Star Wars loves a prequel. Aside from the obvious trilogy, almost every animated series set a long time ago in a galaxy far away also takes place before A New Hope. Even The Mandalorian is technically a prequel to the sequel trilogy (or a sequel to the Return of the Jedi?). Most recently, Obi-Wan Kenobi took this pattern to its logical conclusion with a direct prequels sequel that still works as a prequel to Episode IV.
This created some problems for Obi-Wan Kenobi, which was stuck telling us how various characters got from Point A to Point B with very little wiggle room in between. The next Star Wars show is also technically a prequel, but Andor has a few clear advantages over Kenobi that could make it the best new series since The Mandalorian.
Obi-Wan Kenobi’s greatest strength was also its greatest weakness: nostalgia. Drafting off the success of a film trilogy that ended 15 years ago. By comparison, Andor is picking up a thread established just six years ago with Rogue One, a movie that most Star Wars fans agree is pretty good, but few people are nostalgic for at this point. This clears the way for a fresh and interesting story without having to worry about whether fans will accept this version of Diego Luna’s Rebel spy.
Kenobi’s other big problem was its pacing. Lucasfilm stretched what was originally meant to be a movie into a six-episode miniseries that forced the show’s writers to pad out the story with filler. By comparison, Andor was always meant to be a series, and Season 1 will feature 12 (!) episodes with Season 2 already confirmed. By planning that far ahead, the show’s creators should be able to tell a story that fits correctly into a small-screen format.
Then, there’s the age-old finale prequels problem: it’s hard to care about characters we know are going to live. We know Aunt Beru, Uncle Owen, and Luke Skywalker are around during A New Hope, so watching them try to survive Reva’s attack in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale felt underwhelming.
The solution is to introduce totally new characters, which Obi-Wan Kenobi did with Tala, Roken, and Sully. These members of the underground Path (a proto-Rebellion working to save Jedi refugees) were exciting to watch before we had no idea what would happen to them. By comparison, even if it’s fun to see young Leia running around, there are never any real stakes because you know she’s going to survive.
Andor will likely do the same thing. By introducing a whole new crop of characters, this series can weave its own narrative — even if we already know what happens to the guy this series is named after.
Ultimately, Andor seems to have everything going for it. While it may not have the nostalgia powers of Obi-Wan Kenobi or Book of Boba Fett, Lucasfilm has a fresh slate here to tell a new and exciting story in the Star Wars galaxy.
Andor premieres August 31, 2022 on Disney+.