Andor’s Slow Approach To Star Wars References Explained By Diego Luna
Diego Luna explains why Andor season 1 has been light on Star Wars references. Disney+ first struck Star Wars gold with 2019’s The Mandalorian season 1 and its internet-breaking star Baby Yoda. Since then, the streamer has gone all-in on Star Wars content, unleashing a barrage of series built mostly around familiar characters from previous movies and animated shows.
The latest Star Wars show is indeed no exception when it comes to bringing back characters fans have come to know from previous movies. But though Andor does revolve largely around Rogue One’s Cassian Andor and Return of the Jedi’s Mon Mothma (with still more previously-seen characters promised to arrive later), its first few episodes have actually been light on obvious fan service moments. Indeed, everything about Andor has been relatively slow and deliberate, an approach that has helped the show soar to a 90% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Slow-burn pacing is of course not to everyone’s taste, which perhaps explains why Andor’s RT audience score is only 82%. Speaking recently to Empire, Andor star Luna addressed fans who may be worried about Andor going light on Star Wars references and whiz-bang action, assuring them that the stuff they love is coming. Check out his remarks in the space below:
We’re asking audiences to be patient because we have 24 episodes to get to Rogue One. The end of Rogue One is as Star Wars as you can get. It’s a whole build-up to that moment.
2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was indeed filled with fan-pleasing references and Easter eggs, arguably to the movie’s detriment. Andor on the other hand has largely stayed away from merely offering up “memberberries” for fans to feast on, instead building its own unique world within the Star Wars universe. This doesn’t mean of course that there’s nothing recognizably Star Wars about Andor. Season 1, episode 4 indeed felt much more like what many fans were probably expecting, as it journeyed to Coruscant to introduce Mon Mothma alongside some new Imperial officers.
There is of course nothing wrong with fan service on its face, and indeed filling up on references, legacy character returns, Easter eggs and other callbacks has been a winning formula for Disney throughout its Star Wars stewardship. But there is also something limiting, from a storytelling standpoint, about clinging so tightly to the familiar. Andor indeed has been praised by critics for its willingness to reach beyond the comfortable fan service approach to tell a story that works as its own thing, and not merely as one more example of shameless IP maintenance.
There are of course fans who prefer the familiar over the daring, and for them Andor’s slow-burn pacing and lack of Star Wars references may not be working. But as Luna promises in his new remarks, patience will be rewarded as Andor navigates its 24-episode arc to finally meet up with Rogue One. It remains to be seen how many fans are willing to stay on-board for the whole of that long journey, as Andor charts its own unique course across the Star Wars universe.