“Star Wars: Andor is quite a strange puzzle. All the pieces move very slowly, and we are given a story that is one part slow-paced, one part mystery, and one part extraordinary.”
Andor is quite a strange puzzle. All the pieces move very slowly, and we are given a story that is one part slow-paced, one part mystery, and one part extraordinary. A lot of stuff just happens, and we don’t get a clear explanation of what will occur. Characters talk and say very little but also very much in terms of what will matter in the long run. Most of the characters have British accents, so sometimes I feel like I’m watching the Star Wars version of Downtown Abbey.
Diego Luna’s character, Cassian Andor is the stark exception, with a strong Mexican accent that marks him as the one who is out of place in all this. Cassian is an aggressive man and does not like anyone pushing him around. He is also volatile with the crew he finds himself working with, and they seem to really need him. And don’t at the same time.
It’s very hard to read the members of the crew because they are a motley group. I find myself focusing on Vel, who seems to be the unofficial leader of what might very well be the first Rebel cell. They are set to attack an Imperial airfield. And they need to figure out how to get a ship on the landing pad. I guess! Everything is hard to follow and that’s why I love this. Also, the slow pace builds up a lot of tension and suspense, and I hope they strike soon.
The B and C stories are also quite confusing. Mon Mothma tries to convince her daughter to go somewhere. But she is snippy and defiant and would rather go with her father. Yet it is completely unclear what that is. C is simply a young Preox-Morlana Deputy Inspector Syril who is at the end of his rope and needs to figure out his next move. He is staying with his mother who is pushy and not afraid to tell him that he needs better direction. So basically, this story is about a rebel uprising on Adarlani, and everyone fits intrinsically. Mon is trying to fund this fledging rebellion. Syril is looking to bring Cassian to justice. And the crew, well we don’t know what their endgame is, and their unofficial leaders Vel and Luthen are very tight-lipped about everything.
The Rebels on Adarlani live like Stone Age farmers. And with her staff and burka, Vel looks more at home in the Lord of the Rings franchise or Game of Thrones than in Star Wars. The landscape of Adarlani also reminds me of the Shire. And sometimes I need to rub my eyes to remember that they are in a galaxy far, far away. That aesthetic is interesting in contrast to the briefly seen sleek and futuristic of Mothma’s Coruscant. And I’m sure that was intentional. I want this series to blow my expectations. And I’m hoping we get to see the fruits of the story’s labor with Episode 6.
Lastly, the shriek of the TIE fighter flying overhead on Adarlani was so loud and chaotic, that I almost felt anxiety when it passed so close to Cassian and his “team.” TIEs are a beautiful classic ship, and I am glad they are utilizing its cinematic appeal to its full potential.
Let’s drink some darg milk and hope we see some action next time! 6.7 out of 10 Death Stars.
Star Wars: Andor is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus now.
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Max Nocerino is a regular Staff Writer for The Future of the Force. He is a passionate Star Wars fan and loves the literature of the galaxy far, far away. Follow him on Twitter where he shares his love of the Force frequently!