Please don’t misunderstand me—I adore Baby Yoda, a.k.a. Grogu, the pointed-eared lead of “The Mandalorian,” the first “Star Wars” series on Disney+. He is a pop cultural icon, adorable, and cuddly.
Fans of “Star Wars” seldom have the chance to experience such a thing, but it seems sense that Disney+’s “Andor,” a prequel about Diego Luna’s character from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” would be the soberest mature series from the sci-fi property thus far.
Rogue one is one of the darkest and most serious of the 11 “Star Wars” movies, and “Andor” shares the same tone and MPAA rating. It is a standalone tale about Cassian Andor’s (Luna’s) transformation from man-on-the-run to rebel operative.
With well-written characters and firmly established situations, it is a straightforward, crisp television program. It’s a pretty good science-fiction story set on a few distant worlds, not at all like “Star Wars,” in many aspects.
Although it may be a bug for certain fans, this is also a feature: Andor is not frightened of blood, gloom, or sex since he is not constrained by the corporate synergy machine.
With competitors like “The Mandalorian” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which must hew considerably closer to fan service, the series stands out as being particularly enjoyable.
“Andor” is by far the strongest series to date in the crowded field of “Star Wars” TV. Five years prior to “Rogue One’s” events, we first encounter Andor. He is a man who was raised away from his tribe and frequently in need, and occasionally a robber.
He has a flirtatious connection with a local fence named Bix Caleen while living on the salvage planet Ferrix with his adoptive mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”) (Adria Arjona). In the first episode, Andor travels to a brothel on a corporately controlled planet in search of his lost sister. He was taken off his home planet and is now searching for her.
When things don’t go well on the journey, he flees and runs straight into the arms of Rebel Alliance chief Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard), who needs a man to assist with a theft. Cassian joins the rebels and is immediately chased by a number of people, including Syril Karn, a low-level corporate security inspector, and stern Imperial Security Bureau supervisor Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) (Kyle Soller).
How you can watch “Andor”?
The particular emphasis on character above spectacle in “Andor” is what distinguishes it. Although there are many action sequences and shootouts in the series, it excels at giving each scene meaning and significance.
Although Andor commits numerous errors, Luna is incredibly endearing, much as he was in “Rogue One,” lending Andor likability and fragility. Even the villains of the series are illustrated with delicate, focused strokes rather than cartoonishly broad ones.
We immediately recognize Syril for the overeager, ferociously power-hungry young man he is all of his weaselly, bratty magnificence. In comparison to other Disney+ shows, which have a tendency to have slower starts and ponderous pacing, “Andor” has a propulsion that outpaces (or outflies, considering we’re talking about space flight here).
Being frequently as frantic as its hero, “Andor” whips us around as we witness Cassian fight for survival is a clever example of form following function. There are a lot of pressures and expectations for TV shows set in the “Star Wars,” Marvel, DC Comics, or any of the other mega-franchises that are prevalent in Hollywood today.
There is, however, a bit less pressure on each “Star Wars” TV program to be the be-all, end-all of the galaxy far, far away given that there have been around half a dozen of them. If additional “Star Wars” series can follow “Andor’s” lead and dance to their own intelligent song, it bodes well for these shows’ future. Additionally, they can enjoy charming Baby Yodas in moderation.