Once again, Disney+ has provided another show for us, Star Wars connoisseurs. “Andor” is the most recent show that takes us back to that familiar galaxy, far far away.
Remember Cassian Andor? That sorta love interest, co-protagonist from the “Rogue One” film?
Andor was a character both introduced and killed off in the span of a single film. While I have nothing against his character – he was well-written and interesting to say the least – I just think the film did a good job of introducing and telling his story that needed to be told.
I didn’t walk out of the movie thinking, “Wow! I sure hope that one guy gets a whole 24-episode spin-off TV series.”
He was interesting for what he was, but I didn’t want or feel I needed more about him.
But, because I’m a die-hard Star Wars fan who enjoys anything and everything that that galaxy has to offer, of course, I sit down each Wednesday to watch the newest episode of “Andor” that comes out.
As of writing this, only five episodes have been released, and oh my god am I thoroughly and pleasantly surprised.
Starting with the weakest points, honestly, it’s Andor himself. He’s not doing anything wrong and everything he does is written fine, but the show is filled with multiple different plot lines, and the one he’s a part of is probably my least favorite.
The title of the show is his name, yet there is so much going on that the show is about far more than just a Cassian Andor origin.
One of my favorite scenes so far in the show is simply a bunch of Imperial bureaucrats sitting at a round table talking business.
Yes, we’re all familiar with the big evil Galactic Empire, but it’s genuinely interesting to see more of the technicalities of how it’s run. The Empire is more than just Darth Vader blowing up planets.
So getting to see more of the average person in the Empire makes the whole Star Wars universe come alive. The show demonstrates that it’s not all black and white.
Yes, I know, the Empire on the grand scale of things has committed countless atrocities and is run by the Dark Lords of the Sith (I am not defending the literal genocide of the Jedi and slaughter of children and other innocent alien races), but we see in this show, not every Imperial is inherently evil.
Some are just there for the paycheck to simply support themselves and their families. In fact, most of them are oblivious (and understandably) to the darker doings of the Empire.
Another thing the show does well shows what life is like for both the average citizen and the rich. The rich people support the Empire because it keeps them rich, while the average citizen is either indifferent or supports the Empire simply because they’re not fully aware of what it is and think they will get rich.
The show has some good, well-written, realistic drama and relationships that make the galaxy once again feel more lived in, alive and relatable.
I’ll reiterate the show isn’t doing much in regard to its titular star, Andor. Once again, nothing against the character (or the actor, Diego Luna, who is phenomenal and a real charm), but I feel you could replace Andor with literally a brand new, never-before-seen character, and the story would flow the exact same.
The reason this show truly stands out is because of world-building. This show has nothing to do with the Jedi or the Force. It is strictly a political spy thriller…in space!
The Star Wars galaxy is huge and full of so many opportunities for different stories. It is so nice to see a story with a different style and tone.
That’s when I realized, so far it’s been the shows no one asked for that have been the best.
For example, no one asked Lucasfilm to make “The Mandalorian,” but now it’s considered one of the best Star Wars shows right now. The same goes for Andor – no one asked for this show, but now I consider it one of my favorites.
Comparatively, we can look at shows like “Obi-Wan” or “Boba Fett.” While I personally enjoyed them both (because in the end, I’m a lover of all things Star Wars), I did have gripes, and generally, there was backlash from audiences.
Why is this important? Because “Obi-Wan” and “Boba Fett” were both shows the fans kept asking for.
I guess what I’m trying to say is the thing that is keeping Star Wars enjoyable is the new fresh ideas, tones and styles – and perhaps when it’s something no one asked for, there’s no high expectations.
I’ll end this by saying I definitely recommend “Andor.” Whether you’re a Star Wars fan or not. You don’t need much prior knowledge as the show does introduce you to stuff fairly easily.
So, once again, go watch the show. Now! Stop reading this, and just go watch it.