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Wednesday September 27th

Disney’s ‘Andor’ is a breath of fresh air for ‘Star Wars’ fans

<p>(Photo courtesy of Disney +)</p><p><br/></p>

(Photo courtesy of Disney +)

By Andrew Martinez

When it was announced during Disney Investor Day in late 2020 that Tony Guillory, who was the co-writer of 2015’s “Rogue One,” would be writing a series centered around Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), one of the lead characters from Disney's “Rogue One,” it certainly wasn’t a highlight for many fans. The show had struggled with getting off the ground and dealing with production issues due to the pandemic, especially with Guillory not being available to direct. Many fans thought this series wouldn’t even come into existence — let alone be anything astounding.

That being said, after finishing the first season, I was completely shocked. “Andor,” directed by Toby Haynes for a majority, is one of the most different and unique among the latest “Star Wars” content that has been released, but it uses that to its advantage so well.

The series follows Andor five years prior to the events of “Rogue One” and “A New Hope,” depicting his adventures and how he joins the rebellion. It shows him traveling through the galaxy with new characters and how the early parts of the rebellion unfold. Through his backstories to his interactions with other characters, you get to see his ideologies slowly change. He grows from a selfless thief to the rebellion leader that we see in “Rogue One.” I personally wasn’t really interested in Cassian at first and didn’t think my mind would change about him, but this show really does make you care more about him and the rest of the cast. 

Supporting characters such as Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) were also a huge highlight about this show, with Serkis pulling off one of the best performances I’ve seen in a “Star Wars” project in Episode 10. Even Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly), who has been a frequent character in the original trilogy and other shows, grew to be a really compelling character for me, especially towards the end of the season. Watching her struggle with deciding how much she was willing to sacrifice for the rebellion was really interesting, and I definitely felt for her towards the end of the finale.

While I really enjoyed the series, the biggest issue I found was the pacing. It takes a couple of episodes to get into and is definitely a slow burn, which could help explain the decline of viewership and success compared to the other shows, like “Kenobi,” “The Book of Boba Fett” or “The Mandalorian.”

There were also some storylines that I felt didn’t really belong to the show earlier on and just didn’t work for me, such as ones featuring Syril Karn (Kyle Soller). His obsession with Andor really didn’t interest me at all and the scenes of him sitting around with his mother just quite frankly bored me. I really felt like screen time should’ve been dedicated towards other characters instead, or Syril Karn's storyline should've been cut out completely. 

But I would say that the beauty of this show and what makes it so great is that it really makes you root for a lot of these characters that you have no previous experience with or knowledge of. “Andor” really goes in-depth into the Empire and Rebellion on a much smaller scale, showing the repercussions it has on regular people throughout the galaxy that we haven’t seen much before. 

While it doesn’t include any of the legacy characters fans have grown to love in the Star Wars Universe, or any of the other familiar elements we are used to from previous installments, like the force or the Jedi, that certainly doesn’t stop “Andor” from being a groundbreaking show for the franchise. 

"Andor" is a story about normal people standing up for what they believe is right, which makes it so special. This show deserves to gain more attention. With networks such as ABC, FX, Freeform and Hulu now airing these episodes, more people will be able to see just how amazing it truly is. 

Season 1 of “Star Wars: Andor'' is now streaming on Disney +.


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