The last time we saw Cassian Andor, the swashbuckling brigand rebel who played by Diego Lunahe died in 2016 alongside his noble conspirators war of stars Movie Villain One. It was a touching ending for the character, surprisingly ruthless for a franchise so built on simple fan satisfaction, but of course it was really just a start. Little can stay dead war of starsor most other IPs these days, and so we have Andora new Disney+ series premiering on September 21st.
One might, like I did, roll one’s eyes at the prospect of another war of stars Series, especially when you consider that all four Andor included are prequels to at least some of the films. What else can be deduced from these leaps in time – between the rule of the empire and its collapse or the rise of another? What gaps does someone desperately want to see filled?
Under the guidance of the creator and author Tony Gilroyalthough, Andor sells better than its predecessors. Some viewers may prefer the episodic, fairytale nature of The Mandalorian. But others will be delighted Andor‘s nervous earnestness, its sophisticated emotional stakes and jagged biting dialogue. at his best, Andor seems made for more discerning viewers, if there are any left – even those who aren’t fully immersed in it war of stars Lore and Arcana.
Certain knowledge is of course necessary. For example, you have to understand that the show takes place just before the events of the very first one war of stars Film in chronology of history. Villain One was about Andor and others who stole the plans to the Death Star, the horrific planet-destroying space station that was first blown up in 1977. Andor goes further back to its hero’s origins, from a scrawny, self-interested thief searching for a lost sister to a semi-willing conscript for the rebel troops fighting to undermine the Empire. Again, I’m not sure anyone has actually started a fan campaign to explain this particular narrative, but Gilroy convinces us of its urgency – or at least its potential.
What he’s made is a edgy spy thriller set on a variety of planets rather than the corridors of Washington DC or, say, 1940’s Germany. Gilroy’s writing has a flint, an acuity that lends disarming believability. I realize what a silly thing to say about a space fantasy, but Gilroy relents Andor something of the same knowing texture – sort of both smooth and grainy – that he managed Michael Clayton.
Part of the show’s success lies in its gnarly morals. In the opening scenes of the series, we watch as Andor, played by Luna with solemn brawn, murders two security guards who were trying to rob him. So he did something bad, albeit towards bad guys. Andor could, if one wanted to go that far, be read as anti-law enforcement or anti-mercenary or anti-state violence. That would be more of a political stance than most other Disney+ Originals. But Gilroy shades his portrait of the power dynamic and also hints at some of the damage done by the rebellion. In fact, Cassian and his colleagues represent millions of people buried under the rubble of war, injured by laser beams and bombs fired by both sides.
And yet the show doesn’t feel like an ambiguity. It’s just that both heroes and villains so far (I’ve seen four episodes) are refreshingly complicated in their motivations. The show demands more attention than its brethren; Its hazy borderlines prove far more intriguing than the brighter absolutes seen elsewhere.
Gilroy and directors Toby Haynes and Suzanne Weiss give the series a tarnished palette: sharp grays and mossy greens and faded blues. There’s not much flare or whimsy here; We are in the drab, utilitarian, industrial parts of the war of stars Galaxy where little glitters. Until we get the shock of the capital planet – all pristine surfaces and gleaming white interiors – and the economic chasm separating ruler and ruled is palpable.
Perhaps most critical to the show’s tangible mood was the decision to forego a core piece of technology that is heavily used by the other war of stars Shows mostly filmed on a sound stage surrounded by a 360 LED screen, a device first used for The Mandalorian. On Andorthe characters traverse elaborate and tangible sets and real-world locations, such as the misty and barren Scottish Highlands. Andor is a reminder of how rarely seen it has become war of stars Characters — or Marvel characters, for that matter — that are based on actual Earth.
Andor could exist almost on its own as a compelling mystery, detached from a larger saga. Gilroy and Luna – along with actors like Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shawand a hauntingly villainous one Kyle Soller– a strong case for her sad thriller, which momentarily shifts a massively connected universe away from cozy nostalgia and towards the jolt of something new. Of course, anything about the plight of the underclass sitting under such a gilded umbrella must be considered for its vague touch of hypocrisy. but Andor is appealing enough to stand up to that test so far, with two-thirds of the season still to go. Does the series keep its safe style, Andor Disney+ could be the closest thing to the renegade.
https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2022/09/andor-review-star-wars-tv-series ‘Andor’ Is the Best Star Wars Series Yet