Tony Gilroy Says The Final 3 Episodes Of ‘Andor’ Season 2 Take Place 5 Days Before ‘Rogue One’ Starts

Four long years after it was initially announced, “Andor,” the Disney+ series and prequel to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is nearly upon us. Created and showrun by Academy Award-nominated writer/director Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton,” “The Bourne Legacy”)—the filmmaker credited with rescuing ‘Rogue One’ after he came on board to write and direct major reshoots and then overseeing the post-production process— the series debuts in September, but we’ve been fortunate to get a little taste. “Andor” follows the story of Captain Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna) five years prior to the events of “Rogue One.”

READ MORE: ‘Andor’: Tony Gilroy Says He Won’t Direct In Season 2 & That’s By Design

If that ‘Star Wars Story’ depicts Andor as a highly-decorated, highly capable Rebel spy—one of the elite few who sacrifices himself so the Rebels can steal the plans to the Death Star— “Andor” portrays something much more raw and nascent. “Andor” is essentially the how and why of this character, illustrating how an apolitical, self-interested person, afraid of the Empire, found the courage and will to rise up and fight against the Empire. Though he’s not so easily convinced at first. As “Andor” shows, the galaxy lives under a reign of despotism and tyranny, and many feel like it’s every man for themselves in order to scrape by and survive. It’s a show about a revolution and how that revolution came to be.

READ MORE: ‘Andor’: Showrunner Tony Gilroy Explains Five-Year Structure Of The Next Epic ‘Star Wars’ Series

We’ll be discussing “Andor” in much greater detail in the coming weeks and months, with our review and our interview with creator/showrunner/writer Tony Gilroy. But we have some early tidbits to share with die-hard “Star Wars” fans as spoke to the filmmaker recently about the creation of the series.

Gilroy spoke about the “buy-in” on “Andor,” during the press conference for the series, describing the initial element that got him excited about the prospect of going on another ‘Star Wars’ adventure. “I think the main idea is we have a character in ‘Rogue One,’ and we know where he ends up,” Gilroy explained.  “And we know how accomplished and complicated he is.  And the idea that we can do a story that takes him literally from his childhood origins and walk him through a five-year history of an odyssey that takes him to that place, during a revolution, during a moment in history in a place where huge events are happening, and real people are being crushed by it. The fact that we could follow somebody as an example of a revolution all the way through to the end, that was the walk-in for me. That was the buy-in, the opportunity to do that.”

“It’s a potent moment in history,” Gilroy continued.  “And a lot of people are facing a lot of really difficult times and difficult decisions along the way.  And that’s what the show is about, the opportunity to do that on a large scale, on a big canvas; that’s why I’m here.” 

During my own interview, I asked Gilroy if we’re going to see more ‘Rogue One’ characters like K-2S0 (voice and mo-cap performed by Alan Tudyk) and more characters from the Rebel Alliance milieu of “Rogue One,” he said yes, of course.  But in classic excitable Tony Gilroy fashion, the filmmaker launched into a bigger treatise of where it’s all going, including revealing the final scene of the series.

“Yeah, I mean, our final scene of the show is no secret; it’s going to be [Cassian] walking across the tarmac to get in the ship to go to the Rings of Kafrene to go meet, Daniel Mays’ [Tivik informant character that Cassian kills in ‘Rogue One,’ because he’s become a liability], he’s going there.”

Don’t worry if that feels like a spoiler. As Gilroy himself says, it’s not about the when and where; it’s about the “how and why,” which none of us know yet.

“I mean, you watch people watch History Channel shows and whatever,” he explained. “What’s that story? Well, you know how it’s going to turn out. And it’s still, ‘why did it happen?’”

“So, we have a really cool narrative thing we’re going to do,” he continued, speaking about the show’s production structure and where it’s heading. ”Because we have blocks of three that we shoot the show in and—more of a production thing, really, it was for directors— but a lot of our shows lined up [like that], the director comes in and does [three episodes at a time, in a row]. But we realized we couldn’t possibly make a show for five years. It was just physically impossible, like going to Mars or something.”

This was a perfect segue. I’d initially heard that ‘Andor’ was going to be more than two seasons initially, and the always-candid filmmaker suggested that they changed course after Season 1 and developed a proper “exit strategy.” Otherwise, everyone would be shooting this series forever.

“Yeah, yeah, we—it was about last spring,” Gilroy explained. “We were in Scotland, [producer] Sanne [Wohlenberg], Diego. And we were like, ‘Oh my God, how do we get outta here? How are we gonna get out? What’s our exit strategy?’ But then we realized, ‘Oh my God, we have four years, and we have four blocks, and I went home, and I came back and [came up with], “You know what, why don’t we jump a year?” And what’s really cool, when we come back for part two, we’re going to jump a year, and we’re going to come back. It’s a year later, and all this shit’s happened, but we’re going to come back for a Friday, Saturday, and a Sunday, and then we’re going to jump a year. Then we’re going to do like five, six, seven days and jump a year, and then we’re going to do two weeks and jump a year. And the final block that we come back to is going to be the last five days before ‘Rogue One.’”

Gilroy said that by the time Season 2 ends, he’ll have devoted five years of his life to this series, and the herculean scope of the series wasn’t always easy.  “There have been some real times where it’s really been, ‘Oh my God, what have I done? I’ve ruined my career; what am I doing?’” he admitted. “But I’ve come around on that last year. When we finally started to put it together, when it went from being a fire hose of chaos in your head all the time to being like, ‘oh my God, there it is!’ By the time I’m done, I really will have done something that was worth it.”

Much more to come from this interview. “Andor” premieres on Disney+ on September 21.