Lucasfilm’s television era star wars the franchise continues with Andorthis year’s third series is set in a galaxy far, far away. Andor is quick to part ways with shows like Boba Fett’s Book and Obi Wan Kenobia necessary movement star wars as Lucasfilm continues to crank out more stories from George Lucas’ beloved universe than ever before.
Prior to The Mandalorianlive action star wars TV series have always been a tantalizing prospect and one that George Lucas tried before eventually selling the company to Disney. The Mandalorian was the first story to debut in the new medium, but its episodic format may not have been what some fans hoped for in the golden age of television. Lucasfilm has struck gold again with The Mandalorianbut the franchise still needs diverse stories to survive.
Boba Fett’s Book followed a mostly non-linear story structure, while Obi Wan Kenobi was basically a feature split into six parts. Andor is something else entirely and is more reminiscent of what you can see on high-profile TV shows like game of thrones that Flash Gordon.
The last star wars The series follows Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor five years before his sacrifice for the Rebel Alliance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Luna is still finding her way like most protagonists star wars stories at this point in the story, but the world he’s set in is also very different from what we’ve seen before.
Andor is by far the most mature star wars story that Lucasfilm has never presented, so much so that at times you might even forget you’re watching one. The first four episodes are dark, grounded, and layered with moral complexity.
Tony Gilroy of the Jason Bourne the series brings star wars to the level of other drama TV series and does so to great effect. Whereas Andor takes a firm place in the star wars universe, the series is more about the people under the rule of the Empire and those who run it behind the scenes than it is about flair for action and adventure. Political machinations are at play, creating a story as interesting as House of the Dragon. While George Lucas star wars the prequels have been criticized in particular for their political elements, Andor justifies this necessity in a story exploring the different aspects of a war.
Andor could take place in a mystical universe, but the tone of the series is serious and very in tune with A thugwhich has become a fan favorite among star wars community in recent years. Andor takes that tone one step further, and while the series follows a familiar character, there are plenty of new parts of the galaxy for the series to explore.
Despite the time period, the early episodes of the series do not feature any Stormtroopers. Instead, the series focuses on local law enforcement, which brings a welcome sense of reality to the narrative.
Revolutionary StageCraft technology was instrumental in live action star wars shows released so far, but in addition to its refreshing narrative style, Andor also brings a different feeling visually. The series was shot overseas and on location instead of using The Volume and you can tell. The elaborate sets and stunning locations give the series plenty of atmosphere.
This decision adds an additional level of anchoring more in line with what we’ve seen on the feature side. Whereas AndorThe CGI isn’t perfect and reminds you that this is a TV series and not a movie, it always makes the most of it and the mix between CGI and practical effects is often seamless.
All good star wars the story must also have an excellent score behind it. Following a confusing and dull Obi Wan Kenobi score, Successionby Nicholas Britell gives Andor the oxygen he needs as a show composer. Although Britell does not use any pets star wars themes, his classic sound expands the musical palette of the series in the same way that Ludwig Göransson did with The Mandalorian.
While Cassian Andor is at the center of the story, he is a piece of the puzzle. After minor appearances in A thug and star wars rebels, Geneviève O’Reilly finally has the chance to further explore Mon Mothma. It provides insight into the dangerous obstacles one must face when building a rebellion under the nose of the enemy as a member of the Imperial Senate. Mothma’s storyline might very well be the most interesting for the audience as the story progresses.
Andor also features many new faces that we spend time getting to know and exploring in their own lives, but Stellan Skarsgård’s Luthen Rael stands out from the rest. Luthen serves as a bridge between the worlds of Andor and Mothma in the story, with an intriguing layer that makes him one of the most complex characters in the series. Skarsgård brings gravity to the role of Luthen and is sure to become a beloved character in the star wars cannon.
Kyler Soller’s Syril is another notable character making his series debut, but not for the reasons one might expect, similar to Adam Driver’s uninitiated Kylo Ren in the force awakens. Syril’s journey is meant to mirror Andor’s, but on the Imperial side of things. His story is incredibly relatable and his motivations are easily justified. Syril’s story is another one that will be captivating to follow in the episodes to come.
As star wars stories do, a new droid is also coming into play with B2EMO. While K-2SO won’t appear in the first season, B2EMO is a worthy substitute and stands apart from the franchise’s older droids. The representation of B2EMO is also unexpected and similar to TARS in Interstellarwhich is another refreshing addition.
On time, Andor can also be quite predictable but at the same time too complicated. Andor also requires your patience as its story is a bit slow to get started but Lucasfilm was smart to release the first three episodes at once as it unfolds like an arc you would see in The Clone Wars by the time you reach the explosive end of episode three.
star wars has always been aimed at kids, but this feels like the first live-action project from Lucasfilm that doesn’t. While that might be a necessary direction for Lucasfilm with so many star wars projects on the horizon, some might say goes against George Lucas’ original intent for the franchise. I believe Andor is still true to Lucas, but the average 12-year-old might not be able to grasp the plot and dialogue quite so closely, but you can say the same about the prequels.
Andor was the second live-action star wars former Disney CEO Bob Iger never announced. Admittedly, I was disappointed by the announcement, given the endless possibilities the galaxy had to offer. The series was going to revolve around a character we already knew from a time that has been explored in countless stories under Disney. I was ready for something new as star wars fan.
Unexpectedly and to my delight, Andor offers something completely unique and a step away from live-action star wars stories we have received so far. The story is compelling, gritty, and more in the vein of an HBO series than the popcorn flair Marvel Studios churned out for Disney Plus. Andor is an important step forward for star wars to take, and I think it will pay off very well for the longevity of the franchise.
Andor premieres September 21 on Disney Plus with three episodes. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the series, and subscribe to the Heroic Hollywood YouTube channel for more great video content!