TL;DR – This opening episode does not do a whole lot to forward the story, which is fine, because it delves us into a world of intrigue.
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this series.
Andor Review –
When they first announced that there would be Star Wars tv shows on Disney+, I was excited because that was a format that I am sure they would excel in if given a chance, and it had been an oft-rumoured inevitability. Since then, we have gotten the delightful Mandalorian, but then the missed opportunity that was the Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi. As such, I came into his series with a bit of concern, but this first episode has brought me nothing but intrigue.
So to set the scene, on a dark and rainy night, we see Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) make his way across a boardwalk to the glittering city Morlana One, part of the Preox-Morlana Corporate Zone in the Morlani system. He is going to the ‘leisure district’ to find out any information about his missing sister when he is accosted by two of the local security forces or Corpos. Taking his leave, Andor makes his way back to his ship when the two Corpos accost him again. Now from here, we will be looking at the episode as a whole, so there will be some [SPOILERS] ahead.
This episode works very much as an amuse-bouche, wetting our intrigue for what is about to come. Given that we know what happens with the main character, as this is a prequel to Rogue One, it is essential to immediately capture you in the world and justify the prequel’s nature. This first episode dose both of these factors almost flawlessly as we delve into the grey world along the fringes of Imperial authority.
The opening scene at night and rainy is the perfect thematic setting for a story that is going to be more in the grime that other Star Wars stories. Indeed, in those opening moments, we have Andor walk through a red-light district to a house of ill-repute, which is a big choice given the apparent need for the Star Wars world to be family-friendly. We then get a direct reference to Andor’s introduction in Rogue One, but this landed better because it felt better established rather than being used for more shock value in the other.
We get little introductions to the different worlds we will be touching this season. There is the more industrial feel in the Free Trade Sector of Ferrix, where Andor has been staying and who have a complicated relationship together. There is the Corpos of Morlana One who we get to meet the older Chief Inspector Hyne (Rupert Vansittart) who knows how to play the game in the Imperial world and the younger more upright detective Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) who completely ignores the advice of how to act in the current situation. Finally, we come to the Kenari system, where Andor grew up, and lived in the forest with a band of other young ones. Each of these adds a layer to the show and builds upon its potential.
In the end, do we recommend Episode 1 of Andor? Yes, we do. From the moment that rain started to fall I was captivated, then the performances matched that intrigue. I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Andor
Directed by – Toby Haynes
Written by – Tony Gilroy
Created by – Tony Gilroy
Based On – Star Wars by George Lucas
Production/Distribution Companies – LucasArts & Disney+
Starring – Diego Luna, Kyle Soller, Adria Arjona, Joplin Sibtain, James McArdle & Rupert Vansittart with Lee Broadman, Stephen Wight, Latesha Wilson, Dave Chapman, Belle Swarc, Antonio Viña, Raymond Anum, Ian Whyte, Muhannad Bhaier, Abhin Galeya & Kieran O’Brien