Tony Gilroy’s “Andor” sees the title character imprisoned and working day and night building these odd x-shaped pieces of … something. Turns out the Empire was using prison labor to build all the individual pieces that would eventually make the Death Star. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Gilroy admitted that his very adult “Star Wars” show took inspiration from this admittedly silly line of questioning. There is merit to thinking about the details of this galaxy far, far away and Gilroy was intrigued enough to work it into “Andor.” Here’s what he said:
“In ‘Clerks’ they talk about who’s cleaning up the Death Star, right? Like, who’s building all these ships? The amount of material that the Empire has is just epic. Where does it come from? Where does all that stuff come from? So we’re trying to say, Man, it’s a massive effort to build all these ships and build all these weapons, and build all these buildings […] All this stuff needs to be built and I don’t think everybody was getting $15 an hour to do it.”
One of the joys of “Andor” is how evil the Empire is in straight bureaucratic terms. It’s not just big bad Darth Vader using his space magic to slaughter people, it’s the institution itself that is set up to conquer the galaxy and enslave as many of them as they can get away with without prompting open revolt. There are innocent people helping build up this grand Empire, but they have no choice in the matter.
The fact that such a dramatic look at “Star Wars” took direct inspiration from such a silly conversation and made it into a deep, resonant storyline within “Andor” should put a smile on all of our “Star Wars” obsessed faces.