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Give Andor a shot

Star Wars is the most popular franchise in entertainment history. So, naturally, every Star Wars project we get dominates conversations.

I suppose Andor stands out more because Disney released the first three episodes simultaneously, which makes sense. From what we have learned in recent months, the first season will tell Cassian Andor’s story in three- episode arcs. I appreciate serialized storytelling.

Andor has a lot working in its favour. First of all, it is a prequel to Rogue One, arguably the most popular of the new Star Wars films. Rogue One stands out as the one installment most diehard Star Wars fans enjoy. As such, they have every reason to embrace Andor.

I read a Forbes article that praised this new series for saving Star Wars. Apparently, fans had grown weary of Disney’s disturbingly incompetent attempts at recreating the magic of the original trilogy until Andor came along. IGN’s reviews were equally glowing.

Star Wars fans love this show, and for good reasons. Andor shows viewers the mundane horrors of life under the Empire, horrors previous films hinted at but never bothered to explore.

It almost feels like the adventures of the original, prequel, and sequel trilogy were little more than fairy tales filled with shining heroes blessed with incredible abilities.

And now, those stories are over. When Cassian Andor opens his eyes each morning, he sees desperate people toiling under a gray sky; mothers barely making ends meet, fathers falling prey to the whims of a brutal regime, children going hungry, a miserable community too weak to escape their emperor’s yoke.

These are the people Luke will fight to save in the coming years; the innocents Obi-Wan will give his life to deliver. And Andor is finally showing us why they matter, why the Empire must fall, and why the Jedi must prevail.

Except that Cassian does not have the luxury of waiting for prophecies to pass and chosen ones to arise. Someday, Palpatine will perish. A green light saber will strike his disciples down, turning the tyrant’s kingdom to ash. But until that day comes, Cassian and his ilk must do what they can.

Theirs is a conflict fought in the shadows. It knows neither honour nor mercy. The galaxy is a harsh place, and Cassian must adapt. Years ago, Lucas Film promised us an ambitious project exploring the dark underbelly of the Star Wars Universe. Andor fulfills that promise.

Now, it sounds like I love this show – or at least the first three episodes. I do not. I don’t understand why they gave us three painfully slow episodes instead of one tightly paced 50-minute pilot. Those first two episodes were an utter disappointment.

In fact, if it were not for the third episode, I would have abandoned the show. But here is the thing. Even in my boredom, I could still appreciate the effort and care that went into Andor. It looks like a Star Wars film.

The Mandalorian has exceptional production values, but still relies heavily on The Volume, a technology that allows the studio to project realistic backgrounds on a digital set.

Andor feels real, because it uses real sets and locations. And the story shows so much promise. And from what I have heard, the fourth episode is even better. I don’t understand how some people can criticize The Rings of Power for being slow while praising Andor in the same breath.

If you hated Boba Fett and Obi-Wan as much as I did, think of Andor as a palate cleanser before The Mandalorian returns for its third season.


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