Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Andor Showrunner Tony Gilroy Felt Like God On The Sprawling Set

When "Andor" premieres on Disney+ on August 21, it will take "Star Wars" fans back to the world of "Rogue One." Or, more accurately, it will go back a bit further than that, as it will fill in the backstory of one of "Rogue One's" two leads, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna).

In the production notes for the show, it was revealed that "Andor" would mostly take place on the planet of Ferrix, where Andor lives and where the entire economy is built on salvaging crashed starships, and where children are often put to work. The show will then follow Cassian on his first missions as a Rebel secret agent against the Galactic Empire, guided by his handler Mon Mothma (Genevie O'Reilly). 

However, the show will also spend considerable time on Andor's home planet, Kenari, which it will visit via flashbacks. At "Star Wars" Celebration 2022, "Andor's" creator, executive producer, and showrunner Tony Gilroy explained that Season 1 of "Andor" will have 12 episodes. He also revealed that "Andor" has already been renewed for Season 2, and that it will also have 12 episodes. All of it will fill in the gaps between Cassian's childhood and the events of "Rogue One," exploring what drives him to make the ultimate sacrifice to steal the Death Star plans. 

For Gilroy, creating "Andor," and planets like Kenari and Ferrix, was a bit like playing God.

For Tony Gilroy, world building was a different sort of writing challenge

At a Disney press event promoting "Andor" that Looper attended, Tony Gilroy was asked about the real-life inspiration for Cassian Andor's homeworld of Kenari.

Gilroy explained that it was his own childhood in Washingtonville, New York, a blue collar town where children as young as 12 went to work. Based on that, Gilroy designed Ferrix as a sort of utopian society with a simplistic economy.

For Gilroy, figuring out Kenari was exciting. "You get to play God," he said. "They build a whole place, a whole culture, and a fantastic maximal expression."

It makes sense that Tony Gilroy might get a rush from being able to flesh out Cassian Andor's homeworld and its society. Prior to "Andor," "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was the first science fiction film Gilroy had written, and even then he wasn't the original screenwriter; he was brought onboard for a substantial rewrite late in pre-production.

Before joining the "Star Wars" galaxy of projects, Tony Gilroy was mostly well known for writing suspenseful dramas, like "Michael Clayton" and four of the Jason Bourne films. While all of those films definitely have fleshed-out worlds and characters, creating an entire "Star Wars" planet is an entirely different thing. Sounds like Gilroy enjoyed it.