Screengrab via Disney Plus
Andor‘s ninth episode dropped today and has left fans’ jaws on the floor as perhaps the darkest 45 minutes of Star Wars we’ve ever seen. There was a truly disturbing torture scene, euthanasia, and the dark secret at the heart of the Imperial prison on Merkina 5. Along the way, we got a very subtle A New Hope Easter Egg, which is exactly the kind of low-key fan service we want from a show like this.
Andor is a prequel to Rogue One And many of that film’s creative team are working on the show, with a new interview shedding new light on the effort to ‘save’ the 2016 movie after Disney and Lucasfilm disliked the original cut.
How Rogue One was saved in the editing room
It’s now common knowledge that Gareth Edwards’ had the final cut of Rogue One taken away, with Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy stepping in to rework the story, conduct extensive reshoots, and completely alter the scope of the story. Even so, exactly what went on behind-the-scenes remains clouded in mystery. Some of that has now cleared thanks to this illuminating interview with editor John Gilroy (brother of Tony).
John Gilroy has appeared on The Playlist’s Andor podcast, where he went into more detail about his job ‘fixing’ Rogue One:
“The basic plan was very simple. They had the movie that they had and they called Tony in. And Tony huddled for a while with another editor, who was on already, Colin Goudie… and used a lot of the things that he had discovered when we were working together… and just basically made a new story.”
He also revealed that he was adding lines to the movie from within the editing suite:
“What we’re doing sometimes, is we’re taking a scene and we’re totally retasking things in that scene. I mean, I work with a microphone right next to my AVID. And if I get into a pickle with something, I’ll just mock a line in, an abridged line, or whatever I have to do. And then later on, it’s codified… and then we get the actor to do it. So, there’s a lot of rewriting that can go on in a cutting room if you need to.”
The finished product is arguably the best Disney-era movie, so the Gilroy brothers clearly did something right. We’ve always been curious about the original Gareth Edwards cut, though given that Andor is so great we’re prepared to believe that whatever the Gilroys did was for the best.
Andor Easter Egg pays tribute to A New Hope
Andor often feels so radically different in tone and atmosphere from other Star Wars media that it could be from a different franchise. There are no lightsaber duels, nobody is using the Force, no space dogfights, and the show has no time for mystical philosophizing. Despite all that it’s still willing to drop some fun Easter Eggs to the wider Star Wars universe (most of which have been tucked in the background of Luthen’s antiques shop.
But this week there was a subtle and small nod to A New Hope. Both the 1977 classic and this episode of Andor show the Empire torturing someone for information, with Andor ending with a direct tip of the hat to its predecessor:
If Andor needs Easter Eggs then we’re happy it’s little touches like this rather than R2D2 rolling past in the background. Plus, this is just more evidence of the care and attention to detail poured into this excellent show.
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor may be arriving in March 2023
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was a breath of fresh air when it landed in 2019. After years of multiplayer shooters, EA and Respawn Entertainment delivered a Dark Souls-influenced adventure set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that fit neatly into the canon and provided some very fun Jedi action. Earlier this year the sequel, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was confirmed, picking up Cal Kestis’ story five years after the first game ended.
At last night’s financial briefing to investors, EA confirmed they had a “major IP” game arriving in March 2023 but wouldn’t say what it was. Industry insiders seem sure it’s Survivor, as we already have release dates for their other major projects. EA head Andrew Wilson said they wouldn’t confirm one way or the other because:
“The nature of marketing in our industry has meaningfully changed in the past five or six years. … You might remember that when we launched Apex Legendswe didn’t tell anybody about it until about 48 hours before the community got to play it.”
We think it’s very likely this mystery release is indeed Star Wars Jedi: Survivorso keep an eye out for confirmation soon.
Star Wars returns to Fortnite once again
In other Star Wars‘ video game news it’s ‘Skywalker week’ in Fortnite, which re-adds lightsabers to the game and makes available Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia as skins. It’s got a pretty awesome trailer:
They join a decent selection of Star Wars characters already in the game, including Finn, Rey, Kylo Ren, The Mandalorian, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Fennec Shand, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. As with most Fortnite skins, these are time-limited, so pick up the A New Hope crew now if you want ’em.
We’ll doubtless have more on Andor episode nine as the fans digest it, but that’s all for today.