How Far Disney+'s Cassian Andor Star Wars Show Got Before Coronavirus Shutdown

cassian andor in rogue one

With The Mandalorian finally making its way across the pond to the UK (where many have been displeased about the weekly rollout being maintained), it remains clear that Star Wars fans are always hungry for more content. The small-screen side of the franchise has seemingly earned less blowback from the fanbase overall in recent months, making Diego Luna's upcoming Cassian Andor standalone series as highly anticipated as anything else coming to Disney+. Unfortunately, it's facing the same fate of many other in-production projects, and has been shut down due to coronavirus concerns.

Delays like that often cause worries in fans that projects might not actually come to fruition, but it sounds like the Cassian Andor series at least got a boot in the door before the shutdown happened. Here's what special effects artist Neil Scanlan had to say about it to Fansided:

I love the Star Wars world. I’m very, very happy [with] the Lucasfilm environment and Kathleen Kennedy. I was more than happy to get together and such. Absolutely. We eventually worked four or so weeks into it before, unfortunately, we were being like everywhere right now in response to the crisis; we had to lockdown for a while.

Considering all the secrecy that goes into Star Wars projects, Neil Scanlan couldn't be expected to get into any deep specifics about what was happening, no matter how much fans would love to know what's in the Cassian Andor scripts. That said, there has already been talk about several Star Wars characters entering the prequel TV series that had been cut out of previous projects.

Of course, because he's on the effects side of the production, Neil Scanlan was likely getting invested in a lot of pre-visualization set-ups for some of the more complicated sequences that have already been confirmed.

What Neil Scanlan could say, though, should have Rogue One's biggest fans pleased, as it sounds like the Cassian Andor project will be aiming for some of the same visual highlights as the feature spinoff. In Scanlan's words:

I think Rogue One has a very distinct look about it. A lot of Star Wars fans, I think, noticed that slightly harder edge. And Tony [Gilroy] is now still back with us and still writing and directing for the show as well. And so that’s a good start — to know, where the color palette might lie.

Tony Gilroy's presence is definitely welcomed, considering he penned not only Rogue One, but also the first four movies in the Bourne franchise, as well as Dolores Claiborne, Michael Clayton and State of Play, among others. His directorial skills aren't quite as prolific – he helmed Clayton, Bourne Legacy and Duplicity – but a Star Wars TV show is already on a whole other level from most Hollywood films. The Mandalorian's state-of-the-art virtual production techniques will likely come in handy for the Cassian Andor show as well.

Of course, for anything further to happen, the world needs to reach a point where the coronavirus pandemic is eradicated enough for TV and movie productions to get back to filming. And you just know that Disney execs will be leaping at the opportunity to start things up again as soon as the universal thumbs up is granted.

For now, Star Wars fans should be patient when it comes to seeing Cassian Andor again in live-action, but at least we can be somewhat relieved to know that The Mandalorian Season 2 is far enough along that Season 2 likely won't be postponed.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.