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Show Review: ANDOR is a gritty spy thriller set in the Star Wars Universe

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Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is determined to reunite with his sister and that leads him to a brothel on a dimly lit planet in the Galaxy.  Cassian shows a sense of urgency and it’s clear he’s been traversing all over the Galaxy, trying to find his sister. After being informed that his sister left the brothel, Cassian does too, but loudmouth Empire officers follow him. Cassian ends up fighting and killing both in an alley behind the brothel.  

This incident kicks off a string of events in which Cassian has to leave the planet. His plan is to earn credits by selling a valuable ship part to Luthan Rael (Stellan Skarsgaard).  With the imperial close behind, Cassian uses his negotiation and fighting skills as he warily trusts Rael with his immediate future.

Disney+ provided four episodes to screen, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Andor review

Andor is grittier than some of the recent Star Wars shows as it shows some of how the background working class live.  We got a peek of this in Obi-wan who initially embeds himself with a group of working-class butchers. In Andor, Cassian has allied himself with a group of mechanics in this particular show. We see communities that border on poverty as the Imperial rule stifles most creativity and happiness.

The first few episodes don’t show much joy on Cassian’s part but viewers will get an interesting backstory on how he ends up off his home planet and separated from his sister.  I liked that Cassian’s origins and allies are explored in the first three episodes of Andor, setting up an exciting escape and kicking off a compelling story.

Andor also offers up strong performances, for example, Fiona Shaw is stellar as Cassian’s mother figure who has worked to get him hidden for years.  Kyle Soller is so good as an Empire officer who attempts to capture Cassian but instead fails and almost loses his entire unit.  

Andor review
Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Viewers that are new to Star Wars should watch Rogue One to get more of Cassian’s desire to create change but it’s not totally necessary as the show is almost an entirely different storyline than Rogue One.  The first two episodes were a bit slow but the third episode is where the action really kicks off and viewers might get invested in whether this man and spy who desperately wants to reunite with his sister will be successful.

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