Skip to main content

TV Series Review: Star Wars Andor (2022, Disney+) *No Spoilers*

Star Wars Andor One Sheet

I'm a huge fan of most of the live action Star Wars, Disney+ TV series. Though I do think The Book of Boba Fett and Obi Wan both dropped the ball a little with fan expectations. 

Star Wars Andor, on the other hand, is a series no one was really asking for but quite a lot of us who tuned in are hugely thankful that it was made. Many have commented that this is the best Star Wars we've seen in quite a while.

Personally I think it's the best Star Wars since The Empire Strikes Back.

Having said that, I will concede, for fans that feel this series is slow and boring (of which there clearly are a lot of you), I did feel the episodes leading up to the heist really started to drag a bit.

Which is not to say the earlier episodes weren't good, they just seemed to keep promising the heist episode sooner than it actually happened.

Andor covers the start of the Rebellion in the Star Wars universe. It's basically the other side of the story to the prequel trilogy which show the rise of the Empire and Darth Vader.

The show begins with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), one of the key heroes from Rogue One, several years prior to the events of that film. He is pretty much a thief/mercenary for hire, who is also looking for his sister. His skills become highly sought after for an upcoming heist being planned to help fund the resistance.

As the episodes progress the show expands into an ensemble piece documenting the early days, and key players of the Rebellion.

What makes this show for me is the mundaneness of it all, in the sense that the show really gives you time to live in the day to day of the Star Wars universe. There's no real big defining thing that that the story is leading us toward, other than the formation of the Rebellion and the events of Rogue One (which the creators of this series have said this is the time period of the show).

We get to see the inner workings of the Empire as a bloated, over reaching organization, suffering from internal politics at management level, as well as how their oppression of worlds is growing.

More interestingly we get to see a side of the Rebellion that hasn't really been explored in live action Star Wars. That is the darker side of what it takes to push everyday people into action against their oppressors. Not every decision made is heroic, and some are borderline as bad as the Empire themselves.

If this was a movie it would be placed somewhere not long after the third prequel (or perhaps some of it is concurrent with the prequels since we do get to see the Imperial Senate but it's not clear if Senator Palpatine has yet become a defining voice). 

Andor kind of tells the other side of the story to the prequels, which are about how the Empire formed and Anakin's path to Vader. In many ways I feel the show does what George Lucas was trying to do if he hadn't gotten quite so focused on all the top tier characters - basically the leadership of both sides. 

The prequels could of used a bit more of the every day people like Luke and Han from the original movie (before they found their feet in the Rebellion). Same goes for the sequel trilogy, which started out well but then narrowed onto all the leadership in the two later films.

Anyway, before this review becomes everything I think was wrong with the prequels (too many Jedi's for one... "you get a lightsaber, and you get a lightsaber...") Andor does have its action moments. They are a bit few and far between but they do have stakes. People on both sides die, some who you may not expect.

If you're not into a lot of dialogue and prefer your Star Wars to be more action based, I can see how this show may come across as slow and boring. However, if you're into character development and well written exchanges that actually mean something (no emo Anakin "I hate sand" intellectual observations here) Andor is a real treat.

The first three episodes are a little bit of a push through, waiting for something to happen, but it does pay off, and the pace picks up with some of the best Star Wars you'll see anywhere.

I'm really looking forward to season two.

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Is AI Art 'Art'? The Say NO to AI Art Movement, and Why Human Artists Will Adapt

AI Art No T-Shirt by TET Also available on other items . Right now there is a big debate over not just whether AI art is 'art' but whether AI's are actually ripping off the work of actual human artists, without their consent, to create their images - particularly images 'in the style of' specific artists. From my own observations this debate started to get more traction when artist's signatures began appearing in the output of AI Art  image generators. Is It Art? Cool Froyd the Cat Sketch by TET. My style is very much influenced by classic Disney and WB character styles. To get some clarity on how real human artists work (of which I am one)... we, that is all of us... take influences from the art that has come before. i.e. whatever artists we like, have studied, seen etc. we are influenced by. It shows up in our work, intentionally or not. If you really study my own cartoony art style you'll see I'm heavily influenced by early Disney and Warner Bros cart

The History of Electric Cars and How Car Manufacturers and Oil Companies Have Manipulated You Against Them

The 1990 GM Impact electric concept car Image source - Wikipedia:  Fair use , Link For as long as I can remember maintaining a car is more of an inconvenience and unexpectedly expensive. Particularly keeping the engine maintained. Not to mention having to actually drive to a service station to make sure you have enough fuel to go to wherever you're going. How many of us wait until the fuel gauge is showing nearly empty before filling up? If you could have a car that is extremely low maintenance, low cost to run, and you could fuel up at home whenever you wanted, you would right? That's pretty much what an electric vehicle offers but so many people are strongly against these vehicles? Did you know that electric vehicles (EVs) have been around since 1884? Not only that but also EVs dominated the roads over gasoline powered cars before said cars became quieter and easier to operate? Did you also know that there was an EV revolution (almost) in the mid 1990s with GM releasing the E

Movie Review: Avatar 2 - The Way of Water (2022) *Spoiler Free*

To be honest I didn't think, after so many years, a second Avatar movie would have anywhere near the success of the first film. However, at the time of writing this review, Avatar 2 - The Way of Water had already made a billion dollars at the box office in just 12 days. As much as the first film has become a little bit of a joke - mostly just for how long it has taken to get a sequel - people did enjoy that movie and Avatar 2, I feel, is a better experience. It's easily of the same quality visually but also, there's more story and characters to invest in. Not to mention the additional world building. Avatar 2 picks up several years after the first movie. Jake Sully now has a young family on Pandora who he is forced to protect when a familiar threat returns to the extrasolar moon. While the broad themes and plot are not that different from the first movie, within that there are interesting sub stories of family, fathers, being different, and revenge. All of which is balance

TV Series Review: National Treasure: Edge of History (2023, Disney+) *No Spoilers*

While I wouldn't say I was a huge fan of the National Treasure movies staring Nicolas Cage, I did find them enjoyable and would have certainly watched another if more were made in the series (or is it 'franchise' when we're talking movies?). Having finally gotten around to watching the new Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History I'm honestly not sure who the creators think their audience is, because it's definitely not me? At this point I've watched six episodes and I'm intending to push through until the end but I'm finding it a difficult watch because at age 52 the show feels heavily skewed towards teenage girls, or at a stretch young adults in general. There's also a very CW show vibe that I'm getting that screams 'budget' television more than any attempt to give the series a 'movie' like quality. Which Disney has done with some of its Marvel based TV series. Not even the inclusion of Catherine Zeta Jones - who

Why Drawing Without Purpose is an Important Skill for Artists

I watch quite a lot of artist channels on YouTube and one thing that is common to many of them is that each new video sets out with the goal of creating a piece of finished art. Even if the artist is just doing something 'rough' in a sketchbook, by the end of the video that 'rough drawing' will look like a finished artwork ready to be framed and hung on a wall. In my latest two art videos I unintentionally demonstrated why not sitting down to create a piece of finished art every time is also an important part of any artists practice.