The Mandalorian’s use of large LED screens (commonly known as “The Volume”) to display planetary environments was a game-changer for the visual effects industry when the series debuted in 2019. Industrial Light & Magic would later employ these video walls on other Star Wars shows and even loan them out to films like The Batman and Black Adam. However, one upcoming Lucasfilm project opted to do things the old-fashioned way. While speaking with Empire, showrunner Tony Gilroy confirmed that Andor chose more practical sets over ILM’s StageCraft technology.
If nothing else, yesterday’s new trailer for Andor’s first season was gorgeous to look at. So hearing that it doesn’t feature any Volume rigs comes as a surprise. Regardless, Gilroy discussed how abstaining from digital enhancements helped the series achieve its intended tone.
“Yep, we’re old-school,” said Gilroy. “We didn’t use StageCraft at all. It’s a choice that looks set to add even more grit and earthiness to a series all about capturing that texture, set at a time when the Star Wars galaxy is a particularly dark and dangerous place to be.”
Many of the show’s actors were impressed by the practical sets as well. Especially Fiona Shaw, whose character, Maarva, apparently lives in a house made from old spaceship parts. In the same interview, Shaw confessed that she would often just look up at the set and marvel over how the designers managed to pull this off. But according to series star Diego Luna, the practical method wasn’t without its drawbacks.
“In Pitlochry, Scotland, we had to walk for hours up a mountain to set up one shot,” revealed Luna. “Huge effort. Really dangerous to get there. All you can see around you is sky, trees, rivers, lakes. Amazing! Like being on another planet.”
Andor will premiere its first three episodes on Disney+ on September 21.
Are you surprised to hear that the show wasn’t filmed using The Volume? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!
Recommended Reading: The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program also provides a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.