Genre is a well established part of narrative media. Its functions as a device for narrative construction are two-fold: provide an established language for story to unfold in as well as build an library of works that audiences are able to understand as being connected by theme, aesthetic, and structure. Andor, a series first released in 2022 on Disney+, is part of the larger Star Wars franchise. It explores the inner workings of a nascent but growing rebellion against The Empire, the central focus of the original film trilogy. Uniquely, Andor largely frames its story around average people and their lives under The Empire rather than the typical franchise focus of the top echelons of the Rebellion/Empire. This paper explores the ways that Andor’s success hinges on its ability to exploit genre conventions and deep audience familiarity with its narrative universe in order to subvert the expected formula for a Star Wars property, presenting a more serious and explicit examination of one of the more implicit themes of the franchise: an unyielding look at what a resistance movement against imperial fascism looks like from the bottom up, not just the top down. Furthermore, I will argue that a secondary but no less important aspect of this success was an understanding that being part of a franchise with high public familiarity allows Andor to operate very effectively as content in the realm of virality/meme structured discourse, helping to extend discussions of its themes and focuses through social media.
Daniel Gilmore, CUNY, United States
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Daniel Gilmore is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at NYU in United States
See this presentation on the full schedule – Sunday Schedule