Andor is truly a unique Star Wars show. Gone are all the lightsabers and Force users. This ain’t your parents’ Star Wars. This is a dark and gritty look at the everyday people in the galaxy far, far away. If Star Wars Underworld ever came to fruition, I imagine that the results would be something very similar. Led by a very strong ensemble cast and Academy Award nominee Tony Gilroy behind the camera, I think Andor is exactly what the Star Wars franchise needs right now.
You might be thinking, “Why do we need Andor?”. We already know Cassian dies in Rogue One. How many more stories are out there? Well, there are a lot. Set 5 years before Rogue One we follow Cassian Andor, once again played by the excellent Diego Luna in what is sure to be another fan-favourite portrayal, as he slowly joins the Rebellion. In this show, we get to learn more about his humble beginnings, and this adds more depth to his character. Overall, the show is simple, and, while it starts off slow to set the scene and tone of the show, with every subsequent episode you become more interested and attached. You don’t need convoluted plots about the lineage of Jedis or the clones of a Sith lord to be interested, sometimes, you just need a simple story about everyday people.
The ensemble cast here is very strong. Alongside Diego Luna, Genevieve O’Reilly, Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller and Fiona Shaw also star in the show. While everyone brings their “A” game, it’s Luna, Arjona, Shaw and Skarsgård who steal the show and give the best performances. I was excited every time their characters were on screen, and I think that fans will enjoy them too.
Andor is the most adult and serious Star Wars show we have seen so far. There is not a lot of humor in the first four episodes, and while I love a good laugh, it works here and helps to keep the show grounded. This show is definitely the exception to the rule when it comes to Star Wars, but it works well and I think if fans give it a chance, they will embrace it.
Within its first four episodes, Andor sets itself apart when you realize that there are no Jedis, Sith Lords, lightsabers, Force, or sand planets. There have been some criticisms of the show and its format but unlike some people, I really appreciated the fact that it was a departure from the norm and that they didn’t rely on easter eggs, for example, for this show. Andor manages to create an endearing and exciting story without relying on the lore that made Star Wars so iconic (aside from Mon Mothma and mentions of the Rebellion of course). So, if you’re hoping to see a tween Luke Skywalker show up randomly in the first four episodes, then this show is not for you.
Andor is another win for Lucasfilm and Star Wars. It’s a great look into the dark and gritty parts of the galaxy and I loved it. Season 2 can’t come soon enough.