Andor Review: A Gritty and Mature Series in the Action-Packed Star Wars Franchise

Andor Review: A Gritty and Mature Series in the Action-Packed Star Wars Franchise

Star Wars: Andor finally premiered on Disney+, and fans have had mixed reactions to the first three episodes of the 12-part series. The show has already been renewed for a second season. So, it is likely that the show’s pacing would be slower than the usual Star Wars series.

While some people liked the darker tone of this spy-thriller, others thought it was mundane in some parts. Needless to say, the purists are not too keen about the spinoff. With such reactions, it’s easy to wonder if Star Wars: Andor is good and worth a watch. Let’s find out.

1. Quick Review

Star Wars: Andor is a visually spectacular tale of the Rebel hero, but at times falters due to its pacing. While the action sequences immerse the audience into the world, the backstories and context-setting might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

One of the most common criticisms of the show has been around the first two episodes. Tony Gilroy had mentioned how he intended to take a more grounded approach to storytelling.

Andor Review: A Gritty and Mature Series in the Action-Packed Star Wars Franchise
Andor | Source: IMDb

This is explored in the first two episodes, where we are introduced to characters such as Andor, Maarva, Syril Karn, and several others. Furthermore, the series also depicts Preox-Morlana and how it is connected to the Galactic Empire. All this is at a very steady pace which I personally enjoy but find banal in some instances.

Overall, it is a show that I’d like to continue watching to see how the narrative flows. The anticipation to see what comes next is strong, and I’ll return to it at least for the next couple of weeks.

2. Is Star Wars: Andor worth watching?

Star Wars: Andor is worth watching to witness a new storytelling style. The tonality and portrayal of the universe are mature and intricately detailed. This lends to the spy-thriller, drama vibe of the show, which is a radical take on the galaxy’s story.

Although Tony Gilroy had mentioned that he wanted to give us an insight into the lives of the people living in that era, we only start sensing that after an episode and a half is over. But after that, we see his vision coming to fruition, and we start feeling the heat.

This can be attributed to the visuals of Ferrix and Morlana-One, the performances of Andor, Karn, and Maarva, and the overall depiction of how Preox-Morlana functions. The show truly takes off in Episode 3, where Andor’s sensibilities are questioned, and the seed to becoming a rebel is planted.

Overall, the premiere ends on a promising note. It sets the stage for everything to come and hints at a murkier and nihilistic existence of the galaxy and the various factions of people within it.

3. Plot

Andor is about the titular character and his journey from becoming a cold-hearted mercenary to the rebel hero that we see in Rogue One. Set five years before the film’s events, we dive into a dystopian world where everything lies in despair and hope is hard to come by.

The civilians are borderline slaves who the Preox-Morlana control. The Corporate Sector Authority, an affiliate of the Galactic Empire, is as ruthless as the Imperial Army, if not worse.

Andor Review: A Gritty and Mature Series in the Action-Packed Star Wars Franchise
Andor | Source: IMDb

The first three episodes set the context around the primary character by showing where he comes from and the circumstances in which he’s grown up. All this while also building the world around him and giving us insights into the era he exists in.

If you’ve been following the Disney+ shows from this franchise, you’ll find this one distinctly different from the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Bad Batch. If you liked The Mandalorian, this is an edgier version of that story and you might enjoy it.

4. Cast and Characters

Besides Diego Luna reprising the role of Cassian Andor, you will find a few familiar faces from the industry. Stellan Skarsgård as Luthen Rael, Fiona Shaw as Maarva, and Adria Arjona as Bix Caleen are quite convincing.

Andor Review: A Gritty and Mature Series in the Action-Packed Star Wars Franchise
The Cast of “Andor” | Source: IMDb

Special shoutout to Kyle Soller for embodying the relentless tyranny of the Pre-Mor Authority as its Deputy Inspector Syril Karn. There are several other notable characters, such as Chief Inspector Hyne and Sergeant Linus Mosk, who play a crucial role in the story.

Despite the number of characters, the narrative doesn’t feel overwhelming. While following the events in the episodes, I’m not left questioning who’s who, which is a big plus for a show that will likely introduce more characters.

5. Final Thoughts and Grades

Andor 4/5

Story: B

Cinematography/Animation: A

Direction: A

Music: B

Direction: A

Star Wars: Andor has a promising beginning but leaves the audience skeptical about where it will go from here. The show’s visuals are incredible and add to the film’s tonality, but the narrative’s pacing falters a bit.

If you’re a fan of the franchise, hang in there. I believe that the story will get better from here with more heists and better political drama.

Watch Andor on:

6. About Andor

Andor is an American television series created by Tony Gilroy for the streaming service Disney+. It is a prequel to the Star Wars film Rogue One (2016), following the character Cassian Andor five years before the events of the film.

Set five years before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Andor will see Cassian in his formative years as he becomes the charismatic Rebel and espionage master.

Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Stellan Skarsgaard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, and others star in the show. The series premiered on Disney+ on September 21, 2022, with the first three episodes.