Andor Director Talks Not Being A Star Wars Fan And How That Helped Him On The Disney+ Show

Stellan Skarsgard and Diego Luna in Andor
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

The next phase of Star Wars has been marked by a series of highs and lows. Things got off to an incredible start when J.J. Abrams relaunched the film franchise through Star Wars: The Force Awakens – which lands after Return of the Jedi for those looking to watch all of the Star Wars movies in order. Then Rian Johnson lobbed a metaphorical hand grenade into the fandom with his divisive Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the saga has been finding its way forward ever since. Star Wars has actually found a lot of success recently through television shows, available to anyone with a Disney+ subscription. Shows like The Mandalorian and Andor have opened up new corners of ther Star Wars universe, and one Andor director thinks he knows why these programs are hitting the target with passionate audiences. 

Benjamin Caron directed some key episodes of Andor, including the riveting season finale (which, he told us, was supposed to feature the first F-bomb in Star Wars history). Andor was celebrated by Star Wars fans for coming the closest to capturing the tone and intent of Star Wars: A New Hope and the work of George Lucas on the original trilogy. Which is ironic because Caron told the ReelBlend podcast that he took the gig despite not being the biggest Star Wars fan on the planet. But in his mind, that helped him in his approach to the material. He told us:

I do, personally, because that’s my way into this. The example I could give is there’s a world where you get on the set of Star Wars and you’re like, ‘Whoa, look at those creatures!’ Or, ‘Whoa, look at that building!’ Or, ‘Whoa, look at that starship!’ I was like, ‘Meh’ [laughs] No, that’s not entirely true, some of the creatures were pretty cool, but there’s not like a sort of substorm where I’m gonna go off and fetishize those creatures. They are just part of the beautiful landscape that exists. If we were somewhere else, if we were in a Western, they’re just the people who coexist on the sidelines. And so I guess… for my take, it was part of the world, they exist, if you see them, you see them, if you don’t, you don’t. But my guiding principle is, I’m going to focus on the characters and follow them like an arrow as much as I can.

What We Know About Andor Season 2

Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma in Andor

(Image credit: Lucasfilm/Disney)

Andor season 2 is on its way, and we know a few important things about it already. 

That goes a long way toward explaining why Andor feels like the most lived-in and organic presentation of the galaxy far, far away. Benjamin Caron treated the world, and all of the abnomalies in it, as standard fodder that he’d shoot regardless of the genre in question. That’s a huge reason why we have been saying that even non-Star Wars fans should give Andor a try, because you don’t have to be immersed in the legacies of the Star Wars story to appreciate what is happening in the show. 

There are major subplots in Andor that speak to the class-warfare divide, and the push by the oppressed against the wealthiest. There’s also an outstanding arc that occurs in a prison that features some of Andy Serkis’s best work, and really could exist inside any HBO Max series tbhat has nothing to do with Star Wars. It’s very cool that these subplots exist in a Star Wars story. But they don’t HAVE to be Star Wars in order to be compelling, and that’s part of thre allure.    

Listen to our full interview with Benjamin Caron on the ReelBlend podcast below:

Caron came on ReelBlend to promote his powerful new drama Sharper, which is coming to theaters for a limited run before dropping onto AppleTV+. I can not recommend the movie enough, but I also think you need to go into it cold, so don’t watch the trailer and read nothing about it. It’s definitely one of the best new 2023 movies available to audiences at the moment.  

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.