How Andor avoided fanservice easter eggs

How Andor avoided fanservice easter eggs

The previous Star Wars serial experiences on Disney Plus have shown us how the presence of easter eggs and references to the Star Wars canon have been an essential element for the definition of these productions. The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi have focused heavily on this aspect of familiarity, almost setting up a treasure hunt with old-fashioned fans of the franchise. While this has been an ingenious expedient to restore an emotional bond between viewers and franchises, this exasperation of the citation mechanism has been seen by some as a flaw in these series. A vision also shared by Tony Gilroy, who in giving life to his story about Cassian Andor's past has structured the world building of this chapter of the saga in such a way that in Andor the easter eggs were not a pimp fanservice.

Subscribe now to Disney + for € 8.99 per month or € 89.90 per year The first three episodes of Andor, as we also saw in our Easter egg hunt, immediately showed how Gilroy's will has found the right incarnation. Set during the years between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Andor is in effect a prequel to Rogue One, a 2016 film in which the heroic enterprise of the rebel spies who had stolen the plans of the first Death was told. Black. As you can read in our preview of the series, the definition of this setting is not built through a traditional network of references and citations, but by focusing on Cassian's experience and on the portrait of a changing galactic society.

For Andor, easter eggs will not be a simple fanservice

Easter eggs as a narrative tool Rogue One: a new way of telling Star Wars Andor: functional easter eggs and not pure fanservice

Easter eggs as a narrative tool

The release of The Mandalorian has rekindled the passion of fans of the saga after the debacle of the Sequel Trilogy by introducing us a new character, Din Djarin, putting him in a relatively new context of the saga, the period between Return of the Jedi and The Awakening of the Force. The adventure of the Mando has been able to leverage the fans of the franchise above all for the construction of a sense of familiarity that was not given only by belonging to a known narrative context, but which relied on the presence of a substantial number of easter eggs of Star Wars. Not only on a purely notional level, but also looking for narrative styles that sink into the origins of the saga, thus creating an easy empathy with the passionate viewer.

Counting how Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni are true fans of the saga even before they are screenwriters, their adherence to the canon of the franchise has been heavily influenced by the desire to share their knowledge, even the most incredible details , with fans generating a real easter egg hunt. Trend, it must be admitted, which seems to have become a custom in productions linked to well-known franchises, as the series of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have also shown. But this excess in inserting references to the canon of the saga can also become a disturbing element, especially when they are part of a poorly curated narrative and are therefore almost an attempt to cover obvious flaws with the enthusiasm of quotationism. >

Rogue One: A new way of telling Star Wars

As Star War returned to the cinema with The Force Awakens, the rekindling of the Fans' interest in the saga had convinced them to make new films that detach themselves from the main course of the franchise to tell only briefly mentioned chapters in the complex cross-media interweaving of Star Wars. With Rogue One (2016) it was decided to reveal the heroic mission that had made it possible, in A New Hope, to inflict a severe blow on the Empire with the destruction of the Death Star.

So, already in Rogue One , an atypical war movie directed by Gareth Edwards where Gilroy had participated as a screenwriter, tried to enhance this aspect. The choice had been to create a detachment from the narrative styles typical of the Skywalker Saga, so much so that fans were surprised not to see the traditional opening titles of Star Wars and not to hear the famous fanfare, but such an act of courage did not only denote a get away from safe ground, as well as the willingness to offer a different way of getting to know the Star Wars galaxy. And this, inevitably, led to not blindly relying on the references of the saga, as it was necessary to create a real 'narrative buffer', a moment of continuity in which the vestiges of the Republic and the future Empire could not be considered as the anchor points of the story. Even knowing where the film would end, the choice of using well-known characters, such as Vader or Tarkin, the presence of a key figure either from the past of the Rebellion, such as Saw Gerrera, or from his future, from Mon Mothma to Bail Organa, has not been enslaved to a ruthless fanservice, preferring to sip these cornerstones of the franchise in an intelligent way, organically making them part of the story.

Cassian Andor This aspect, combined with a photographic with predominantly cold colors he supported a streak of acrid narrative, devoid of the traditional irony of the saga, in which was immediately the heavy tone with which figures such as Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor were described, far from the prototype of the typical Star Wars hero. Considering the nature of Andor, the direct prequel of Rogue One, it is therefore easy to understand how the search for a familiarity within the context of Star Wars was not based on easter eggs, but on the assonance of the atmosphere of Edwards' film, not only on the environmental level, but also on the narrative, stylistic one, taking its essential traits, including emancipating oneself from the easy temptation of spasmodic quotation.

This nature of Rogue One, therefore, has also been brought within of Andor, where Gilroy expressed his intention not to limit himself to inserting easter eggs, but to create a universe that, while recognizable as part of Star Wars, was able to present a more evident social matrix:

“We didn't want to do anything that was pure fanservice. From the very beginning, our mission had the task of making a story that was not cynical, but that was as real and honest as possible. We will introduce new characters throughout the story and revise already known characters in a different way ”

The first three episodes of Andor were a clear sign of this approach. The series' narrative timing, two seasons of 12 episodes each, provides for a more subdued development of Cassian's (Diego Luna) past, which leaves the writers the opportunity to focus more attention on defining the social component of the galaxy. A concept of world building that can stand easily without the cumbersome need to create points of contact with the rest of the saga with forced references and quotes.

Andor: functional easter eggs and not pure fanservice

It helps a lot in that sense that Cassian is not a major hero of the saga, unlike Obi-Wan Kenobi or Boba Fett. Until Andor's release, the rebel agent was a secondary figure, promising narratively, but who could easily have ended his life cycle in Edwards' film. Being able to transform such a fascinating personality into a privileged point of view of one of the most intense moments of the Star Wars canon, however, has made Cassian a leading character, a protagonist, who finds his place in the ranks of the heroes of the franchise. Indeed, the series allows to develop his future personality, with small retcon interventions (such as changing his home planet from Fest and Kenari, focal change for the season), intertwining his life at the birth of the future Rebel Alliance. br>

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney +. ..2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. The real challenge of Gilroy and his associates is, therefore, to create a story of which we already know the epilogue (ie Rogue One), while still managing to give the right coordinates to understand how we really arrived at A New Hope. The recovery of personalities like Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) or Mon Mothma (Genieve O'Reilly) is no longer a game of quotes, but becomes the tool to understand the social and political evolution of the Star Wars universe, going far beyond the mere easter egg, becoming a cornerstone of the development of the series and taking on the tone of concrete adherence to the continuity of the franchise.

This does not mean that the easter eggs are absolutely banned from Andor, but only that theirs will be a use and not an instrumental abuse. The first three episodes contain, in fact, some small references to the tradition of the saga, but they are designed as confirmation of the galactic society we have known, finally leaving us the pleasure of savoring a compelling and fresh story without the temptation to transform this vision into a more banal one. treasure hunt.

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