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12 Best Shows Like Andor That Fans Should Check Out

The "Star Wars" series "Andor" provides audiences with a detailed look at the life of the titular character and how he became the jaded, morally gray character we first met in the film "Rogue One." Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is a lonesome figure living on the fringes of society, regularly resorting to desperate measures in order to survive in a galaxy controlled by the evil Empire. This is a more grounded and gritty take on the "Star Wars" universe, with a colder tone and more ambiguity than fans are used to. That being said, it might just be the perfect entry point for those who aren't as into the swashbuckling side of the "Star Wars" franchise.

If you're more interested in how living under tyranny can drive regular people to embrace their darker side, then "Andor" is the show for you. And, if you're looking for something similar — shows where the storytellers dwell more on a character's psyche rather than their aptitude with a blaster — then the list below has you covered. Here are some awesome shows like "Andor" that fans should check out.

Battlestar Gallactica

After years of honing his craft on shows like "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," writer and producer Ronald D. Moore assumed the role of showrunner for a reboot of the cult classic '70s sci-fi series "Battlestar Galactica." Moore and his team took a show that was basically a small screen rip-off of "Star Wars" (in terms of aesthetics, at least) and stripped it down to a gritty and realistic military sci-fi epic about humanity's desperate attempt to survive in the blackness of space.

"Battlestar Galactica" breaks down like this: Human colonies in a distant star system created a machine race called the Cylons. When the Cylons became self-aware, there was a war. The Cylons were gone for a while but came back more advanced than ever and destroyed the human colonies. The only survivors are forced to travel across the galaxy to find the missing human colony, which is believed to have settled on Earth. The trouble is, the advanced Cylons are able to look like humans, so the characters on the show are never quite sure if the person they're dealing with is a human or a Cylon sleeper agent. This makes for a tense, paranoid environment that fans of "Andor" will no doubt appreciate.


In the "Star Wars" galaxy, those who live on the outskirts live outside of the law to a certain extent. Whatever resources the Republic or the Empire has don't seem to make it to the outer rim of the galaxy, leaving citizens to resort to unsavory means of survival. With "Andor," we learn a lot about what life is like between the haves and have-nots in that mythical galaxy far, far away.

The short-lived and much beloved sci-fi Western "Firefly" deals with a similar social structure. After a civil war, the Alliance assumes rule over the galaxy. Anyone who isn't subservient to them dwells in the harsh edges of space, where work and resources are sparse. The crew of the ship Serenity (a firefly class ship) pull odd jobs to stay in the sky before getting pulled into a second war with the Alliance.

Not only is this series creatively similar to "Andor," it even features a "Rogue One" cast member. Remember K-2SO, Cassian's reprogrammed Imperial droid with a dry sense of humor? Well, he was played by the incredibly talented Alan Tudyk (thanks to some motion capture), who co-stars in "Firefly" as Hoban "Wash" Washburne, the hilarious and gifted pilot of Serenity.

Blake's 7

A lot of classic sci-fi looks cheap. It's just a fact of life that fans learn to accept. The trick is not allowing the budget to put you off, because, in many cases, the writing can be so strong that it transcends financial constraints to create incredible worlds with rich, complex characters. Take classic "Doctor Who" (the show as it existed from 1963 to 1989) and its cousin series "Blake's 7," for example.

We say cousin because it's not a spin-off of "Doctor Who," but it shares many of the creative team and cast from the classic series. Terry Nation, inventor of the Daleks, created this Robin Hood-in-space series about a band of rebels living under the tyrannical rule of the Federation, traveling the stars and helping people in need whenever they can. Although the tone is darker with a continuing storyline similar to more modern television, "Blake's 7" looks like someplace The Doctor might have visited during the Tom Baker or Peter Davison eras.

Like "Andor," this is a series about men and women on the outskirts of the galaxy trying to do the right thing while wrestling with their doubts and fears. These are not 100% altruistic characters, nor are they completely evil. "Blake's 7" takes place in the gray area of outer space that "Andor" fans should find comforting.

Babylon 5

At first glance, "Babylon 5" is more "Star Trek" than it is "Star Wars," especially when you consider the similarities between it and the "Star Trek" space station series "Deep Space Nine." However, when you look beyond superficial similarities, the show actually sits in the middle space between the lofty sci-fi of "Star Trek" and the emotional storytelling of "Star Wars."

Babylon 5 is an outpost on the edge of space where diplomats can live and work in neutral territory. The opening narration of the series describes the station like this: "It's a port of call, home away from home, for diplomats, hustlers, entrepreneurs, and wanderers." It's the kind of place a character like Andor would probably feel comfortable, because he can disappear if he needs to.

What many people don't realize is that "Babylon 5" helped pioneer long-form television storytelling. Creator J. Michael Strazynski has stated that he designed the show to work like a novel for television. It's an epic story dealing with interplanetary conflict and the rise and fall of empires, but it also examines human nature. If you like the mix of politics and spectacle that makes up "Andor," you will no doubt lose yourself (in a good way) in "Babylon 5."


George Lucas wore his influences on his sleeve when creating "Star Wars." You don't have to look all that deeply to recognize the important role the films of Akira Kurosawa and classic sci-fi serials played in bringing "Star Wars" to life. There's even a story out there that Lucas originally wanted to remake "Flash Gordon" but couldn't get the rights. "Farscape" is another sci-fi series that refuses to hide the media that inspired it.

Back in March of 1999, The Sci-Fi Channel (now known as SyFy) began airing this epic sci-fi series with incredible creature effects created by Jim Henson studios. It was a wild, trippy series that blended various tones to craft its unique flavor. What wasn't all that unique, though, was the premise of the series: An astronaut from Earth named John Crichton gets sucked into a wormhole and spat out on the other side of the galaxy, which is inhabited by humans and aliens alike.

It's like the "John Carter" books and "Flash Gordon" with a dash of "Buck Rogers" thrown in for good measure. Like "Star Wars," though, it uses its influences to build something both familiar and new at the same time, and "Andor" fans will definitely get a kick out of it.

The Expanse

Unlike Luke Skywalker, who learns he is a Jedi and goes on to have an incredible adventure in which he saves the galaxy from evil, there is no wish fulfillment in Cassian Andor's story. It is very unlikely that viewers watching the series will wish that they could be Andor: Wanted for murder, looking for a missing sister, drafted into a rebellion he wanted nothing to do with. The same could probably be said for anyone watching "The Expanse."

Instead of taking place far, far away, "The Expanse" is set in our solar system. With everything happening so close to home, the series is able to explore the power dynamics and foibles that come with living in a real galaxy sans ancient magic and archetypal heroes. The story begins with something very real and gritty — a murder. That brings us into the world, but the troubling truths uncovered take us across the stars.

This is a series more interested in moral ambiguity than classical heroism. That being said, the setting isn't just a backdrop for the drama to unfold in front of. How the world works is just as important and interesting as the characters inhabiting it, because it informs everything. You may find that there's a bit of a learning curve at the beginning, but it's absolutely worth the effort.

Star Trek: Discovery

Throughout its existence, the "Star Trek" franchise has usually depicted a utopian future where human beings don't travel to space seeking conquest, but knowledge. Even "Deep Space Nine" (the darkest of the classic "Star Trek" shows) took the time to show small, personal stories that made the viewer aspire to live in such a future. In fact, the captain of Deep Space Nine, Benjamin Sisko, summed up the beauty of the franchise's hopeful vision of the future by saying: "And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons, or with ideas. But to coexist... and learn."

Try as it might, the newer series "Star Trek: Discovery" never quite rises to that idealism. The world depicted in "Discovery" is one where peace must be fought for and maintained with hard work. The justification for this is that it takes place prior to the original "Star Trek" series, when the galaxy was a bit more like the Wild West and human beings could still be quick to anger. However, even after a massive time jump into the future, we find that this version of "Star Trek" is still plenty violent and hectic — things that tick the right boxes for many "Star Wars" fans.

If you enjoyed "Andor" and you're looking to dip your toe into the other big sci-fi franchise, but you have always been turned off by the altruism of classic "Star Trek," then "Discovery" might be an excellent entry point.

Dark Matter

If Cassian Andor had his memory erased and he woke up on a mysterious ship with other amnesiacs who all find out they're actually criminals, it would look a lot like "Dark Matter." Originally published as a comic book created by Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie (both of whom went on to create the show), the highly addictive "Dark Matter" follows the lives of deadly mercenaries who lose their memory and have to piece their lives back together.

Since all of them were unsavory characters in their original lives, the past frequently comes back to haunt them, forcing them to live up to the consequences of actions they can't remember carrying out. The show doesn't have the same scope as most of the other titles on this list, but that doesn't stop it from being a gripping story with characters you can't help but root for (if not love). Like "Babylon 5," this is a series with a ship that one could easily see Andor encountering — though he probably wouldn't want to get involved with the people living on it.


"Killjoys" uses a classic "Star Wars" profession to tell its story: Bounty hunting. Before we got "The Mandalorian," there was this fun and scrappy little series about bounty hunters making a living in the harshest areas of space. It stars Hannah John-Kamen (best known for her turn as Ghost in "Ant-Man and the Wasp") as a high-ranking bounty hunter in the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition. She gets caught up in her partner (Aaron Ashmore of "Smallville") Johnny's family drama as he risks everything to save his brother from his life as an indentured fighter.

Since this is television, that simple setup winds up taking them to much more complicated situations as they cross paths with shady characters. Any sci-fi series about people with guns just trying to make their way in the universe is going to get compared to "Star Wars," there's no escaping that. However, that's not why this series is recommended for "Andor" fans. Instead, people who watch "Andor" might want to check this out because it's about life on the fringes and these characters definitely feel like people Cassian Andor would know if it took place in the "Star Wars" universe.

Vagrant Queen

Are you of the opinion that "Star Wars" takes itself too seriously? Perhaps all this talk about good and evil and the nature of the Force is just too self-important and indulgent for you. Maybe you like the darker aspects of "Andor," but you can't wrap your head around the fact that very few characters speak like real people and nobody seems interested in primal human urges like sex and acting like a real jerk from time to time. Well, in that case, you should definitely check out "Vagrant Queen."

The series sets the tone immediately with a chyron letting us know where the story takes place: "Another galaxy, not yours." It basically says, "Look, this is somewhere else, okay? Don't worry about it." It has similarities to "Star Wars" — there's royalty on the run, guns and unsavory characters, and a bit of a Western vibe — but if "Star Wars" is the product of an educated mind tirelessly creating mythology in an almost academic way, then "Vagrant Queen" is the product of an underground comic book artist chuckling as they draw exaggerated humans and aliens on the bathroom wall of a dive bar. That is to say, it's messy and hilarious, but also kind of brilliant.


We turn from the stars to Earth in the CBS series "Jericho." The "Star Wars" saga doesn't get enough credit for the occasional post-apocalyptic vibe it gives off. When looking at the poorer planets of the galaxy, we get the sense that the people living there had to improvise to survive. They use the junk they find to fashion new technology, build houses that are always on the verge of breaking down, and eat whatever they can to stay alive.

Once the Empire took over, things only got worse for these worlds. In fact, the Clone Wars could be considered a kind of apocalypse that the galaxy never fully recovered from. "Jericho" is about a post-apocalyptic society in North America following a nuclear fallout. It doesn't shy away from the horrors of radiation or just how vile humanity can be when pushed to the edge. The towns that sprout up are a mishmash of people and things reminiscent of certain places in "Star Wars," and the folks living there are just as concerned with fighting each other as they are the new world order attempting to control them.

With a cast that includes Skeet Ulrich, Ashley Scott, and Lennie James (best known for playing Morgan Jones in "The Walking Dead" and "Fear the Walking Dead"), the show has genre pedigree and a vibe that "Andor" fans will no doubt dig.


There's a reason that certain science fiction stories blend so seamlessly with the Western genre: They both tend to focus on people making do in a practically lawless society. While some sci-fi takes place in built-up worlds far more advanced than our own, the best science fiction often focuses on the people that progress left behind. "Star Wars" tapped into this early on, with Han Solo serving as the classic gunslinger outlaw with his blaster strapped to his hip. The franchise evokes the Western genre unashamedly with "The Mandalorian," and "Andor" shares many of those vibes. If this aspect of "Star Wars" appeals to you, then you'll no doubt love "Defiance."

This post-apocalyptic sci-fi Western takes place in a world where Earth has changed dramatically and humans have to coexist with aliens and other strange creatures. It focuses on a human named Joshua (Grant Bowler) and his adopted alien daughter Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas), who are trying to make a life for themselves in this new world. This is an example of a place where Cassian Andor might find himself staying for a night or two before moving on to the next planet, but viewers will want to stick around for a lot longer.