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Andor showrunner Tony Gilroy talks Jason Bourne’s influence on new Star Wars show

Diego Luna and Stellan Skarsgård in Andor
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Andor – the new Star Wars series coming to Disney Plus – is going to be unlike any other adventure in that galaxy far, far away. The show, a spin-off of Rogue One centered on Diego Luna's Cassian Andor, will be a grittier affair than The Mandalorian, and that's down to showrunner Tony Gilroy, who knows a thing or two about telling a down-and-dirty espionage tale. 

In fact, he scripted the Jason Bourne saga, which is widely credited with influencing the less bombastic approach of the Daniel Craig Bond movies, and it looks like we’ll be seeing similarities in his take on Star Wars. 

"[With Bourne] I had been trying to get people to make an acoustic action movie, because action movies had gotten so bombastic in the ’80s, they were just enormous," Gilroy tells SFX magazine in the new issue of the magazine, featuring Andor on the cover (opens in new tab). "So when Bourne came along, we went way down to nothing.

"It was about making it real. Keeping someone you really understand and really care about in a place that you understand the geography of, with stakes, is much more involving than a guy on a train with 15 machine guns and a helicopter coming down. That aesthetic, that idea, does carry over to Andor because we are on the ground with these people, so that everything that we do has an intimacy and an acoustic nature to it within the grandeur of Star Wars."

It’s currently unclear whether that means we’ll see Cassian Andor taking down a Stormtrooper with a magazine or a pen, but Gilroy does assure us there’s fun to be found among the grit.

"It’s an adventure story," he says. "It’s one man’s odyssey through the center [of the story] and then all these peripheral characters surrounding him and spinning around. I mean, god, it’s looking to be entertaining. It’s heavy material, heavy things are happening, but it’s an adventure story, too."

That's just a snippet of the long-read, available in the Andor issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab), available on newsstands from Wednesday, August 10. For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Richard is a freelancer journalist and editor, and was once a physicist. Rich is the former editor of SFX Magazine, but has since gone freelance, writing for websites and publications including GamesRadar+, SFX, Total Film, and more. He also co-hosts the podcast, Robby the Robot's Waiting, which is focused on sci-fi and fantasy.