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‘Andor’: A brave new world in that faraway galaxy

In 2016, Lucasfilm released the first of the “Star Wars” spin-off films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The film was a massive success and provided a new perspective on the Rebel Alliance. It took until this September to continue the journey “Rogue One” began into the underbelly of the famous rebellion in “Star Wars” when Disney+ aired the first three episodes of the newest “Star Wars” show, “Andor.”

This foray into the faraway galaxy stars Diego Luna as the titular Cassian Andor. In these first episodes, we meet him as an ostensibly undistinguished thief who, while searching for his missing sister, kills two officers who work for a megacorporation which essentially runs its own government upholding the Empire. This forces Andor to go on the run before company officer Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) arrests him. While trying to find a way off the planet Ferrix (which is under the jurisdiction of the company), Andor enlists the help of Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona), a mechanic and black market dealer.  She tries to help Andor get enough money to get off of Ferrix by reaching out to her mysterious contact Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård). Interspersed with this thriller are flashbacks to Andor’s childhood that explore his home planet Kenari, which has become the host of an Imperial mining project.

I have very mixed feelings about this show. One of its positives is that its cinematography is absolutely gorgeous. It looked very cinematic with a film noir feel, a genre influence the showrunner (and “Jason Bourne” scribe) Tony Gilroy has publicly celebrated. This doesn’t feel like a “Star Wars” product, even though it has the name attached to it; it feels very much like a spy thriller. I also like the subtlety of the flashbacks involving Andor and his sister. It didn’t detract too much from the main plot, but it serves the purpose of looking into Andor’s childhood and why he is the way he is. 

The show, however, has a major problem with pacing. The first two episodes of the show were very slow, which made them a bit painful for me to watch. As a massive “Star Wars” fan, I was expecting them to be very flashy and action-packed, so the first two episodes just didn’t do it for me. But when I watched the third episode, I was very satisfied, as it set up the next episode well and felt much like a “Star Wars” entry. 

In conclusion, “Andor” is a decent addition to the “Star Wars” franchise and offers a look into a compelling character whom fans have been waiting to know. The show will be releasing episodes weekly all the way up to Nov. 23, 2022 on Disney+.

Title: “Andor”

Starring: Diego Luna, Stellan Skarsgård

If you liked: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Where to watch: Disney+

Shamrocks: 4 out of 5

Contact Nicole Bilyak at nbilyak01@saintmarys.edu.