Andor – First Impressions

Andor – First Impressions

Please, I don’t want to see any green tits in Star Wars.

That was my very first reaction to Andor, the new… Star Wars(?)… show on Disney +.  

I am very reluctant to call this a Star Wars show.  It doesn’t feel anything like the Galaxy Far, Far Away from my childhood.  This show isn’t dark and gritty so much as it is dark and grimy.  It starts off with Andor walking through an Amsterdam-style redlight district, with various vulgar entertainments being offered in the windows of shops he is passing by.

Blatant prostitution is something new in Star Wars.  Sure, there were hints here and there, but it was never anything thing beyond that. The franchise never tried to get away with anything you would not have seen on late 1960s police procedurals.  And in a lot of ways, this show feels a lot like a police procedural.

Andor goes to a club and asks the hostess for a Kenari girl.  Eventually, the hostess informs him that the girl he was looking for isn’t there anymore.  He confesses that he is looking for his sister.  The madame tells him ‘too bad’ and he has to leave.  

While he was there, he annoyed two bullying tropes who were dressed in uniforms I didn’t recognize.  Turns out they were security police that worked for “Corpo.”  They decide to shake down Andor and things get hot.  Andor knocks the skinny one down and disarms the fat one.  He then tells the fat one to help the other rent-a-cop stand up.  Turns out Andor accidentally killed the second security guard.  The fat one adds things up and starts inventing a story on the spot about how it was just an accident and was really their fault for starting it.  It doesn’t change anything.  Andor knows what he has to do now and has just been psyching himself up to pull the trigger.  Which he does.  He has just deliberately murdered an unarmed man on his knees.

A promising start that would be much more at home in Outland (1981) than in any Star Wars show.  

Then everything grinds to a halt until the last fifteen minutes of episode 3.  Which, I suspect, is why Disney dropped the first three episodes all at once.

This show is very, very slow-moving.  I was okay with that first but if this whole thing is going to be doled out at a snail’s pace, then this show isn’t Star Wars. Which is noted for fun and excitement rather than moody tone pieces.

Andor runs around his home in Squalid City establishing his alibi. It does build a sense of place and it’s nice that that place isn’t Tatooine for a change, but that said, it doesn’t feel like Star Wars either.

The next thing of any interest is in the rent-a-cop shop, where the fat lazy chief is instructing earnest young deputy inspector to invent a story that will cover up for the murder last night.  This is where Disney once again demonstrated the need for a morality coach on all its productions.  The young deputy inspector is suddenly obsessed with finding whoever killed the two rent-a-cops.   The fundamental problem is why he is obsessed with pursuit. You quickly get the feeling that the young deputy inspector is simply earnest for no good reason and that his desire to pursue the killer has more to do with OCD than the perfectly reasonable and natural desire of a cop to hunt down a cop killer.  Don’t get me wrong, the character’s motivations scanned but the show had a major problem in that the inspector was morally in the right and the show portrays him as being in the wrong with no real explanation as to why.  Other than he is white.  Big shock, all the bad guys are white.  

All of them.

Andor as it turns out came from South American Tribe planet.  There are repeated call-back shots to Cassian living an idyllicly squalid existence and these flashbacks managed to make Boba Fett’s look exciting.  The tribe members are all wearing the kind of industrial cast-offs you used to see decorating Amazonian tribes in the pages of National Geographic. They are armed with blowguns. You see their planet is being strip-mined. Diego Luna is from South America, and this was so on the nose I’d be tempted to call the producers racist if I was allowed to do that.

The deputy inspector starts going on about “a need to secure their borders.” 

There it is!

Took them long enough to get there.  The deputy inspector is a bad guy because he’s a MAGA republican. He doesn’t give a crap about a murdered cop, it’s an excuse to fight disorder, that is all he really cares about. He finds an old sergeant who totally agrees with his MAGA viewpoint and they launch a big raid to pick up Andor.

Andor has met with a Rebel spymaster to sell him some part or another.  The spymaster is interested in the part but is really there to recruit Andor.

The only exciting scene in all three episodes happens and they escape.

Yeah, I’m skipping a lot because it’s really boring.

The show didn’t bother with the usual feminist Woke bullshit because it was undoubtedly given a pass for going with Left-wing anti-capitalism bullshit.

This isn’t a bad show, it even has a few things going for it.  But none of those things is feeling at all like Star Wars.  

Tone matters in a show that has been placed in a franchise’s setting.  Tone has to be consistent with that world.  Or at least nowhere as far off base as this show is.    If Princess Candypop of the Dewdrop kingdom has been kidnapped by the Peppermint Stick Goblins for the Fairy Rainbow Unicorn King, then you don’t send the Fist of the North Star to rescue *her.

In the Star Wars universe, you can draw a discreet veil over how Princess Leia was dressed like a bounty hunter in one scene and dressed in a slave bikini the next time we see her.  You could assume it was nothing too bad.  In the world of Andor, you know that it was bad.

Dark and grimy can be a very good show but it can’t be a Star Wars show.  This is a world where the Sith and the Jedi Knights would feel completely out of place. It’s a world without Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader.

The cinematography is quite excellent. The direction is good enough. The costuming is good enough.  The writing is good enough too.   As for the effects, I now know where Kenobi’s budget went.  

I haven’t read any of the other reviews because I don’t need to. This is the very first Star Wars show to achieve bare competence, which will be all that is needed for it to be declared the greatest Star Wars show in all existence. In reality, I’d say it is almost but not quite equal to Apple TV +’s Foundation

It’s good but it’s not Star Wars.

Is it worth a subscription to Disney +?


And Cassian Andor is still dead.

Okay, I’m done here.

*All of a sudden, I really want to write that story.

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