Aired On: Disney+
Release Date: 09/21/22
Action. Adventure. Drama.
"Prequel series to Star Wars' 'Rogue One'. In an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue, Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a Rebel hero."
Oh, wow, another Star Wars show is hitting Disney+. You have to imagine at some point it'll get exhausting, but Disney are releasing these things like wildfire. Just earlier this year we had Ewan McGreggor's return in Obi Wan Kenobi (an installment I found rather flat and disappointing), and now we have another returning character from Rogue One's ensemble of all movies. Diago Luna returns as the mysterious Kassian Andor in a series with Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, The Bourne Trilogy) as showrunner. Andor's set up is quite simple as it starts with him roaming through the streets of a planet looking for his sister, but a deadly ruin with law enforcement launch Andor's premier episodes into something that's the most exciting that these live action shows have ever been.
One thing that really bounced out to me in Andor was the production design. After Obi Wan Kenobi's rather flat production design, I was rather surprised that Andor's production design, brought by Luke Hull, is incredibly rich - colorful costumes, and inspired and detailed sets are exactly what give Star Wars that specific flair personally, and in Andor it feels something entirely unique to Star Wars, but also so incredibly Star Wars. What was also surprising was how fantastic the score was only to find that it's from Oscar-nominated Nicolas Britel, and it's the most sweeping and wonderous the music for this franchise has been in a bit.
It was quite possibly the first time these shows have been able to transfer me into that "galaxy far far away", and what's even better is that the story is a perfect western sci-fi blend that sets up some even more exciting arcs to come our way. What's interesting is how I found Andor to be totally unconcerned that it was a Star Wars story. Shows like The Mandolorian, and The Book of Boba Fett have many moments that hinge on fan service, and although I thoroughly enjoy both of these shows, it is kind of a hindrance when they rely on certain aspects of said fan service. So, it's actually quite refreshing to have Andor be totally innocuous about the universe that it's in.
Through the three episodes, Gilroy gives us an excellent slow burn that sets up what seems to be a very exciting science fiction series. Diego Luna's return as the titular character is quite charming and mysterious - reminding a bit of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop, and we get bits and pieces of his past to further develop the character and many of the emotional stakes that will eventually come into play. Gilroy also has Andor going through exciting set pieces including one in episode 3 which is possibly one of my new favorite fight scenes in any Star Wars media. Andor is shaping up to be incredibly promising with its promising premiere. Luna returns with an even more interesting angle that allows him to explore the character even further. Added with other exciting and dangerous aspects to give it all that Star Wars flare, and you have possibly my favorite Star Wars thing since Revenge of the Sith.