Of all the Star Wars movies that followed the beloved original trilogy, I think Gareth Edwards’s 2016 Rogue One might be my favorite. All the others have generally been hamstrung by their stories being linked too closely to the existing canon, whereas Rogue One let us explore an interesting side-story that was connected to essentially a throwaway line in the first Star Wars movie (“Many Bothans died to bring us this information”). And now, this week, Disney Plus is giving us an exciting Rogue One prequel series called Andor.
I’ll admit it, the early footage has already given me chills. Andor, the series, is Star Wars — but it’s also a new and completely different thing, too. It’s a spy story that’s also about imperialism, a rebellion against that imperialism, and a migrant who’s fighting for his place in a transitory world. “They’re so proud of themselves,” Diego Luna’s spy Cassian Andor, the central character here, practically snarls about the Empire at one point in the early footage. “So fat and satisfied.”
The OG Star Wars fans amongst you are probably caught up with the entire franchise, and thus know what happened to Luna’s character and to basically everyone else at the end of Rogue One. This new Disney Plus series, which we’ll tell you all about below, offers up the beginning of that story. It’s about one man’s journey from a nobody under the boot of the Empire to an assassin and to an eventual rebel hero.
Andor release date
The first three episodes of Andor’s 12-episode Season 1 hit Disney Plus on Wednesday, September 21.
The cast of Andor, from creator/showrunner Tony Gilroy, also includes Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Fiona Shaw.
“The Andor series explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make,” the Disney Plus synopsis explains.
“The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception, and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.”
After the first three episodes drop simultaneously this Wednesday, each successive episode will arrive on Disney Plus every Wednesday after that. That’ll take us all the way to the finale, which is coming on Wednesday, November 23.
Andor joins existing Star Wars series that similarly explore side-stories and prequel narratives, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Mandalorian, and The Book of Boba Fett. And while we don’t have a date yet, it has been confirmed that Andor will definitely get a second season.
So far, much of the early feedback from critics has been effusive in its praise of the show. “#Andor is unlike any @starwars story that we’ve ever seen before,” Collider editor Maggie Lovitt raved on Twitter. “@diegoluna_ is at the center of a stunning & dangerous world in turmoil. It’s gritty, mature, and the most intelligent and well-informed story we’ve had to date. Tony Gilroy is a genius.”
Adds another reviewer: “I’ve watched 4 episodes of #Andor & I’m loving its more simple ground-level approach. It’s different from the other shows, less humor. Plays like a crime drama more than a space opera. I dug how it highlights low-level Empire leaders as it reveals a rebel alliance slowly forming.”
More Disney+ coverage: For more Disney+ news, check out our coverage of the best on Disney Plus to watch this month.