What Ahsoka Can Learn From Andor – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Andor was the breakout success of the previous year, impressing both Star Wars fans and critics alike. Despite initial doubts about the potential of a prequel series featuring a supporting character in an already crowded franchise, Andor quickly proved to be the best show of the year.

Fans eagerly await the second and final season set to air next year. Meanwhile, Ahsoka is the upcoming Star Wars series that is expected to bridge the three main eras of the franchise on screen. As such, it is crucial for Ahsoka to succeed, and there are valuable lessons that the show can learn from Andor.

What Ahsoka Can Learn From Andor

One of the key takeaways from Andor is the embrace of moral ambiguity. The show’s protagonist, Cassian Andor, is not a typical hero. He is willing to compromise his morals and resort to violence when necessary to further the cause of the Rebellion. Similarly, Ahsoka can explore the morally gray sides of the galactic conflict, with characters who are not always sure of what is right or wrong.

Another lesson that Ahsoka can learn from Andor is the importance of non-Force-wielding characters. While Jedi and Sith are integral to the Star Wars universe, Andor demonstrated that the everyday struggles of average people can have a significant impact on the galaxy. Ahsoka can follow suit by focusing on characters like Sabine Wren, who can wield a lightsaber but are not Jedi.

Andor’s use of practical effects is also worth emulating. By filming on real-world locations, the show was able to create a more believable and immersive world for audiences. Ahsoka can continue this trend by grounding its story in the real world, making it easier for viewers to suspend their disbelief.

Finally, Andor’s resistance to fan service is a lesson that Ahsoka can learn from. While Easter eggs and callbacks can be fun for fans, they should not come at the expense of the story. Ahsoka should strive to be accessible to both hardcore fans and newcomers to the franchise.

In conclusion, Andor set a high bar for Star Wars storytelling, and Ahsoka has the potential to follow in its footsteps. By embracing moral ambiguity, focusing on non-Force-wielding characters, utilizing practical effects, and avoiding excessive fan service, Ahsoka can establish itself as another great addition to the Star Wars universe.

Andor was the surprise hit of last year for everyone inside and outside Star Wars fandom. We all expected the prequel series about a supporting character with a relatively small role taking a bigger space in an already overly-saturated franchise really couldn’t be all that great, but it was. Andor was hailed as the best show of the entire year, praised by both Star Wars lovers and haters, and fans are eagerly waiting for the second and final season expected next year.

Ahsoka is the Star Wars series we will get during our wait for Andor’s return, and it’s also the most crucial Star Wars project in years, as the titular fan-favorite character Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) will bring together the three main eras of the Star Wars universe in a way never done before on the screen. It’s critical that Ahsoka succeeds, and the way to ensure that is to follow in Andor’s footsteps because there’s a lot the series can learn from its predecessor. Here’s what Ahsoka can learn from Andor.



Embrace the Morally Gray

Rosario Dawson Ahsoka


We see that Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is not a standard hero with his introduction in Rogue Oneshooting his own informant in the back to escape Imperials. He’s definitely not a hero in his own show, as in AndorCassian kills two security guards for harassing him outside a bar, unlike the typical Star Wars hero.

Rogue One and Andor have thoroughly demonstrated that moral compromise is sometimes necessary to enact any real change, especially against a powerful enemy. That’s the core of Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), the secret resistance leader who believes that he must have no qualms if the Rebellion is to ever stand a chance of defeating the Empire, even if it means losing his own soul. “I burn my life to make a sunrise that I know I’ll never see,” Luthen tells his reluctant informant within the ISB, right before he decides to sacrifice an entire rebel cell to keep his one mole safe.

Ahsoka can embrace the morally gray sides of war in this galactic conflict, with protagonists who don’t always do the right thing, like Ahsoka herself, who left the Jedi Order long during the Clone Wars and even sought revenge on Darth Vader for her master Anakin Skywalker. Ahsoka shouldn’t always be so sure of what she should do and sometimes do the wrong thing for the right reason. Victories are more compelling when they come at a cost.

Related: Shin Hati Is A Clone of Luke Skywalker – Star Wars Theory Explained

Not Every Character Must Be a Jedi or Sith

Sabine Wren in Ahsoka

Andor did not feature any Jedi or Sith or a lightsaber all the way through, not even a single reference to them or the iconic Force at all, which has happened only once before in a Star Wars project, Solo. These powerful masters of the Force have been a staple for every other Star Wars project over the past half-century, especially under Disney’s leadership.

Not seeing any acknowledgment of their existence is refreshing, as Andor instead focuses on the everyday struggles of the average person who can’t call on the Force trying to make their way through the galaxy. Andor actually highlights how the little guy has a big role in changing the galaxy, as we finally look at those who are forgotten when Sith lords and Jedi knights start jumping around with lightsabers.

Ahsoka is about a double-wielding ex-Jedi running into two mysterious Force users while trying to find a lost Jedi, and that’s not bad at all. Jedi, lightsabers, and the Force are unique and integral parts of Star Wars. Yet Ahsoka should also focus on non-Force-wielders as well, such as Sabine Wren (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), the Mandalorian warrior helping Ahsoka in her quest to find their lost Jedi friend Ezra Bridger (Esman Esfandi). She was a supporting character in Rebelsbut we’ve seen her role and herself grow, and in Ahsokawe see Sabine wielding the green lightsaber of Ezra, but she’s not a Jedi. She will use the sacred weapon of the Force, but she cannot control the Force; she’s normal.

Focusing on more average people and how they affect the galaxy, it all feels more real and allows the story of Star Wars to grow beyond the eternal struggle between the Sith and Jedi.

Practical Effects Are Always Better

Ahsoka Star Wars

Lucasfilm has been relying on the revolutionary technology created by its famous visual effects subdivision Industrial Light & Magic called StageCraft, an entire soundstage with a circular blue screen surrounding the film set called The Volume. Initially developed for The Mandalorianthe Volume is an incredible innovation that dramatically reduces pre- and post-production costs.

The big blue blinds behind the set allow creators to generate whatever they want into a shot after all the filming has been completed in just one location, which is great for Star Wars, as characters like Mando and Grogu are constantly hopping between different planets with different backdrops, and has been used on The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

However, the Volume is very restricting, as the set is limited by the blue screens, so the backdrop for all these shows is unimpressive, uninteresting, and sometimes just boring. Just look at any scene in Boba Fett or Obi-Wan, and all you see is a flat desert and a bland background that looks rather fake because the characters can’t interact with a blue screen, or the illusion will give away entirely.

Andor‘s showrunner Tony Gilroy stated that he ditched The Volume and took the crew to physical locations like the Scottish Highlands to film, so the characters could interact with real stuff and feel grounded in the real world, just like George Lucas did in the original films, and fans praised the show’s believable beauty. Ahsoka follows after Andor and sets itself in the real world so that the actors can be in the story and the audience can believe it.

Related: Andor’s Main Villains Will Both Die on the Death Star: Star Wars Theory Explained

Don’t Let Fan Service Get in the Way of the Story

Ahsoka - Weak

Fans love Easter eggs. Whole subsets of fandoms in every franchise take great joy in finding hidden references to previous or future projects, and every Star Wars project is always filled with tidbits and cameos to treat fans. Andorhowever, has none of that. Mastermind Gilroy admitted to not being a Star Wars fan and encouraged his team to set aside their nostalgia goggles so that they could see the story they wanted to tell.

Andor is not totally devoid of callbacks – Luthen’s art gallery is basically a collection of deep-cut Easter eggs – the show is otherwise admirably resistant to fan service. But you could cut all those and anything that identifies this as a Star Wars project, and it would remain almost exactly the same. A viewer doesn’t need to have seen even a single Star Wars movie to understand Andorwhich makes it great.

Obviously, Ahsoka will not be the same, as it is a continuation of Rebels. Still, Ahsoka should learn from Andor that just because it’s Star Wars doesn’t mean it needs to be filled with Easter eggs to keep the audience hooked, and should be as accessible as possible to those just starting in a galaxy far, far away.

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