Features and Columns · TV

Why the Locations of ‘Andor’ Feel So Familiar

Nothing quite like that sweet sweet tactility, amirite?
Andor Location Canary Warf
By  · Published on March 10th, 2023

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores the real-life places that acted as sets on the Star Wars show Andor.

No one will judge you for failing to keep up with modern-day Star Wars IP. But even so, news may have reached you that Andor — the story of rebel spy Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) early days in the Rebellion — is something special.

As its laundry list of awards attention attests, there are a number of reasons Andor has distinguished itself amongst an increasingly bloated franchise. And one of them is that the show feels much more grounded, lived-in, and in a word, real than its peers.

There’s an interesting push-pull happening at the moment. On the one hand, much fuss has been made about how the Volume, Disney’s answer to rear projection, is both cost-saving and creatively liberating. On the other hand, one has to imagine that shooting on-location would pinch pennies when you don’t have to render water vapor in post. And to boot, it looks decidedly better. It will be interesting to see if Andor’s practical approach to world-building throws a wrench in Disney’s digital production pipeline.

The video essay below unpacks what makes Andor feel so much more lived-in than its peers. From “unnecessary” details like showing its characters eating to more brazen choices like putting on-location sets first and CGI enhancements second, here’s a look at the techniques Andor uses to make its world feel so real.

The video below is spoiler-free.

Watch “Why Andor Feels So Real”

Who made this?

This video essay on the real-life locations in Andor is by Virginia-based filmmaker and video editor Thomas Flight. He runs a YouTube channel under the same name. You can follow Thomas Flight and check out his back catalog of video essays on YouTube here. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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Meg Shields is the humble farm boy of your dreams and a senior contributor at Film School Rejects. She currently runs three columns at FSR: The Queue, How'd They Do That?, and Horrorscope. She is also a curator for One Perfect Shot and a freelance writer for hire. Meg can be found screaming about John Boorman's 'Excalibur' on Twitter here: @TheWorstNun. (She/Her).