It’s been a long time since anyone has gone to a theater to see a Star Wars movie. Three years, in fact. It was Star Wars: Episode IX—The Rise of Skywalker, in late 2019. It was before Covid-19 closed theaters, before Disney CEO Bob Iger slowed the pace of the Lucasfilm cinematic universe. A lot has changed.
The biggest shift, of course, is that fans started watching a lot of their Star Wars content on Disney+. During early pandemic lockdowns, The Mandalorian became a balm for many. So did The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, with perhaps slightly less culture-shifting impact. It’s no surprise, then, that out of the three—yes, three—new Star Wars features Lucasfilm announced Friday at Star Wars Celebration in Europe, one of them will be directed by Dave Filoni and will “close out the interconnected stories told in The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and other Disney+ series.”
What is surprising is that that list doesn’t explicitly include Andor. Not because that story would fit with the others, but because Andor is the best thing Lucasfilm has made in years, and I’d rather watch a two-hour tale of Cassian’s revolution against the Empire than two hours of any of those other shows combined. Which brings me to my point: Make an Andor movie, you cowards!
Of course, there’s a counterargument to this. I can hear it already: There already is an Andor movie, Rogue One. Yes, the Disney+ series was a spinoff from a film, but so were Obi-Wan, Boba Fett, and the others. While it’s true that there isn’t a whole lot of material to be mined in the five-year narrative time frame between Andor and Rogue One—and there’s already a second season of Andor in the works—fans have spent a lot of time following the development of New Republic. And, I dunno, maybe there’s something else these movies could be tapping into. (The alliance of Cassian and Luthen Rael is a movie in itself.)
Moreover, Andor’s energy might be what Star Wars needs right now. One of the reasons the show resonated so deeply is that it felt tangible, human. There were no Jedi (that the audience knows of), no long monologues about the Force. Instead, there were real, disenfranchised people fighting tyranny—upheavals on prison colonies and rebellions in the streets. Star Wars has always been about escapism, but it has a moral core, one that Andor has tapped into more effectively than arguably any other installment in the franchise. A film based on the show’s characters may lack lightsabers and pew-pew action, but it could have something more: soul.
In addition to Filoni’s new movie, Lucasfilm announced a new Star Wars from Logan director James Mangold about “the dawn of the Jedi,” and one from Ms. Marvel director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy that will “feature Daisy Ridley back as Rey as she builds a new Jedi Order.” That’s … a lot of Jedi, a lot of woo-woo. Both of these films, particularly Obaid-Chinoy’s, sound promising. But more could be done to fulfill Star Wars’ promise. As newly returned Disney CEO Iger faces off against Florida governor Ron DeSantis over what Iger sees as retaliation for the company’s opposition to the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill, maybe a movie about a different kind of rebellion is exactly what the studio needs.