Emmys spotlight: Will ‘Andor’ join its ‘Star Wars’ stablemate ‘The Mandalorian’ in Best Drama Series?

“Andor” is a strong contender to crack the Emmy Best Drama Series lineup this year, earning favorable reviews and awards buzz after its Disney Plus premiere last fall. But is there room on the nominees list for two ‘Star Wars’ shows, with the sophisticated sci-fi noir competing against “The Mandalorian,” its comrade from a galaxy far, far away? That show’s third season (currently streaming weekly) is in the hunt for a third consecutive nomination in the top category after its breakthrough in 2020 and follow-up nomination in 2021.

“The Mandalorian” became the third space-set drama (a space opera, if you will) ever nominated in Best Drama Series after “Star Trek: The Next Generation” three decades ago in 1994 and the original “Star Trek” almost three decades before that in 1967 and 1968. There’s a real possibility that “Andor” will be the fourth.

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SEE Exclusive Video Interview: Diego Luna (‘Andor’)

The latest live-action series in the Disney-era “Star Wars” franchise (after “The Mandalorian,” “The Book of Boba Fett” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi”), “Andor” serves as a prequel to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016) and also by extension to the original Oscar-winning classic “Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977). Star Diego Luna reprises his “Rogue One” role as the interplanetary titular thief-turned-Rebel spy Cassian Andor and also serves as an executive producer on the series. “Andor” focuses on Cassian’s origin story over the five years leading up to the end of “Rogue One,” when he and fellow renegade Jyn Erso (Oscar nominee Felicity Jones) spectacularly sacrificed their lives to successfully steal and transmit the top-secret Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance led by Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

The sci-fi prequel was created by Tony Gilroy (who was also pivotal in getting “Rogue One” made, by directing re-shoots and reworking its screenplay), with an ensemble cast including Kyle SollerAdria Arjona, Emmy nominee Fiona Shaw (“Killing Eve,” “Fleabag”), Emmy nominee Stellan Skarsgård (“Chernobyl”), Denise GoughGenevieve O’ReillyFaye MarsayVarada Sethu and Elizabeth Dulau.

Luna recently scored Best Drama Actor nominations from the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, which also nominated the show in the Best Drama Series category. “Andor” has also been a hit with various industry guilds, scoring nominations from the Art Directors Guild, British Society of Cinematographers, Motion Picture Sound Editors, Producers Guild, Screen Actors Guild (for Best Stunt Ensemble), Society of Composers & Lyricists, Visual Effects Society and the Writers Guild, and won the top editing prize from the American Cinema Editors Guild.

SEE 2023 Emmys: Predict the nominees for drama, comedy and limited categories

“Andor” has an impressive 96% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, an almost unanimous seal of approval from TV critics like David Klion (The New Republic), who raves that the show “deserves to be seen as great TV, in the same league as shows like ‘The Wire’ and ‘The Sopranos’,” with Miles Surrey (The Ringer) declaring that “‘Andor’ isn’t just great by ‘Star Wars’ standards — it’s one of the best shows of the year.”

Mark my words, this series could easily upend the current status quo among the top drama series vying for attention this upcoming awards season, as all it will take is for one of the currently-predicted top eight shows to falter. According to our current 2023 Emmy racetrack odds, “Andor” is on the cusp of a Best Drama Series Emmy nomination (sitting pretty in ninth place with 30/1 odds), right behind “The Mandalorian” in eighth place with 16/1 odds. Reigning champ “Succession” leads the pack with 4/1 odds, followed by recent Golden Globe and SAG victor “The White Lotus: Sicily” (11/2) in second, the swansong season of “Better Call Saul” (15/2) in third, HBO megahit “The Last of Us” (8/1) in fourth, previous winner “The Crown” (9/1) in fifth, the blockbuster prequel “House of the Dragon” (19/2) in sixth and previous nominee “Yellowjackets” (11/1) clinging to seventh place just ahead of “The Mandalorian” in eighth.

Our odds are based on the combined forecasts of Experts we’ve polled from major media outlets, Editors who cover awards year-round for this website, Top 24 Users who did the best predicting the winners last time, All-Star Users who had the best prediction scores over the last two years, and the mass of Users who make up our biggest predictions bloc.

If you haven’t seen “Andor” yet, what are you waiting for? Off you go. Immerse yourself in this gritty and intense political sci-fi thriller. Chances are you too will be singing its praises with the same sense of urgency as the Rebels fighting the oppressive evil Empire, while talkin’ ’bout a revolution…in the drama series lineup.

PREDICT the 2023 Emmy nominees through July 12

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