‘Andor’ Creator Tony Gilroy Responds to the Volume Criticisms

The Star Wars shows on Disney+ have utilized a new technology called The Volume. Instead of going on location like the Star Wars movies, The Mandalorian, Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi filmed on a 360 stage with LCD screens providing the backgrounds. Andor is the first Star Wars show filmed on location, but showrunner Tony Gilroy has nothing against the Volume.

'Andor': Diego Luna evades stormtroopers without using The Volume
Diego Luna | Lucasfilm Ltd.

Gilroy was on a Television Critics Association Zoom panel for Andor on Aug. 3. He explained why they couldn’t use The Volume for Andor but it’s nothing personal. Andor premieres Sept. 21 on Disney+.

The practical reason ‘Andor’ didn’t film on The Volume

Gilroy said he’d read criticism online after people saw the Andor trailer. Gilroy put to rest fan theories that he had a problem with The Volume.

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“I saw, yesterday, there was a lot of noise online about this, about people, like, oh, they hate The Volume,” Gilroy said. “It’s really we were making our show in London. The technology is extraordinary. My God, it’s going to become a larger and larger force in all filmmaking. Nobody’s against The Volume. The Volume is fantastic for the things that it’s for. Our show is just on a massively epic scale, and people would be running off the set all the time.”

One day shows will combine The Volume and location filming

Andor needed locations around London to portray the early days of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), hero of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Gilroy said he had to choose between location and The Volume, because for now they are mutually exclusive. 

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“The problem is, right now, there’s no good way to do both,” Gilroy said. “You kind of have to make a decision in a way to be a volume show or a non-volume show.  We haven’t reached the stage yet where the workflow is easy and the economics are easy. You can’t jump back and forth.”

Tony Gilroy wishes ‘Andor’ could’ve used The Volume

The Volume has made Star Wars TV shows a reality. George Lucas had promised one for years but they could never figure out Star Wars scale on network television. The Volume has made it possible to recreate some of those planetary locations. Andor didn’t have that tool and Gilroy knew he’d missed out on some possibilities. 

“Oh, believe me, there’s some things we wish we could’ve done on the volume, and they might’ve been simpler,” Gilroy said. “But our show is wide. It’s huge. I mean, we have 211 speaking parts. I mean, I think if we have this conversation at the end of the show, we’ll have some different conversations because the width and breadth and ambition, visual ambition, and traveling ambition of the show is huge. It just didn’t lend itself to that kind of production, and you can’t choose between them.”

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