December 1, 2022
Star Wars Andor

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Star Wars: Andor is a story of a rebellion and its beginning through the eyes of someone who would transform from a cynical cold-blooded killer into a man willing to die to save the galaxy from tyranny.

To say that the sixth episode of Andor is phenomenal is an understatement, that’s how incredible it was. Tony Gilroy has created a show that focuses on the first days of the Rebellion in a way that I’ve always wanted to see. This is not a series featuring the striking goodness of heroes versus an empire led by bad guys with lightsabers. This is a series about people that feel authentically real in their conflictions; their moral ambiguity, and their courage to take a stand against the all-encompassing oppression of a force seemingly impossible to quell.

Star Wars Andor Episode 1x06
(L-R): Taramyn Barcona (Gershwyn Eustache Jr.), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Karis Nemik (Alex Lawther) and Arvel Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

ROGUE ONE

Once again, I am taken aback by how precisely Tony Gilroy knows how to create characters that feel like real people with real problems. Not mythical legends who have destiny on their side. And how he makes us care so quickly about these characters.

When I watched Rogue One six years ago I wasn’t expecting to not only like the new characters in the movie but love them. And yet, Gilroy managed, in two hours, to make me care about them more than most characters in the franchise. It’s why their deaths, one by one, were so utterly shattering to observe. Gilroy understands all it requires for one to get invested in a character are short moments of dialogue that reveal a character’s nature. Or the why behind what they’re doing. The actors and the story will do the rest.

ANDOR
(L-R): Lieutenant Gorn (Sule Rimi) and Chieftan (David Hayman) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

POWERFUL STORYTELLING

Andor has done that spectacularly. OThroughoutsix episodes, he has introduced a multitude of characters. And through their actions created a story that feels both powerful and intimate at the same time. There are so many things I didn’t know I needed in Star Wars until today. Like characters eating cereal in the morning. Or trying to put on a belt that doesn’t fit anymore. It’s small, seemingly insignificant things that Gilroy takes time to focus on, giving us an even deeper look into the psyche of these individuals and their daily conundrums.

Gilroy also allows time to feel present in this show. Days don’t just rush by in an unexplained sludge of time. The Rise of Skywalker‘s plot takes place over sixteen hours and yet you never feel the time. Things are just happening and we’re supposed to assume that every pit stop along the way takes place in a couple of hours or a little while longer.

In Andor, days, hours, and even minutes are important. Nothing is just happening in this series. Everything in this series is so deliberate even facial twitches matter. I can’t get enough of how concise this show is and how it has told this story so incredibly.

ANDOR
(L-R): Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) and Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

A JUSTIFIED SERIES?

Sure, there are surely some who feel, “Why should I care about a Cassian prequel? Was he really that important of a character to get a whole series?” My answer to all the neigh-sayers and unenthusiastic viewers is this. This isn’t just a prequel about a character who we know dies in Rogue One. This is a story of a rebellion and its beginning through the eyes of someone who would transform from a cynical man who would kill someone in an instant to a man willing to die to save the galaxy from tyranny.

As someone whose favorite installments in the franchise are Star Wars: Rebels and Rogue One, I love a great story about simple people standing against the Empire with nothing more than will and courage. And Andor has undoubtedly entered the chat for being just that. I can’t wait to see how the rest of this series unfolds.

Star Wars: Andor is streaming exclusively on Disney Plus now.

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