Andor doesn’t look like Star Wars, and that’s a good thing

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor

Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
picture: Lucasfilm

Here’s a hypothetical question: if someone who had never heard of it war of stars jumped to the first episode of Andor, would they be able to follow him as well as a fan with extensive knowledge of the lore? If such a person existed, they probably could. Andor doesn’t have Baby Yoda or Boba Fett or Obi-Wan Kenobi to tie it with the older films. It’s not interested in monetizing that kind of nostalgia.

And while it’s built around a character who first appeared in Villain One, you don’t have to see this movie to understand what makes Cassian Andor a character. Everything you need to know about him can be found in the first three episodes and beyond. In fact, you might enjoy the show even more if you didn’t know its ultimate fate.

The series places Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor in the middle of the conflict between a totalitarian regime and the underground resistance fighting to bring it down. This may sound vaguely familiar to you war of stars fans, but it does a lot more to that premise than we’ve seen before. Cassian is no hero.

A more down to earth attitude war of stars

He’s not a villain either. He’s just a regular guy trying to get by in a world where one misstep can put you on the wrong side of the authorities and completely ruin your life. It’s a more nuanced and mature approach to the gray area between good and evil. This is not new for war of stars, it’s just addressed here in a new way. There’s a grounded, human element that feels really modern.

Perhaps the most obvious deviation is in the visual design. Andor leaves the rural outposts we’ve been spending so much time in lately for industrial roads, factories, alleys, and junkyards. It’s not always pretty, but at least we don’t have to go back to Tatooine again. This is the first Disney+ war of stars Series not utilizing The Volume, an immersive LED soundstage that projects digital environments.

While previous shows have used the innovative new technology to great effect, filming in actual UK locations offers the opportunity Andor a sense of scale and grandeur that no soundstage can match. The hardware on the show – ships, guns, droids, gadgets, and the like – has a weathered quality that shares its spiritual origins with the rest of the show war of stars universe, but could easily stand on its own outside of it. The technology is there for convenience, the designs are driven by a carefully calibrated blend of form and function.

Andor stars as Adria Arjona, Kyle Soller and Denise Gough about their entry into the Star Wars universe

Of brothels and blasters

Andor but it doesn’t just look different: it represents a major sonic shift for the franchise. The show confidently walks down the path originally laid out Villain One– away from a sci-fi story for children of all ages and towards more mature and complex ways of storytelling – and goes even further. The first scene takes place in a brothel. Not long after, the main character shoots someone point-blank with a blaster (try connecting again the, George). Characters have sex and use real swear words.

This comes as no big surprise from creator Tony Gilroy, who wrote the screenplay for Villain One. He is also known for writing thrillers like The bournes movies & Michael Clayton. His version of war of stars may not be as recognizable as, say, The Mandalorian, but it’s ultimately cool. You can’t blame this show for giving us the same thing.

Aside from the virtue of originality in and of itself, anyone who’s engaged with fan discourse lately can understand that nostalgia is a trap (if you’re hearing Admiral Ackbar in your head right now, you’ve just fallen). . People want more war of starsand Lucasfilm always strives to meet that demand.

But since no new movie or series can emulate the emotional impact of the original — which many adult fans first experienced as children — anything attempted will fall short. Worse still, when the creators of these projects shift the narratives to marginalized groups, the people whose perspective was previously centered react as if something has been taken away from them. Better to wipe the slate clean and start in a fresh and unexplored place. Instead of relying on a connection to something old, Andor dares to give us something new. Whether you like the show or not, you have to give them credit for the effort. Andor doesn’t look like Star Wars, and that’s a good thing

Andrew Schnitker

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