Andor is Disney’s latest Star Wars show since The Book of Boba Fett, and will feature twelve episodes in its first season. The episodes range from forty minutes to an hour long.
The show begins with a cold open of the main character Cassian Andor looking for his sister. During the opening, he inadvertently murders two guards who asked for identification he didn’t have. Coming home to his planet, we see that Cassian is well aware of the danger he’s put himself in. He owes lots of people money already, and he’s struggling to find people to cover for him in the event that security comes looking. We meet much of Andor’s supporting cast, and see the life he’s living.
Unlike many other Star Wars protagonists and heroes, Cassian is a bum, a sharp contrast to what his character ultimately becomes in Rogue One.
From right after the Cold Open, the show begins to expertly juggle three different plot lines. We follow Cassian as he tries to escape the consequences of what he’s done, and also see glimpses of his life as a child. Additionally, we watch as security officer Syril Karn relentlessly pursues any leads he can find on the murder that Cassian commited. Karn is ultimately on a quest to do good, and we find inner conflict in the character that reveals he’s not quite as competent as he thinks he is.
Flashbacks are different from the Book of Boba Fett in that they feel less forced, and fit more naturally into the story.
Andor differs from usual Star Wars media in that it’s a show about individuals choosing to rebel. Usually when fans think of the rebellion, they think of a large, secret, underground group that’s opposing the tyranny of the Empire. Traditionally, these groups have always had figure heads like Princess Leia or various Jedi holding them together.
It’s different in Andor— not just because the Skywalkers aren’t old enough yet. There is no rebellion, and we’re seeing an era of Star Wars where resisting the Empire was unheard of. In this era, they get what they want, and the people living under their rule are little better than slaves.
Additionally, there’s somewhat more of a darker and grittier tone, at least by Star Wars standards. The story is still ultimately about hope, but Andor doesn’t gloss over the damage done by the main characters’ actions.
The characters in Andor are extremely well written. They all have their own flaws, and reasons to love and hate them.
Andor’s actual budget is unknown, but the quality of the show is miles above Kenobi and the Mandolorian. While both those shows had budgets of 150 and 120 million respectively, there are rumors of anywhere from 15 to 25 million being spent per episode of Andor, according to StarteFacts.com
The directors of Andor also went away from the heavy CGI approach utilized in the Mandalorian and Kenobi, instead opting to build their sets and give the actors real objects to interact with. The result is the most stunning Star Wars scenes we’ve seen since The Last Jedi.
There has been some controversy with Andor and some of its more adult themes, but at the end of the day, it’s still Star Wars. The show is rated TV-14, and doesn’t show anything wildly inappropriate.
Most user reviews rate Andor at either nine out of ten, or ten out of ten, per m.IMD.com The show has been masterfully done, however the consensus is also that new viewers should watch the first three episodes in one sitting. They form a mini-movie to kick off the series, with episode three executing on set-up that the first two episodes spent laying the ground work for.
New episodes of Andor are releasing every Wednesday. The final episode of the show will air on Wednesday, Nov. 23.