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Star Wars: Andor


JohnC
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Part of the reason I love Andor so much is because it’s the closest thing to Rogue One since Rogue One. It’s a fantastic film!

 

I’m not interested in getting into debates about what ‘good’ Star Wars is but like Rogue One, Andor is a beautifully measured and presented piece of viewing.

 

Ive always been apprehensive about the more detached Star Wars stories and characters that have emerged in recent years, but they’ve been some of the best. If Disney ever grow the balls to produce a force / Jedi centric movie / show that is miles away from the Skywalker timeline and characters then that for me could be the best thing yet. 
 

But back to Andor and it’s greatest strength being how it handles everything that has nothing to do with Star Wars. I sat slack jawed for the final 15 minutes of episode 6 not because it was a great Star Wars set piece but because it was a perfect pay off for what had been building up. It’s just great TV.

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Well, I thought this weeks was enjoyable.

 

Spoiler

Meero turning the tables on Blevin in front of everyone was lol. Then I realise I probably shouldn't be rooting for bad guys, especially competent ones.

 

I even liked that strange music in the beach scene.

 

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I think this is easily the best sci fi show I've ever seen. I've not been this engrossed by a space-based TV series since TNG and DS9. What else comes close? I never managed to get into The Expanse unfortunately.

 

Latest episode:

Spoiler

Did an amazing job of creating the constricting feeling of living under constant oppression and surveillance. I loved the scene in the ISB where the big cheese outlines all the new measures, which has obvious parallels to Germany in the 30s but also the US in the wake of September 11 (and Luthen's reaction to the Empire's overreaction deliberately calls to mind terrorist tactics). Dedra's speech about the rebels not respecting Imperial sector divisions reminded me of the reason the FBI was created, to tackle crime across state borders. All the Imperial stuff was amazing, as usual.

 

Cassian's scene with his mum was genuinely very emotional. The flashbacks showed just enough to make it clear what went down without being too graphic. Did I miss something, or did Cassian go from being a de-aged Diego Luna in one flashback, back to being the child actor in the next? Or was the flashback of him charging the clone troopers supposed to be before his dad was arrested? I'm still keen to find out what happened on his homeworld after Marva took him. Apparently those scenes of the crashed Republic ship from the first batch of episodes were from before the clone wars.

 

I thought Luthen's assistant was going to betray him, but I guess not. I'm not sure if Luthen knows that she ordered Andor's assassination - she seems to be acting somewhat independently. Perhaps she's secretly reporting to Saw Gerrera or something. Some great scenery and effects in that sequence where she winds her way through Coruscant's concrete depths.

 

Space Bournemouth was a bit of a change of tone, and quite a sudden time-jump, but I did like how even a beach paradise under the empire is like a crappy UK coastal resort. Anyone know where it was filmed? It was also the first time the show did a more blatant "look at this Star Wars thing!" with the K2SO-like Imperial droid reveal.

 

Another top-quality episode. I've found myself watching these as soon as they go up. I can't remember the last time I did that. Maybe as far back as Lost??

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12 minutes ago, Pob said:

I think this is easily the best sci fi show I've ever seen. I've not been this engrossed by a space-based TV series since TNG and DS9. What else comes close? I never managed to get into The Expanse unfortunately.

 

Latest episode:

  Hide contents

Space Bournemouth was a bit of a change of tone, and quite a sudden time-jump, but I did like how even space paradise under the empire is like a crappy UK coastal resort. Anyone know where it was filmed?

 

 

Spoiler

Cleveleys

 

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14 hours ago, Pob said:

Apparently the next episode is more of a stand-alone than the first of a three-parter. I find it aids enjoyment to know what kind of structure you’re going to get with this show.  

But why? Can't you just watch it and see what it is? If you had heard it was a 3 partner would you have waited for all 3 to be available?

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33 minutes ago, Bucky said:

Mon Mothma was excellent this week.  It sounds like a parody but I'd totally go for a political spin off with her in.  I expect the action figures would be shite, but great TV though.

 

This is that spin-off!

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Another great episode.

 

Spoiler

We're seeing the formation of the Rebellion, and the flip side of the Empire tightening its grip and becoming ever more draconian. Space Dale Cooper is a fascinating character. He genuinely believes he's working to maintain some kind of essential law and order, and I guess a lot of 'casual Imperials' would see these insurrections akin to terrorism. I wonder where they're going with him.

 

Loved the crappy beach resort town Andor wound up in, and the inexorable slide into trouble the moment that trooper took a dislike to him. If the droid had turned out to be K2SO I would have turned off and never tuned in again, but again smarter heads prevailed in the writers room.

 

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Excuse the language, but this show is fucking astounding.

 

That was a really low key episode compared to the previous one, but my god it hit me hard. I don’t know if it was the acting, direction or writing but in particular the scene with his adoptive mother telling him she was going to stay (and the whole flashback to what happened to her husband) was incredibly powerful.

 

And the sense of growing dread in the confrontation with that asshole trooper at the end, they have really nailed that feeling of oppression.

 

I sometimes lose hope that anyone is capable of making good TV drama, but then there’s stuff like this. Amazing that it is being produced at Disney of all places.

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Most Star Wars has had to exist in a ridged frame work, be it through reverence for its original iconography, fan bating consumerism or the narrow prism with which these stories have been told. But I’ve seen enough of this show now to have hope that this time things are different. Rather than wallowing in the riches that Star Wars has to offer, it’s using them on its audience incredibly sparingly. It’s restraint that we just aren’t used to and it gives these things power and meaning again. The tie-fighter fly past is probably the best example of this, but I’ve loved how they’ve handled the different troopers so far too, from the dehumanised nature of the Clones, to the out of focus Storm Troopers that you just don’t make eye contact with, to the beat cop arseholes patrolling tourist spots with their military grade assistants. That’s not to mention how even just a quick interaction with a mouse droid says so much about a character. I’m hopeful they will continue to wield these elements of Star Wars as a weapon rather than a comfort blanket as things ramp up. Man, it’s so refreshing!

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I started watching this yesterday. Only got about twenty minutes in before I had to go cook dinner, but I liked what I saw. Especially the odd homage to Wall-E at the start :lol:

 

It’s been good to see the enthusiasm for it here as being Star Wars but different which, to be honest, is precisely what Star Wars needs now. I know I’m in the minority here in that I really didn’t enjoy Rogue One, but happy to give this a go and see how I get on. 

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I didn't particularly like Rogue One either, but this is really good. It's tugging at vague memories of the imaginary background I used to invent while playing TIE Fighter. Really enjoying how they're bothering to give us a bit of a backstory for characters who only appear in it for a few minutes, it makes the world feel real and complex and even a little overwhelming in its scale compared to ours - like it reminds you every one of the CGI cars flying past in droves in the background contains people with their own infinitely complicated stories and stresses, they're not just virtual set dressing.

 

I absolutely love the set and costume design as well though! I hope they bring out some sort of art book accompaniment to the series.

 

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This is like watching a seventies political thriller in the SW universe and it's brilliant. Scenes like the one between Mon Mothma and the banker, all the political machinations at the ISB and the bureaucracy at Coruscant that Syril Carn is tangled up in are captivating. Stellan commands every scene he's in. And the cinematography and music are superb as well. What a show.
 

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I am certain that one of either: 

Spoiler

Space Dale Cooper or the female ISB officer will be a fully fledged member of the Rebel Alliance by the time this has finished.  Trending towards Space Dale at the moment, with the amount of backstory he is being given.  
 

Afterthought: His new job could be a back door route to unearthing the construction of the Death Star.

 

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2 hours ago, PK said:

I absolutely love the set and costume design as well though! I hope they bring out some sort of art book accompaniment to the series.

 

YESSS, exactly this. SW costume design has always been good even from its relatively simple beginnings drawing inspiration from colonial era uniforms and old-west stuff etc, and got a bit fancier throughout both the newer trilogies, but this series especially has been a real high point. Really loving the slightly cyberpunk/dune-esque midlle-upper-class stuff we only get to see more of during this time-period/setting too.

 

But yes, great episode, and what's more is that any one scene from this ep would be a standout of the week normally, but here we get ALL standout scenes back to back! Hard to choose a favourite, but I thought the ending was interesting insofar as how easily they can switch tone without it being at all dissonant.

 

Spoiler

Rather think getting banged up is a curious turn of fortune considering he is also marked for assassination, that seems to rather mess up those plans.

 

Also, whatever happens they better do right by the droid. He's basically the familys sad old dog. :(

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39 minutes ago, Vulgar Monkey said:

 

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Rather think getting banged up is a curious turn of fortune considering he is also marked for assassination, that seems to rather mess up those plans.

Spoiler

I'm wondering if Vel (the surviving rebel) is going to head to Ferrix to start her search for Andor, which will give us a chance to see more of the Imperial crackdown there. At the same time, perhaps Meera (ISB supervisor), who now has Ferrix under her jurisdiction, will also head there to give everyone a kick up the backside to follow up on Andor, who I think is her only lead for the stolen Imperial tech. Then you might get a scene of the Imperials trying to shake down Maarva, who will probably go down in a blaze of glory rather than be carted off for interrogation. So then you'll have both Vel and Meera closing in on Andor, and at the same time as Andor is presumably attempting to escape, or maybe just chilling and reading the manifesto. There could be a T2-style showdown where he's just busted out of his cell, only to find various people converging on his location, trying to catch/kill him. 

 

I'm still not sure whether Luthen ordered Andor's assassination or whether his assistant took it upon herself.

 

I'd also like to see the fallout on Aldhani - that's presumably why (from a storytelling perspective) Cinta remained behind. We only got one short scene of her this week.

 

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My wife doesn't like Star Wars unless it has a Grogu in it, and hasn't been watching this. She was in the room while I started this episode though, and after a few minutes asked "how is this Star Wars?"

 

It really does feel incredibly different to everything else Star Wars has had to offer, including Rogue One, and I mean that in a very good way. I was actually a bit disappointed when the show was announced, as I thought it would be just another Star Wars show set in the background of the main events, but it's so much more than that.

 

It's so well told as well. That scene between Mon Mothma and the other senator was somehow incredibly exciting, despite just being a conversation. The direction, acting and music all worked towards building a slowly intensifying thrill. It's brilliant!

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