To put it lightly, writing this review may be the most cathartic experience of my life. I grew up with “Star Wars”, as most people have for the last 50 years. While I love the franchise, I can’t say I love what it has become. The sequel trilogy was a mixed bag. “Kenobi” was a waste of potential. “The Book of Boba Fett” ruined my week. It seemed like we were moving further away from what I loved about Star Wars with each installment. The stories started to feel less meaningful, the themes got weaker, and some shows started to feel like I was watching someone play with action figures instead of telling a coherent story.
To cut to the chase, I’m no longer worried about the future of this franchise if they maintain this level of quality. There are at least five episodes of “Andor” that left me breathless. It is a fascinating, thoughtful and touching series that exceeded all expectations. It’s not just a legendary “Star Wars” franchise. “Andor” has the potential to become one of the all-time greats.
Tony Gilroy, who is best known for his contribution to the Jason Bourne series, wrote “Andor”. This Disney+ original is a prequel to the 2016 film “Rogue One” and follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) on his adventures across the galaxy.
Admittedly, the first two episodes of “Andor” are considerably slower than your usual “Star Wars” outing. I was bored during a few scenes in the early episodes before I was sold. Now that the series has ended, you can be sure that every scene builds to something big, culminating in some of the most beautiful storytelling the franchise has ever seen. Visually and thematically, “Andor” is beautiful.
The simple recipe for success is that it leans back to the spirit of “Star Wars” through a beautiful story, which analyzes why we fight against oppression. This show delves deep into the motives of each character. It is complemented by brilliant cinematography and a brilliant score that enhances the spectacular writing and acting. Andy Serkis and Stellan Skarsgård deliver monologues in the series that define and redefine how viewers can perceive the essence of rebellion.
That said, “Andor” is a surprisingly dark show for its TV-14 rating. The show somehow remains one of the most hopeful in the franchise despite its dark tone. This is because Gilroy understands that darkness is necessary for there to be light. Despite the crippling oppressive atmosphere this show can have, it all builds to a message of hope and perseverance through some of the darkest nights. For some, this message is extremely relevant in our current climate.
Ultimately, if “Andor” wasn’t perceived as a “Star Wars” franchise, it might be held in even higher regard. What’s holding it back the most is the expectations of what this franchise could be. “Andor” is a dark, reflective character study with incredible action and well-written characters. While it can be a slow burn at times, it truly is one of the best shows in recent memory.
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