Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Gareth Edwards is not the star wars movie most controversial ever made, but still inspires great debate passionate among fans about its place in the beloved sci-fi saga. A gritty, stand-alone war story set in the period just before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, rogue one 2016’s was always a long shot, but it was one that paid off as it became the third-highest-grossing film in the entire franchise.
Now, the studio is doubling down on that bet with Andora prequel of a prequel that explores the formative years of Diego Luna’s rogue spy, Cassian Andor, from rogue one. And just like the movie that inspired it, Andor offers a very different but welcome Star Wars story, with its simmering tale of espionage set in the early days of a galactic rebellion.
Sci-fi at street level
Created and co-produced by the co-writer of rogue oneTony Gilroy Andor It’s not the action-packed adventure rooted in franchise lore and chock-full of deep cuts that Star Wars fans have come to expect with The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett Y Obi-Wan Kenobi. Instead, the series offers a slow-developing, more thoughtful story about the conditions and events that led to the environment we find ourselves thrown into. A new hopewith a small alliance of rebels engaged in a seemingly unwinnable war to overthrow the Galactic Empire.
Andor makes you experience life under the Empire through Cassian’s eyes, dishing out memories through rough patches under a harsh and authoritarian regime. It’s the kind of town-level perspective that we haven’t seen enough of in the Star Wars universe, and Andor reveals what life is like for people who aren’t flying across the galaxy on grand adventures or wielding superhuman powers in epic battles.
From rank-and-file members of the Empire to the inhabitants of overlooked planets who have become just another cog in the Imperial machine, Andor does a good job of not only reminding us that these characters exist, but also that they may have big roles to play in some of the saga’s biggest moments.
It takes almost four episodes of Andor for Luna’s character to find her way into the still-forming rebellion, so it will be interesting to see how patient Gilroy and the series’ creative team can be with the story that, at some point, they’ll need to connect with events and characters. of rogue one.
Although Luna’s character was not necessarily the star of rogue one (Felicity Jones did a wonderful job leading the ensemble of the film as Jyn Erso), he is a compelling and unique lead in the series. Cassian is a product of her environment, and that particular environment forces you to line up or live every day on a knife edge, where one slip can put you on the wrong end of an Imperial blaster. Luna’s Cassian can’t help but be the latter, and he feels like a character in the mold of Han Solo from the era of A New Hopewith a moral compass that generally floats on the side of good, but on the edge.
Andor it also introduces some intriguing supporting characters along the way, which serve to bring his trajectory closer to where we meet him in the film. Among them, Stellan Skarsgård’s mysterious rogue agent Luthen Rael is as reliably fascinating and layered as many of the actor’s roles, and will hopefully play a larger role in the series as the season progresses. As an ambitious, yet naive, local law enforcement agent, Kyle Soller’s Syril serves as a nice counterpoint to Luna’s Cassian, exploring what life is like for someone on the ground level who buys into the Empire. completely instead of rejecting it.
The first four episodes from Andor they barely scratch the surface of the character’s arc and what leads to the events of rogue onebut still offer many rewarding moments.
Nevertheless, where The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett mixed pop sci-fi adventures and classic Western themes, Andor filters the Star Wars universe through a much grittier, wartime espionage lens. It’s a decidedly different vibe from the live-action Star Wars shows we’ve seen so far, stripped back of the fantastical alien environments and starship battles in outer space, and it might not be the spectacle some fans are anticipating.
Still, there’s a lot to like about where Andor is carrying the Star Wars saga. Projects like the anthology series Star Wars: Visions and various video games canonical like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order they’ve shown that there’s a lot of flexibility in the franchise in terms of the stories and cast of characters it can encompass. Andor does something similar, and is based on the themes and tone that differentiate rogue one from other Star Wars movies as it carves out its own unique place in the Star Wars canon.
star wars series Andor premiered on September 21 on the Disney+ streaming service.