Kevin Smith has had nice things to say about Disney+‘s Star Wars-branded shows up to now, but Andor, he says, helps expand the Star Wars universe in a meaningful way for the first time. The show, which centers on Rogue One‘s Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), premiered last month on the streaming platform, and takes place shortly before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That puts it smack-dab between the prequels and 1977’s Star Wars. That’s one of the periods that has been the least explored by Disney in the years since they wiped out the original expanded Star Wars canon established by comics, books, and video games.
The series hails from Tony Gilroy, the filmmaker behind Michael Clayton, and in a recent episode of Smith’s Fatman Beyond, he and co-host Marc Bernardin dug into the show. Smith said he wasn’t into the premise, but the first few episodes hooked him immediately.
“Number one, I trust this man to do anything because Michael Clayton is one of the greatest films ever made,” Smith said. “That being said, this f—ing show is dope. This was the f—ing show that I had no interest in whatsoever. I’m like Andor? He dies! Why the f–k would I care? And this is the first show that I really feel like kind of expands the SW universe. We’re not on Tattooine, we’re not necessarily dealing with a Skywalker story. Yes, the Empire is this gathering storm, but here in the outskirts, the rebellion slowly begins. I had no idea I would like it as much as I do. And it’s doing things no other Star Wars things have done. For example — casual overnight sex. How about that?”
Smith and Star Wars have been bound together since his career started, with Dante and Randal debating which of the sequels was better in the first Clerks. Back then, of course, there were only three Star Wars movies, but they still managed to get into an argument over whether the contractors hired to complete the second Death Star were unfairly targeted for assassination by the Rebels when Lando blew up the superweapon. That discussion became so viral that George Lucas later joked about it on DVD bonus features for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
In Clerks III, currently making the rounds as a roadshow-style theatrical release, a groggy Randal explains the plot of The Mandalorian to his doctor during heart surgery, so even the Disney+ shows have had a presence in the View Askewniverse.
Andor follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Starring alongside Luna and Fiona Shaw in the new series are Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Genevieve O’Reilly, and Robert Emms.
The series has already been confirmed to have two seasons, and will leave off just before Rogue One picks up.
You can see new episodes of Andor on Disney+ on Wednesdays.