The first three episodes of Andor

September 26, 2022

Spoiler warning if you have not watched episode 1-3 and Star Wars: Rogue One

I spent the weekend binge-watching TV shows—most of it on Disney+. In addition to watching the brilliant documentary Light & Magic, Andor is a series I started watching. The television series is a prequel to a prequel, telling the story about Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna), one of the main characters in Star Wars: Rogue One. The Star Wars film often typo'ed as the word for red in French (go, Rouge One!) is a prequel for the opening of Star Wars: A New Hope.

Cassian Andor is not a very likable character. You're introduced to him in Rogue One in a scene of him shooting a wounded ally in the back, in fear that the wounded colleague would give information away to the Empire. However, I'm hoping Andor becomes a world building sequel the same way Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater did for the acclaimed Hideo Kojima game series. Disney released the first three episodes of Andor all at once. It was a brilliant move as releasing the first episode may not have got people hooked. This show has a much different pacing than what people might expect since it's 12 episodes and planned to be at least two seasons.

So far, Star Wars television shows have not quite done it for me. The Book of Boba Fett was a mess and Obi-Wan Kenobi was underwhelming. I like the Mandalorian, but the same way I like watching a friend play side quests of an open world video game. All the shows have great visuals, moments, and fan service, but lack world building and storytelling. Andor seems to have the potential to open the world beyond space wizards, laser swords, and one Skywalker family that constantly gets woven in. My hope for Andor is that it doesn't do fan service for the sake of fan service, but in order to move the narrative forward. Tony Gilroy, the producer of Andor and who directed Rogue One has said there won't be any fan service.

The point of having a vast universe is to explore it—take risks and tell new stories. The cartoons and comics have done this, but not really in the TV show. The biggest touch on this is the aforementioned fan service, letting people know by showing an easter egg to let people know, "hey, this exist" in the universe.

I read that we likely won't get Season 2 until 2024 due to the production time. As much of a bummer it is, much of the scenes are shot on sight with practical effects. Though there are scenes shot with The Volume, I'm glad Tony Gilroy's team isn't leaning entirely on it.

The cast is also great. Diego Luna all the things! Stellan Skarsgård joins the Star Wars universe as Luthen Rael and Adria Arjona as Bix, who I bet will have a performance here that will make you (and her) forget she was in Morbius.

There are 9 more episodes to go so I can't give you full opinion yet, but so far I like Andor much more than any Star Wars television show, including the Mandalorian. As much as I love Mando, they need to kill off Baby Yoda and let the world breathe a bit more—too much fan service. If Andor was in The Mandalorian, you know he'll shoot Baby Yoda if he needs to. Hopefully Luke Skywalker doesn't randomly show up in Andor to ruin the ambition, but this is the Star Wars story I've been hoping to see for a long time.

Proof of Concept: The 000 Series

Get the digital download for $13.00
Buy the zine