Star Wars: Andor
review by Bobby Blakey
When Lucasfilm became officially a part of the Disney brand it quickly set out to expand the Star Wars Universe. Love them or hate them they have brought all sorts of new characters and worlds to the fans through new films and TV series. The latest is taking the character Cassian Andor from Rogue One to the forefront for a new series featuring the return of Diego Luna in the lead role as well as Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough and Kyle Soller.
Andor follows Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.
I was lucky enough to get to check out the first 4 episodes of the series before its premiere and it’s one that I think is going to likely divide people once again. I thoroughly enjoyed every episode, but it is a slow build and taking its time building the multiple stories that are developing here. As we know the show already green lit for two twelve episode series that lead directly into Rogue One. This plan allows them to take their time to tell the story, but it also makes it less exciting than most are likely hoping for.
The gritty visuals mimic the overall look of Rogue One to perfection so it that bothered in the film then you are already going to have issues. There are essentially three stories happening with the obvious history of Cassian Andor, but also the birth of the Rebellion and the continual rise of the Empire. These multiple stories take a lot of time to get into and isn’t all that exciting most of the time, but I found myself still enjoying the exploration into this different look into the galaxy far, far away.
Andor wasn’t a character we really needed to know more about, but I would be lying if I said I was excited for something different in the Star Wars universe. Anyone that knows me knows I love all things Star Wars including the prequels, sequels, originals and everything in between, but I do recognize some of their flaws. I am over the Skywalker saga and ready to expand into uncharted areas of the galaxy and this show is doing just that while still being familiar territory.
It does take a few episodes before much happens so you will have to be willing to stick it out to see what they have planned. Some of the focus seems unbalanced in why we are following these other characters, but I think it is obvious to be fleshed out as it moves ahead. It was great getting to see more of Genevieve O’Reilly once again as Mon Mothma and getting to see the character really get an arc as opposed to just the voice of the Rebellion and if this is handled right will give the character more stature that it deserves.
As far as visuals the series is outstanding. To me it is the best looking Star Wars series we have gotten to date bringing all the elements we love to the forefront with a big screen feel. I am all in and ready to see where this is headed, but with the initial slow pacing, political elements that hit a bit too close to home right now in our real world, lack of Jedi’s and the force it might not be for everyone. It doesn’t force the fan favorite smile and surprise moment at the end of every episode and instead lets the story play out to make it something more.
Decide for yourself and journey back to a galaxy far, far away when Star Wars: Andor makes its three episode premiere September 21st on Disney+.