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Andor’s Cast Can’t Stop Praising Their Director, Saying His Star Wars Fandom Was Infectious

Ever since Walt Disney took over Star Wars, the studio has relied on a mix of familiar faces and exciting newcomers to bring audiences new stories from that galaxy far, far away. Proven filmmakers like Ron Hoawrd, J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau and Rian Johnson have worked beside thrilling new storytellers like Deborah Chow, Bryce Dallas Howard, Taika Waititi and Rick Famuyiwa to expand on the Star Wars universe and get fans excited for their frequent binges of the Star Wars movies in order. Now that Diego Luna’s Disney+ series Andor is arriving on the streaming service, a new name is about to be added to the ranks: Toby Haynes.

We have been lucky enough to preview the first three episodes of Andor, which is available to Star Wars fans with a Disney+ subscription, and our biggest takeaway was the streamlined ease with which Andor director Toby Haynes balanced multiple storylines that spanned different locations, and even different timelines. The show, so far, takes us to locations previously unexplored in the Star Wars universe. (Hooray, no detours to Tatooine!) It has a Blade Runner vibe to it, but also shows us the dividing line between the Haves and the Have Nots during the time of the Empire. 

The whole show FEELS like Star Wars, and when we spoke with the Andor cast, they raved that it’s because Toby Haynes is a magnificent geek himself, who treated every day on set like a gift. Morbius star Adria Anjona, who plays Bix Caleen in the series, had this to say about her director:

He was amazing to work with. He was so much fun. He had this really intriguing energy about him, which really was infectious and contagious. He is, himself, a fan. So he would get really excited about the props. And I mean, we all did because the second you walk into a Star Wars set, your stomach sort of drops and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I’m in Star Wars.’ And you know that you are being part of something so much bigger than you. And Toby had that every single day.

There seems to be a legitimate love for the world and these environments that’s captured on screen in Andor. We linger inside of downed spaceships and wander around alien planets, reminding us that this is out of the ordinary, and a special place to visit. The director’s enthusiasm was picked up by Kyle Soller, who plays Diego Luna’s antagonist in the series, Syril Karn. When we praised Toby Haynes, Soller was quick to add:

I think he’s so, so wonderful. As a collaborator, he’s beautiful to work with. He’s really inspiring. He said this wonderful thing when there’s another character who is trying to do things in a different way, and Toby was feeding him different ways of doing it while keeping the camera rolling. The guy was like, ‘OK, ok, ok.’ And then he cut, and he goes, ‘Don’t worry about it. We’re just trying to capture smoke here. That’s all we’re trying to do.’ And I was like, ‘That’s so beautiful.’

Directors don’t always have to get along with their cast members. I mean just look at all of the Don’t Worry Darling drama that distracted audiences from the movie, itself. But when a cast buys into the vision of a director, it can lead to a special show, which is what I believe we have in Andor. The rest of the series still has to play out. After all, we loved Obi-Wan Kenobi when it started… but then it kept going. While you wait to see how the series will be resolved, scan our listing of all of the Star Wars movies ranked, watch other shows on Disney+ (opens in new tab), and stay up to date with the pop-culture conversation.

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.