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Andor is different from other Star Wars Disney+ shows in several ways. Not only does it have a more extended season, but it has a darker and more mature tone. Visually, it looks different than other shows, and there is a specific reason why. Andor creator Tony Gilroy reveals why Andor looks distinct compared to other Star Wars shows. 

‘Star Wars’ shows on Disney+ use the Volume to create their environments

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in the Star Wars series Andor
Diego Luna as Cassian Andor | Disney+

Disney+ has brought Star Wars to television with several shows, including The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. While these shows have smaller budgets, they still look great due to using a piece of technology called The Volume. The Volume is a soundstage with LED panel walls that allows the actors to visualize their environment rather than just standing in front of a green screen. 

It can be hard to notice what’s The Volume and what isn’t, but the technology isn’t entirely consistent. There are times when the backgrounds can seem fake, and objects in the background can disappear, leading to breaks in continuity. There is a mix of practical effects being used, but it gives TV shows a way to bring an environment to life without having to shoot on location, which has positives and negatives. 

‘Andor’ is the first Disney ‘Star Wars’ series to shoot on location

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Gilroy reveals why they elected to shoot Andor on location instead of using The Volume like other Star Wars shows. He says he wanted the series to be a “build show” where they shoot everything with the actors and then go from there. There were times when he wanted to use The Volume, but it was not possible to do both systems. 

“In a perfect world, we’d be able to shoot location and shoot old school, and then we’d use the Volume when we want to use it. There are times when the Volume would be really good for us, but the technology doesn’t exist to do both. You have to make a choice at this point because of the workflow on the Volume. All your post-production has to be done beforehand. You have to shoot all of your plates. Everything has to be done. When you go in the Volume, everything’s done. You’re just adding the actors.”

“Our system is completely different. We shoot everything with the actors, and we build out from there if we need to build out. And those two systems, maybe there’s somebody who’s doing it, but economically, you can’t do [both]. So, automatically, we were just like, “We have to be a build show.” It wasn’t a controversy, really. I saw it get turned into a controversy the other day, but it’s not like that at all. There are times where we’d love to use it. It does some great things.”

Fans are reacting positively to ‘Andor’s design


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So far, Andor is receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews, and many praise how the series looks. Many fans prefer the realistic sets and dirty atmosphere to the more clean, digital environment of The Volume. It looks very cinematic, despite being on a streaming service. Andor could lead to Star Wars utilizing a more blended approach between shooting on location and shooting in The Volume. 

Andor is currently streaming on Disney+.