It’s time to return to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Andorthe latest Star wars TV series premieres on Disney+. This show stars Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, a role he originated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The latest series takes place five years before the events of that film during the height of the Empire’s rule over the galaxy. The first four episodes of this show are a cinematic, delightful look at a franchise in need of a solid creative voice.
Tony Gilroy creates this huge, immersive look into Star wars galaxy. He has previously worked as a writer on four of the Bourne films and was a co-writer on Rogue one. Gilroy and directors Toby Haynes and Susanna White bring a great look to this show. The opening sequence of the series premiere puts us on a planet that looks completely original to the franchise. There are shots in this sequence that look similar Blade Runner 2049 with incredible production design and masterful lighting. Cinematographers Jonathan Freeman and Adriano Goldman outdo themselves with their standout work on this show with its cyberpunk/space epic aesthetic.
Cassian Andor is introduced to the audience as a lone wolf looking for his sister from Kenari. The history of Andor isn’t rushed, offering a slower pace to the show that gives everything a chance to breathe. Unfortunately, some of this storytelling doesn’t quite work, as the episodes typically don’t end on cliffhangers that keep you excited about what’s coming next. Instead, the series feels like the ongoing show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Poweranother return to a beloved franchise with masterful filmmaking that doesn’t exactly have a story that pulls you in without letting go.
After four episodes, the story is off to a strong start, to say the least, bringing many characters and fresh faces to the galaxy. It’s a comprehensive look at this series that tells a story we haven’t seen before and never knew we should. This is a mature outing for this space opera franchise that focuses less on lightsabers and Jedi and more on a man-on-the-run thriller aesthetic. This is a more grounded tale set in the dark underworld of this series, with themes of empire and rebellion taking a back seat. That’s a bold move for one Star wars Show prioritizing story over acting and it’s quite effective.
Andor also benefit from the grounded nature of its production. Practical sets have always been where this series has thrived; the prequels’ over-reliance on CGI and the extensive use of The Volume has led to an artificial look to some Star wars projects. However, this show uses practical sets and real locations, allowing for a rich, incredible-looking show that feels immersive. This shines through, especially when we see the non-linear structure of the series filling in the gaps of Andor’s childhood.
There are a few rough edges here. For example, a story surrounding Mon Mothma feels very distant from the rest of the show, but this is a fascinating series. While showing as The book about Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi feel like they were created to cash in on your nostalgia and love for others Star wars projects Andor is primarily free of familiar faces. It doesn’t rely on your ability to understand references for you to enjoy it. Instead, it goes a unique route where you don’t have the Empire as the villains and tells a new story with complete, mature storytelling and a solid directorial style. This show is the breath of fresh air there Star wars needed.
Like ComingSoon’s audit policy explains, a score of 8 corresponds to “Fantastic”. Although there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds in its goal and leaves a memorable impact.