The trailer for the upcoming Disney+ show Andor has just dropped, and it demonstrates how malleable Star Wars is as a concept.
Star Wars is more a Dungeons and Dragons setting than it is a coherent universe, and that’s sometimes what makes it so great. It’s certainly the reason why the franchise’s television output has been so varied. Not only can the galaxy-spanning lore of Star Wars contain the Lone Wolf and Cub pastiche that is The Mandalorian, it can also be a space where an anime short about wandering ronin makes as much sense as an anime short about a battle of the bands. Andor, which comes from the same creative team that made the uneven Rogue One, takes the aesthetic of Star Wars and focuses on the war much more than the stars.
While this trailer clearly benefits from having Diego Luna, Stellan Skarsgard, and Forest Whitaker grace our screens, there’s also a level of gravitas here that Star Wars does not usually earn. It’s easy to forget that Star Wars is nominally about a group of rebels trying to free themselves from an oppressive empire; usually, that stuff gets downplayed in favor of the space wizards with their laser swords. But the absence of Jedis or discussion of the Force lends a different kind of weight to the scenes in this trailer. Instead of being about destiny, it’s about regular people who just want to live free lives and have to face down a mechanized colonialist force with an insurmountable technological advantage and a limitless supply of bodies. That’s just as inspiring as being as a Skywalker.