Star Wars: How Doctor Who's Jodie Whittaker Helped Out With Andor

Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker didn't just help give that franchise a shot of life – she also helped Star Wars: Andor's crew get their sci-fi lingo right. A new interview with the Andor cast that's coming to Empire Magazine, Andor cast member Denise Gough (who plays Imperial officer Dedra Meero) confesses to leaning on her friend Jodie Whittaker for advice on how to pull off sci-fi space talk in a convincing fashion. So what advice did Jodie Whittaker share on how to give good Star Wars

According to Denise Gough, Jodie Whittaker said the key to delivering a good sci-fi performance is the power of imagination: "Oh, mate, you have to imagine all those pictures in your head," Gough said, quoting Whittaker. 

Delivery will actually be a key make-or-break factor of Star Wars: Andor. Rogue One's uncredited director Tony Gilroy is known for putting out dramatic thriller movies that have that tight-clip insider baseball dialogue (see: Michael Clayton, The Bourne films). Andor will very much be an espionage spy-thriller examing how the Galactic Rebellion began within the heart of the Empire, and how figures like Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) turned from their esteemed positions (senators, wealth powerful families) to take up the fight against tyranny. Star Wars fans (and mainstream TV viewers) should probably be prepared for the major "action" of Andor to more often than not come in the form of scenes of dialogue that ratchet-up tension – in addition to the shootouts and space battles. 

That's pressure to deliver a great dramatic espionage story when getting all the Star Wars terminology down is something that is usually challenging enough for a performer. Star Wars: Andor will be taking us deeper into the societal workings of the Star Wars Universe than just about any other live-action project; the level of detail in the dialogue needs to both jibe with the rest of the franchise, provide that "insider baseball" spy/espionage lingo Gilroy is famous for ("This is very much a spy thriller," says O'Reilly), and still be able to hook mainstream viewers who normally may not even be all that into Star Wars. 

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According to Tony Gilroy's statement to Empire, catching a mass audience in that wide net is definitely the goal: 

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"Our goal with this show is ambitious but simple: we want to blow the hardcore Star Wars people away. But we also want their husband, neighbor, sister — that person in their life who's never got why they like Star Wars. We're absolutely going for both audiences."

Star Wars: Andor will premiere its first three episodes on Friday, September 23rd.