After well over a year since its announcement, we've finally learned more about the Star Wars series on Disney Plus that's focused on Rogue One character Cassian Andor. It's set five years before Rogue One (and therefore A New Hope), and it'll feature the long-time Rebellion leader Mon Mothma in its supporting cast.
Michael Clayton director Tony Gilroy, who played a key part in Rogue One's development, will act as the series' showrunner and direct. The writing staff for this show is packed with big talent, including Gilroy's brother Dan (Nightcrawler), House of Cards creator Beau Willimon and Stephen Schiff, who worked on acclaimed FX series The Americans. In fact, the list of writers here is so strong, they make us extremely optimistic about the end product.
Lucasfilm has confirmed the ensemble cast of the show, too. Stellan Skarsgard, Denise Gough and Kyle Soller will all be part of the show. Genevieve O'Reilly reprises her role as Mon Mothma, having previously played the part in both Revenge of the Sith (albeit briefly) and Rogue One.
There's no release date set for the series, but sometime in late 2021 or 2022 would be our prediction. With the Obi-Wan spin-off, more seasons of The Mandalorian and a new series from the co-creator of Russian Doll in the works, Disney Plus should be flush with new Star Wars series in a few years' time.
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Why is this spin-off exciting?
It makes sense that Lucasfilm would want Gilroy to lead the way on this new spin-off. Rogue One became infamous for how much it changed before release, with Gilroy working on reshoots for the film after the director's cut happened. In 2018, Gilroy described the film as "just in so much terrible, terrible trouble that all you can do is improve their position."
Ultimately, the film was a critical and commercial success. In fact, some people think Rogue One is the greatest Star Wars film – possibly an exaggeration, but whatever you think of it, Rogue One probably has the best space battle in the series outside of the Death Star trench run.
We're not totally convinced that Cassian Andor is the most exciting choice for a spin-off. Like all of Rogue One's characters, he's a bit of a blank slate, initially portrayed as a badass willing to kill his own allies when needed, but never really developing beyond that in the rest of the movie. Still, the talent behind the scenes here is extremely impressive. We look forward to seeing more from the early days of the Rebellion.