‘Andor’ – A Refreshing Approach to a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Nearly four years since its announcement, Lucasfilm’s newest live-action series, Andor, premieres tomorrow on Disney+. This debut comes off the heels of Lucasfilm and parent company Disney removing director Patty Jenkins’ Rogue Squadron from its upcoming release calendar. This removal aligns with reports that Lucasfilm is concentrating further releases towards streaming as opposed to theatrical, with nine series currently slated for release or in-development. With more recent Lucasfilm releases not performing up to par of The Mandalorian, does Andor reassure fans that Star Wars is safe on the small screen? Let’s dive into the review. And, unlike our previous Star Wars reviews, this review will be spoiler-free.

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor in Andor (Disney+)

Andor, in short, is unlike anything we’ve seen in the Star Wars universe. The series feels much more akin to the world of Blade Runner as opposed to a galaxy far, far away, and it benefits greatly from it. The first three episodes are incredibly self-contained, focusing on Diego Luna’s titular character and his life on the planet Ferrix. The series is structured in three-episode arcs, making the premiere the perfect way to jump into the world that showrunner Tony Gilroy is building.

What stood out to me the most while watching was the intricacy of the story being told, and the number of pieces in play. The series does a beautiful job feeling like Star Wars while barely connecting to the larger galaxy at play. There is hardly a mention of the Empire, yet their presence is still felt strongly throughout, particularly through Kyle Soller’s Syril Karn, a deputy inspector of the local corporate authority. While not Imperial himself, it’s clear that Soller’s character is primed for a long career hunting down rebels like Cassian.

Stellan Skarsgård as Luthen Rael (L) and Diego Luna as Cassian Andor (R) in Andor (Disney+)

Performances were another strong point of the premiere, with Luna leading the charge. He is supplemented by the supporting cast including Adria Arjona, Stellan Skarsgård, and Fiona Shaw. In typical Star Wars fashion, the series is stolen by the droids, in this case Dave Chapman’s B2-EMO, who will leave you and children begging for toys and merchandise.

Finally, it was the themes and storytelling choices that shocked me the most. Tony Gilroy is taking an ambitious leap in crafting this chapter in the Star Wars universe, and I am pleasantly surprised that Lucasfilm has opened the door for this more intricate level of storytelling. Where this series stands tall amongst other Star Wars series is that this feels thoroughly developed, and told with intention and purpose. It can be rare to see such a grasp of the material come through the screen, but Andor had me on the edge of my seat for every second, enthralled in every line of dialogue.

Andor truly feels like it brings something new and refreshing to a galaxy far, far away. It’s bold, darker than anticipated, and rises above The Mandalorian as the best Star Wars live-action series to date. I was blown away by what I saw within the first three episodes, and look forward to seeing what comes next for the series.

What did you think of Andor? What’re you most anticipating? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages.