Most Star Wars fans already know how Cassian Andor’s story ends, but reaching that gut-wrenching moment will, blessedly, take a while longer: A second season of the fantastic prequel-to-a-prequel series Andor is already in production. The Disney+ drama follows Diego Luna’s Cassian, an orphan-turned-thief-turned-resistance fighter as he’s slowly swayed to the side of the Rebel Alliance, the underground movement against the oppressive Galactic Empire. Season 1 covers his reluctant radicalization; season 2 will lead up to the events of the acclaimed film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Creator (and Rogue One co-writer) Tony Gilroy has already promised that season 2 will be the show’s last, but if season 1 is any indication, Andor will make the most of its remaining episodes. Here’s what we know so far.
When does Andor season 2 come out?
Collider first reported that Andor began shooting season 2 on Nov. 20, 2022, two days before the season 1 finale dropped on Disney+. Filming will continue through August 2023, with post-production lasting into 2024. The first season took three years to film and finalize, and though that time period included pandemic delays, Gilroy doesn’t anticipate season 2 will arrive much faster. He told Collider the earliest he’d expect a season 2 release date would indeed be 2024 … unless someone at Disney tosses a wad of cash into the fray.
“The only place you can accelerate the processes is in post, and the only way you can accelerate in post is with money, and money is tight,” he added. “So, I don’t really know, there would have to be some serious motivation next May or June or something. Someone would have to say, ‘Wow, we really need this, and we’re willing to pay X.’ Rogue One proved, if you throw money at it, you can do post really, really fast. It’s just very, very, very expensive.”
How many episodes will season 2 include?
Just like season 1, season 2 will feature 12 episodes. Run times have yet to be finalized and announced, but if these episodes follow the path of their predecessors, they likely run between 30 minutes and an hour.
In a June 2023 interview with ELLE.com, Luna shared that these 12 episodes will be divided into three-episode blocks. “In this next season, what we’re doing is blocks of three episodes and each block represents a year,” he said. “We include that as part of the format in a much more structured way [than in season 1].”
When in the timeline will season 2 take place?
Like season 1, the rest of Andor will take place in the days leading up to Rogue One, in which Andor and his allies steal the plans to the Death Star. This makes Andor a prequel to Rogue One, itself a prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy of A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
To get a bit more technical for the die-hard fans out there, the events of Andor season 1 cover one year: 5 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin, i.e. when Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star.) The next chapter will take a one-year time jump, landing us at approximately 3 BBY by the start of season 2. Then, as Luna shared above, yearly time jumps will continue with each three-episode block.
Kyle Soller, who plays former ISB Deputy Inspector Syril Karn, told Esquire, “What’s amazing about dropping back in for [season 2] is the time gaps that are going to be instituted to take you up the full five years before coming into Rogue One at the end. So there’s huge amounts of growth that’s happening within the world of Andor, but also in Syril’s world.”
Who will be in the cast?
Expect most of the cast to return—including Luna as Andor, and Stellan Skarsgård as the Rebel plotter Luthen Rael—as well as several newcomers. Gilroy told Rolling Stone in November 2022, “I’m carrying forward something like 30 characters. So what becomes interesting is now we can play the negative space. When you jump a year, what happened in between? You know the people, you know what their trajectory was. It’s energizing. We will be starting new characters, obviously, in the next 700 pages. There will be all kinds of new things, and will be just as granular as we ever were.”
What will season 2 be about?
Cassian is no longer a reluctant revolutionary; the next time we meet him, he’ll be all in on war. But what exactly that looks like remains to be seen. “The writing of this show, it keeps changing, keeps transforming, keeps bringing new turns,” Luna told ELLE.com. “It’s full of layers.”
Gilroy is similarly coy with any details, apart from this: Expect a “very different” plot in season 2.
“The first year is really about him becoming, and the last line of this tranche of 12 episodes will sum up where we’ve been trying to get to,” Gilroy told Rolling Stone. “And we come back a year later. It’ll be very different. The next four years [of story] are not about becoming a revolutionary.”
In a separate interview with Vulture, Gilroy gave additional clarity to the season 2 plot: “It is very much about, How difficult is it for the Rebel Alliance to come together with all the outliers and original gangsters? Different agendas and betrayals? The tension of the next four years as things pull together? The effect of time on people?”
Will the Jedi appear in season 2?
It’s possible, though not likely. Remember, the Jedi are all but extinct at this point in the timeline, with the exception of a handful including Ahsoka Tano; Grogu, a.k.a Baby Yoda; Obi-Wan Kenobi; and the young Luke Skywalker. But they all have their own shows and films. Andor has never promised a traditional Star Wars experience.
Gilroy even told Collider, “I don’t think [Cassian and his fellow neighbors on Ferrix] know about the royal family. I don’t think they pay much mind to that. I mean, how many beings are in that gigantic galaxy? I think the vast majority of all of the creatures and beings and sentient things that are in the galaxy, I think the knowledge of the Jedi and the lightsaber is a pretty small number.”
Still, one of the things Andor has done best is weave bits of well-established Star Wars lore into totally separate, equally powerful stand-alone stories. The flash of a lightsaber is never out of the question.
Lauren Puckett-Pope is a staff culture writer at ELLE, where she primarily covers film, television and books. She was previously an associate editor at ELLE.