‘Andor’ is a Star Wars slow-burn that will grow (I hope!) into something truly special

Sometimes a TV show will grab me right away, hooking me from the very first episode. After episode 1 of the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, I was all in. I fell in love with Star Trek: Strange New Worlds immediately. 

Other times, it will take me a while to settle into a show, to sort out my thoughts and get used to the story it’s trying to tell. That’s what’s happening with Andor, at least for me. 

Andor is Star Wars without a lot of the trappings that make a story feel like “Star Wars.” No lightsabers, no Sith, no Jedi, no Force – which all happen to be my favorite things about Star Wars. However, I have a feeling the story that Andor is seeking to tell will, in the end, be equally as compelling. 

It’s definitely a slow burn – and as I watched the first two episodes of Andor, I wondered if this show was a little TOO much of a slow burn. The story takes its time to get going, and it made sense to me why they decided to release three episodes at once (episode three is where things start getting exciting for our main characters). 

The show so far has some definite Dune and Blade Runner vibes, which is actually pretty cool once I got used to seeing a Star Wars story told this way. It’s the most adult of the Star Wars stories Disney has given us so far, and it’s encouraging to see Star Wars branch out and use different styles and tones. There’s gonna be a lot more morally-gray character decisions here than in Kenobi

Andor is a prequel to Rogue One, a movie that introduces a host of intriguing characters but gives us precious little time with them. By the end of the film, they’ve all sacrificed their lives in service of the Rebellion. Rebel spy Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is perhaps the most mysterious of the characters, and as we learned from the movie, he’s not afraid to make tough calls and commit unethical acts to further his cause. 

In Andor, Cassian is strictly operating in survival mode, but Rebel agent Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) believes he could be something more. While this show has avoided the old “cameo of the week” format some of the Disney+ shows fall into, it is good to see underused onscreen characters like Imperial Senator/Rebel conspirator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) in more detail. In this era, the Empire is at the height of its strength, and Andor really drives home just how much the Rebels are risking by daring to take a stand. 

In coming weeks, I hope that Andor continues to dig even deeper into Cassian, Mon Mothma, and Rael as characters. Because this is a prequel, we know how Cassian and Mon Mothma’s stories end, but that doesn’t mean the journey this show plans to take us on will be any less gripping. 

I also hope there’s more going on than meets the eye with corporate security agent Syril Karn (Kyle Soller). I would love to see him become a Rebel spy himself or at least a double agent. I have a fondness for this character based on the fact the actor also stars in one of my favorite period dramas, the recent-ish remake of Poldark, and (spoiler alert for that show!) he doesn’t come to a happy ending. It’s always fun seeing actors from my favorite period dramas in something completely different, and I hope Soller gets a meaty story to dive into in the Star Wars universe. 

This article isn’t so much a review as a series of thoughts, because Andor feels like one of those shows that I’ll need to watch in its entirety before forming my final opinion. Right now it’s not my top favorite Disney Star Wars story, but you know what? It eventually could be, and I’m looking forward to finding out where it goes. 

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