Andor: review of the Disney + series

The ambiguity of life, of the human being seen through the lens of science fiction. It is in the gray areas that the script of Andorthe spin-off series of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Many have wondered what the need was to bring the Cassian played by Diego Luna back to the screen. His story arc was written and concluded with accuracy, between mystery and small revelations, in the 2016 film. Doubts about the new Disney + series grew after the release of The Book of Boba Fett and bankruptcy Kenobi, series that questioned the direction of the Star Wars universe. Thankfully, after previewing the first four episodes of Andorall doubts have been brushed aside, and for us the series is a big yes.

Read also Star Wars: Andor, first impressions underline a strong change of course

Rogue One set a standard within the expanding Star Wars universe, especially for older fans. Gareth Edwards’ film abandoned the simple dichotomy between good and evil, between Jedi and Sith, to embrace a tale closer to reality. Beyond the evocative cameo of Darth Vader, we found ourselves in front of a spy plot out of the ordinary Starwarsian, managing to conquer audiences and critics and demonstrating how the galaxy created by George Lucas could still tell something different. With Andor we rediscover that aura, that visual patina that made the film so successful.

Cassian’s character allowed the writers to delve into the alleys, into the maze of the galaxy as even The Mandalorian managed to do. In Jon Favreau’s series we still breathe a mythical air, accentuated by a protagonist out of the ordinary. Andorinstead, it rests on a more human, real tangible level. Cassian is not an unblemished knight, far from it, he is a man who struggles with his own demons, his own mistakes and crimes. Diego Luna, as always, punches the screen, breaks the gap between us and him and drags us into the mud of rebellion. Helping him is a great script, a well-chosen cast and live footage that eclipses any CGI. As we said, Andor convinced us.

Andor and the dawn of rebellion

Andor - Cinematographe.it

The Disney + series due out on September 21 with the first three episodes is a spin-off, a sequel and a prequel; who more has more put. The galactic empire cast its shadow over the entire galaxy after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. The iron fist of the emperor’s armed forces foments dissent, such as anger and poverty. From the highest to the lowest steps, the galaxy begins to sing a song of revolt. Andor tells the genesis of the rebellion, of the partisan warriors who opposed an oppressive regime. Cassian lives on the fringes of society, amidst petty tricks and thefts. He is looking for something, and his actions on that mission will have dire consequences.

When his name ends up in the empire file, the man will try in every possible way to leave his planet. To do this he relies on old and new acquaintances, such as Stellan Skarsgår’s Luthen Raeld. Cassian is in possession of a tool that Luthen would like to get his hands on, but we soon discover that his intentions are quite different. He is setting up a group of rioters capable of opposing the empire, and Cassian appears to be part of his plans. Not everything is as it seems, and the character played by Skarsgård proves this time and again. But it is not only they who shape the story, the rest of the cast also seems to perform a function very well within the macro plots.

Andor - Cinematographe.it

The first episodes, intended as a single one for ninety minutes, place the pawns on the board ready to do battle. Andor it shows us how far one can go in the name of an ideal, on either side of the barricade, whether they are rioters or members of the empire. And this is precisely one of the best gimmicks of the series, to explore the psychology of both sides, without creating specks. This has been a recurring problem in recent Star Wars history, giving birth to two-dimensional, hysterical, unreal villains. The script doesn’t stop there, and takes us to Cassian’s childhood through flashbacks. Here a completely different game is played, and in doing so the story seems to draw on a great classic such as Lord of the Flies by William Golding, in the staging as well as in the content.

The same old galaxy far away, new faces, new perspectives

Fiona Shaw - Cinematographe.it

It is still too early to give an effective judgment of Andor, however, it seems to have taken the right path from the start. Not everything is perfect, that’s for sure, and we found some choices too obvious, but the continuation of the narrative solves for the best what used to make us turn up our noses. Disney + will release the first three episodes together which, as we said, must be understood as one. The choice of assembly at the end of each one leaves something to be desired, as if they were suddenly closed. A problem that we later did not encounter in the fourth, more focused, more convincing.

Natural photography and a use of sipped CGI make it Andor a real product; Disney + seems to want to forgive the Power Ranger-style scooters The Book of Boba Fett. To this aspect is added a never forced acting, never over the top, well balanced and full of pathos. Diego Luna is one with Cassian, we can’t distinguish the actor from the character. The protagonist embodies the frustration, resentment and anger towards an absent galaxyits a speech that reminded us of the famous phrase of the Cold in Criminal Novel – The series. Although with different implications – in the Sky series based on the novel by Giancarlo De Cataldo there was talk of real criminals – that human resentment towards an absent state is also found in Star Wars.

Mon Mothma - Cinematographe.it

The faces are almost all new, except for the protagonist and the return of Mon Mothma, played by Genevieve O’Reilly. Other than the writings and animated series, we don’t know much about the senator in charge of the rebellion. Andor she explores her past, the drives that pushed her to oppose the empire, from the top of the senate to hiding places on the edge of the Galaxy. Her story is cleverly intertwined with Luthen Rael’s, but it’s when Skarsgård and Luna are together that the series is at its best. A note of credit also goes to Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter’s aunt Petunia) as Maarva and to Adria Arjona as Bix. That said, Tony Gilroy returns to the script later Rogue One and we can only be happy about it; maybe he too wants to be forgiven for something called The Great Wallwho knows.

Let’s rediscover the possibilities of the Star Wars universe

Andor - Cinematographe.it

It was from the days of the first season of The Mandalorian that Disney management was not bringing home a hit. The last two films of the sequel trilogy did not get into the graces of the fans, much less Boba Fett And Kenobi. Exactly like the current production level of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which dropped dramatically after Avengers: Endgameeven the Star Wars universe has suffered an inevitable setback, resulting from the excessive proliferation of content. Too much, as we know, is good, and the visual quality as well as the narrative are affected. Keeping together the threads of an expanded and complicated universe like that of Star Wars shouldn’t be easy, but one wonders how far one can go to take advantage of a franchise.

Read also Diego Luna talks about Andor: “A story that I would like to tell my children”

Andor seems to compensate for these shortcomings, at least in part. But as always, the one with the fans is a relationship based on trust, on the hope that something better can come out of the magician’s hat. In this sense, the series will be able to reconnect a relationship that has been cracked for some time now, especially with the long-standing fandom.much more attentive now to the screenplay than to mere spectacle. Andor it is an adult series, in the strict sense of a product designed for a certain target. We move away from Marvel humor and approach the tragedy, the transience of the human being and the redemption of him.

Cassian Andor - Cinematographe.it

Returning to Diego Luna’s Cassian, although his narrative arc was well defined, we always wondered what crimes the man had committed in the name of the Rebellion. Some of us, almost all of us … We have done terrible things in the name of the Rebellion. […] I couldn’t look in the mirror if I quit now. With these words addressed to Jyn Erso, Cassian left room for the public’s imagination, but now we will really see what crimes Cassian is stained with and what consequences and disturbances ensued. The rebellion starts here.

Composed of 12 episodes, Andor debuts on Disney + on 21 September 2022 with a triple appointment.


Direction – 3.5


Screenplay – 4


Photography – 4


Acting – 4


Sound – 4


Emotion – 3.5

Andor: review of the Disney + series – Cinematographe.it