The next 'Star Wars' series, 'Andor,' could look a lot different than 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' — thanks to it leaning into 'old school' practical sets

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The next 'Star Wars' series, 'Andor,' could look a lot different than 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' — thanks to it leaning into 'old school' practical sets
"Andor."Disney+
  • Past Disney+ "Star Wars" shows used technology called StageCraft, a giant wraparound LED screen.
  • The next "Star Wars" series, "Andor," avoided it in favor of practical sets, its creator Tony Gilroy said.
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A new "Star Wars" series, "Andor," is coming to Disney+ next month, and it could look a lot different than the streaming service's other live-action "Star Wars" shows.

That's because it didn't use the technology that those other shows did, called StageCraft — a type of "volume" created by the visual-effects company ILM that is basically a wall composed of giant LED screens that wraps around a film set.

The volume on a set is typically the space where a green screen would be located and images would be created. In the case of StageCraft, the images are on the screens for the actors to actually see in real time, creating the perception that they are in a physical environment.

And, as TechCrunch noted, the images aren't static — they alter as the camera moves.

But "Andor," a spinoff of the "Star Wars" standalone movie "Rogue One" that premieres on September 21, avoided Stagecraft and opted instead for building practical sets, according to "Andor" creator Tony Gilroy.

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"Yep, we're old school," he told Empire Magazine. "We didn't use StageCraft at all."

The tech was used on "Rogue One," however. According to StarWars.com, the LED screens were used for the film but in a limited capacity, and images had to be replaced in post-production.

StageCraft was improved upon and utilized on the first "Star Wars" live-action series "The Mandalorian," and then again for "The Book of Boba Fett" and "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

"It's exactly the same sort of technology as the large LED screens you see in Times Square," Richard Bluff, the "Mandalorian" visual-effects supervisor, told StarWars.com in 2020.

"What we wanted to do was shoot on a small stage with small physical sets that could be wheeled in and out fairly quickly and then extend those physical sets on the wrap-around LED wall," he said.

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StageCraft can be a money-saving mechanism, and building practical sets could have inflated "Andor's" production costs. The first season is also 12 episodes, compared to the single-digit-episode seasons of previous "Star Wars" shows, which might have boosted the budget even more.

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