With Andor wrapping season one, Tony Gilroy is playing the long game when it comes to season two before it ends up leading directly to 2016's Rogue One. The creator, showrunner, and writer spoke with Entertainment Weekly about Cassian's (Diego Luna) path from apathetic mercenary to righteous freedom fighter. Among the questions that Gilroy addressed include isolating the hero's mindset at the beginning of season two and the extremes that Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) will go against the Empire and other major players in the Rebellion.
"Well, we spent 12 episodes and the better part of a year taking him from utter disillusionment and self-interest and just the worst day of his life and having him go through the stations of the cross and of revolution basically, and make the huge odyssey that he does," Gilroy explains regarding Cassian Andor at the beginning in the series. "What he says at the end is true. That's really a blood oath that he's in. I don't think that question will be in doubt. I don't think that's an issue going forward. He's all in, so we're gonna juggle four years in the second half. And the food we will be consuming on that he has to become a leader. And what does that mean?"
Gilroy continued on how it sews the seeds into original trilogy lore like A New Hope. "He has to negotiate his way through the Luthen Rael experience and the benefits and disasters that that means and that relationship. And what's happening on a large scale is that canonically we're gonna end up in Yavin," he said. "Our show's gonna end up in Yavin, and he'll walk out, and he'll be there to be the guy who gives his life. But that alliance in Yavin – are those the hardcore revolutionaries who really built everything? Or it's sort of the coalition government there that's already contentious. Well, what happens and what has happened to all the original gangsters and outliers and all the people who built this thing along the way, and how do you operate when your business is paranoia?"
The key, Gilroy says, is how to tie it all together, "How do you collaborate when paranoia and secrecy are your product? How do you scale up? How do you join forces? And how does the empire exploit those differences? What are the effects of time on these people? And then obviously within that, we're gonna try to tell a really, a ripping yarn, a really good adventure story. And we're gonna try to have all the relationships and all the love and all the betrayal and all the other stuff. But yeah, he's in; he's committed. So now it's what do you do with it?"
As far as the emerging personalities of the Rebellion from Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits), and Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), "I'm gonna sort of just dial into the answer I just gave because I'm not gonna specifically say who we're gonna see or not gonna see, but Luthen's problem is, it's evidenced by his anxiety when Aldhani goes," Gilroy explained. "He's been building something for 13 years or whatever it is. And Aldhani is the debutante ball for him. It's really coming out of the thing. And what was so much fun was for Denise Gough's character, Dedra, to make her so insightful. She goes to the meeting the next morning when they have the emergency meeting, and 'Oh my God, there's been this raid on Aldhani, and we're gonna do all these things and we're gonna change the laws,' and all that stuff."
Gilroy further broke down the nuance Dedra has among the Empire. "And she's so upset when she gets back to her office and her assistant says to her, 'Why are you so upset?" She goes, 'They're treating this like a robbery. It's an announcement.' And she realizes she's in tune. She's a hunter who understands her prey. And that's that little moment there. And then you see some fissures along the way with him. [Luthen's] anxiety is building. What do you do? How do you take a start-up outta your garage? And how do you scale up paranoia if you've been your own boss for all this time, and how do you work with other people? I'm not gonna get into what other factions or legacy characters we're gonna be dealing with, but that's the answer to the question."
For more, including Gilroy discussing Maarva's (Fiona Shaw) speech, Kino Loy's fate (Andy Serkis), Mon Mothma, and more, you can check out the full EW interview here.