Back to IndieWire

‘Andor’ Built an Entire Outdoor City with Practical Effects, Limited CGI for ‘Star Wars’ Series

The production built "three to five city blocks "for the Disney+ "Star Wars" installment starring Diego Luna.




Upcoming Disney+ “Star Wars” series “Andor” kept it as real as possible when capturing the everyday life of a city in a galaxy far, far away.

Set five years before “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the series is billed by showrunner Tony Gilroy as a spy thriller that will subvert “Star Wars” fans’ expectations through “sideways” storytelling that will also reframe the 2016 trilogy.

Actress Adria Arjona, who portrays mechanic and Andor’s confidante Bix Caleen, shared with Collider that Disney+ spared no expense when crafting the world behind the 12-episode series.

“They built an entire city for us, like an entire city. I got lost in it,” Arjona said of the Ferrix city set. “I remember the first day that I walked on set, and I was in costume already, which was a coincidence. It just happened that was the day that they gave me the tour. I was at a costume fitting and I went over there, and I was mind blown. It was an entire outdoor city that exists. Ferrix exists. It’s not in a studio. It’s not parts of a set that we filmed in studio. It is very much a city. I keep saying three to five city blocks. I could be wrong. And I also could be maybe under, I’m not sure, I’m not good with distances.”

Arjona previously told Variety that she “imagined that I was either going to be on a green screen or that I would have to be in front of a virtual set,” but that “Ferrix actually exists” thanks to extensive practical production design.

Showrunner Gilroy added that “Andor” shot on real locations using fully constructed sets in London. The cityscape included everything from mansions to “high-class brothels and housing projects,” per the interview.

“You should be able to watch the show and not give a shit about ‘Star Wars’ ever, or [have ever] seen any ‘Star Wars,’” Gilroy shared. “This show should work on its own. The hope, the dream, is that the really hardcore ‘Star Wars’ community will embrace the show in a new way — that they’ll be thrilled to have someone come in and completely uncynically get down molecularly in their world and treat it like a real thing.”

The director continued, “I wanted to do it about real people. They’ve made all this IP about the royal family, in essence. It’s been great. But there’s a billion, billion, billion other beings in the galaxy. There’s plumbers and cosmeticians. Journalists! What are their lives like? The revolution is affecting them just as much as anybody else. Why not use the ‘Star Wars’ canon as a host organism for absolutely realistic, passionate, dramatic storytelling?”

Diego Luna reprises his role as Rebel spy Cassian Andor, along with Stellan Skarsgård, Forest Whitaker, Arjona, Genevieve O’Reilly, and Fiona Shaw rounding out the cast.

As lead star Luna described, “It’s not about one character saving everyone. It’s about community.”

For all the updates on “Andor” and more upcoming “Star Wars” series, head here. “Andor” premieres September 21 on Disney+.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox