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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.



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