Why the Locations of ‘Andor’ Feel So Familiar

Nothing quite like that sweet sweet tactility, amirite?
Andor Location Canary Warf

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.

More videos like this

Meg Shields: Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.