Echo Cast and Crew Respond to ‘Star Wars: Andor’ Comparisons
“I don't see an Ewok getting anywhere near this.”
Echo doesn’t look like your usual Marvel streaming show, and that’s no accident. In all its marketing, the studio makes one thing clear: Echo is different. It’s serious, for one thing, with a TV-MA rating and a brutal, grounded tone. It’s also not just another cog in the machinery of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, instead launching a subdivision of the MCU titled “Spotlight” for stories that make sense on their own even if you’re not caught up on the franchise.
This new approach to MCU storytelling led to some obvious comparisons to another “serious” Disney show spun out of a mega-franchise: Andor. Both shows focus on a non-superpowered antihero, and both shows take a more serious tone than most of what’s come before. But according to Echo’s executive producer, Richie Palmer, the comparison is only half accurate.
“Like Andor, there's complex characters with very emotional stories along the way, that I think will surprise you,” Palmer tells Inverse. “But Echo is its own thing, and it's unique to anything that we've put on Disney+ before, honestly.”
Director Sydney Freeland, a longtime Star Wars fan, sees the comparison as a challenge more than an endorsement.
“Andor was probably one of, if not my favorite, shows of 2022,” she says. “Incredibly honored to even be in the conversation or even to sniff that same air. If we can come even remotely close to Andor in our level of storytelling, that would be amazing and that would be over the moon.”
But for stars Chaske Spencer (who plays Maya’s uncle Henry) and Devery Jacobs (who plays her cousin Bonnie), Echo is nothing like Andor — it’s better.
“It touches on some darker themes in subject matter,” Jacobs says. “We can really feel the punches in all that Maya does.”
“It's gritty,” Spencer adds. “I don't see an Ewok getting anywhere near this.”
Echo’s greatest strength may be how small its stakes really are — at least compared to the rest of the MCU. This may seem counterintuitive, but when every new show and movie is about the end of the world, there’s something refreshing about a show with that feels a little smaller. (Despite its grounded tone, Andor was still about saving the galaxy from an evil empire, after all.)
“We weren't dealing with the fate of the universe,” Freeland says. “We got to tell a more intimate human story. But hopefully, in doing so, it actually raises the stakes. In our show, people die, people bleed, people get killed, bones get broken.”
As for Echo’s unexpected rating, making the show so violent wasn’t a deliberate choice, just a natural progression of the show’s evolution.
“We didn't set out to make a TV-MA show as a rule or a goal, but we didn't want to hold back on any of that violence,” Palmer says. “We wanted to make sure that she was the badass that she was in the comics. We didn't want to pull our punches.”
But despite all these differences, Palmer hints that Echo’s unusual tone and “Spotlight” label don’t mean it can’t tie into the MCU.
“You want to see those characters pop up in other characters' series,” he says. “I think that's always been the fun promise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one that we hope to continue to honor.”