First impressions of the Andor series

First impressions of the Andor series
First impressions of the Andor series

Star Wars is a universe I grew up with from a young age. I devoured the first six episodes in one sitting. If a Star Wars game came out, I had to have it. I played Star Wars cards, collected stickers, bought T-shirts and bedding. Plain and simple, a fan as he should be. It still partially sticks to me and my play corner is decorated with several figurines, Legos or an LED lamp from Aliexpress. It’s not much of a magnet for women, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I just love Star Wars. However, after the seventh, eighth and ninth episodes, I was left with a bitter taste on my tongue. The new trilogy is a big misery from my point of view. Love for this universe was saved only by Rogue One, which I still consider one of the best Star Wars films.

After Disney acquired the rights to the brand, it began to produce series from a galaxy far, far away in addition to its own trilogy. I liked The Mandalorian and thought it couldn’t get much better. The Book of Boba Fett, about a bounty hunter, neither offended nor thrilled. When the main character of another series takes your main attention, then something is wrong. Not to mention a bunch of teenagers riding sci-fi versions of Vespa scooters. The recently released Obi-Wan Kenobi was awful and I didn’t have the energy to finish it. Horror, embarrassment and infantile slush. The series Andor, announced for a long time, left me completely cold. But as a true fan, I welcome every new work, so this Wednesday I set aside time for the first three of the twelve upcoming parts. I have no regrets.


The beginnings of Cassian Andor

The story takes place about five years before the events of the aforementioned Rogue One. The rebels, as we know them, are just forming. The central hero – the thief Cassian Andor, makes a living by selling stolen things. So the plot deals with the time when he had not yet joined the rebellion, led against the Galactic Empire. Cassian heads to the industrial planet Morlana One to find his lost sister. During the search, he gets into an unprovoked fight with two members of corporate security and accidentally kills one of them. In order to escape from the predicament, he is forced to kill the second guard as well. This is followed by a dash to the planet Ferrix, where he intends to sew for a while. Here, she asks her friend Bix to broker a contact with a trafficker so that he can sell the extremely rare and Empire-threatening Starpath navigation technology.

The story takes place five years before the events of Rogue One.

Meanwhile, on Morlan One, the deputy chief inspector – Syril Karn, decides to disobey the order of his superior, who is trying to cover up the death of the security guard, and starts searching on his own. He manages to uncover the ship Cassian Andor used to travel to Morlan One and tracks it to Ferrix. They also discover that Cassian is from the planet Kenari, from which he was rescued by Maarva – a woman who took him in at a young age. We get a glimpse into Cassian’s past in the form of flashbacks that accompany us in each episode. Bix’s friend Timm reports Cassian to the authorities and they subsequently issue a warrant for his arrest. Furthermore, I prefer to avoid describing the story, because I don’t want to spoil the experience itself. However, the plot is very engaging and pleasantly surprised me. And that despite the fact that it moves at a rather slow pace.

A heavy atmosphere of oppression

The creators of the Andor series bet on a gloomy, depressing and burdensome atmosphere, which resonates beautifully with the role of the Galactic Empire as an oppressor across the galaxy. The bet paid off. There is a depressing Orwellian feel to what you see on the screen, which is helped by the constantly dreary weather. The people of Ferrix show discontent, fear and unwillingness to submit to the iron fist of the Empire. Fear is a good servant but a bad master, so most keep quiet and keep up. Andor gradually gets under your skin as you watch it, and I’m very glad that the creators decided this time to abandon the plethora of childish jokes that were too much for my taste in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett (not to mention Obi-Wan). In terms of genre, Andor can be classified as a spy thriller with elements of science fiction rather than a pure spectacle from the future. It fits the story perfectly and is a very nice change. Bravo. Applause for the creator.

Quality cast

With the series from the Star Wars universe, I often witnessed situations during which the actors clearly annoyed me. The already mentioned adolescent group from The Book of Boba Fett or the actors in Obi-Wan were, from my point of view, a terrible thing. This time, however, the casting was successful. Cassian Andor was portrayed by Mexican actor Diego Luna, just like in Rogue One. You may also know Diego from, for example, Narcos: Mexico, in which he played the main negative character – drug lord Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo. The actor is undoubtedly very good and lived up to his standards even in the case of the role of Cassian. Stellan Skarsgård is flawless as the trafficker Rael.

This time the casting was successful.

The other characters may seem extremely unsympathetic at first, but when you realize that they are supposed to be like that, it suddenly becomes clear to you that the creators really took care in casting. Deputy Inspector Syril Karn is a typical example of the so-called Hujer. He does everything according to the rules and wants to achieve excellent results at any cost. As throughout the Empire, it reflects the “Nazi” nature. Bix’s boyfriend, Timm, is unlikable from the start and fulfills his role perfectly. The above can be applied to the vast majority of the characters, and although I have never seen ninety percent of the actors involved in my life (or at least I don’t remember), they have a good command of their craft.

Finally a solid Star Wars

You must have known from the text that I like the Andor series. What’s more, I’m excited. I loved the first three episodes and can’t wait for the next. Admittedly, fans of galactic action may not be as excited as I am due to the slower pace, but if you enjoyed the excellent Rogue One, you’ll feel right at home. The heavy atmosphere complements the espionage premise perfectly, and the Orwellian touch gets under your skin. Diego Luna is perfect for the role of Cassian Andor. He seems civil and humane. This is not a superhero with so-called plot armor, and I appreciate that very much. He is ably seconded by Stellan Skarsgård in the role of the trafficker Rael. The level of visual effects is very good. You may be knocking yourself on the forehead, but I like Andor better than the Mandalorian. It remains to be seen if it will live up to its qualities in the rest of the parts. If, like me, you’ve got a bad taste for a tragic Obi-Wan, now’s the time to get it. Give Andor a chance, it’s great.

The article is in Czech

Tags: impressions Andor series

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