2019, eventually replacing Stephen Schiff as showrunner. Andor season 2 has already been formally greenlit, and it is set to directly lead into the events of Rogue One, which is now being released weekly on Disney+.
In the sequel trilogy, Serkis played Supreme Leader Snoke via motion capture, so fans were taken aback when he joined Andor’s cast earlier this season. Serkis portrays Kino Loy, an Imperial prisoner who manages the inmates on the prison’s floor at one of Narkina 5’s many Imperial labor facilities. At first, it appeared that Serkis’ character would be an opponent for Cassian. However, following the events of Andor episode 8, when it became evident that he would likely never be released from his prison sentence, he switched allegiances.
Screen Rant recently chatted with Serkis about his work on Andor, and he shared his thoughts on the show’s direction under Gilroy with them. Serkis commended Gliroy’s “murky, emotionally complex, grit in the oyster storytelling,” implying that “he flourishes” in these morally dubious regions. Read his full explanations below:
Tony has got such authority and clarity of vision in constructing this world. The Star Wars universe is, on the whole, very good-and-evil or black-and-white. It’s very dark and light, and this is all about the gray areas. This is all about the murky, emotionally complex grit in the oyster storytelling.
And he thrives. You can tell that he loves that arena with the prison ship and all of the characters throughout the course of the series. But the prison ship and the arc that I’m part of really has all of that. It feels like he is telling a story about the power of the individual to fight against a divide-and-rule political system. It feels very contemporary, very Zeitgeist, and yet mythic. And he has a very clear way of coming about that.
Since Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm, fans have been given access to a wealth of new Star Wars material that was simply not possible during George Lucas’s original run. While the plethora of new films and TV shows is great news for fans of the franchise, there is a danger that the IP may become diluted if too much content is produced. Compared to Disney’s other big brand, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the tone, concepts, and execution of each new Star Wars outing have generally remained the same.
But with Andor, the franchise has been given a much-needed update, moving away from its basic good vs. evil, light vs. dark dichotomy. Instead, Andor provides a more realistic and complex look at life in the Star Wars universe than the Skywalker saga films or even the other live-action shows like The Mandalorian. Because of this unique selling point, Andor is able to stand out among the other Star Wars films. It also shows that the franchise has room to expand beyond what fans have come to anticipate from the galaxy far, far away.