The new Star Wars series Andor is a prequel to Rogue One and follows the exploits of Rebel spy Cassian Andor in they years leading up to the film. Daniel Evans Reviews.
Tony Gilroy’s Andor is by far the best addition to the Star Wars universe in years. Great time and care has clearly been taken to construct a rich and immensely detailed world, with everything from the bricks on the walls to the weather feeling meticulously crafted.
Many recent shows and films have leant heavily on ‘epic’ CGI that lacks any real depth or life. Andor is not without CGI, but it is used far more carefully. The world in the foreground is so detailed and grounded that the addition of computer generation serves only to enrich it. A real forest will always look superior to anything a computer can generate and it is refreshing to see a big budget project remember this. Particular praise should also go to Nicholas Britell’s score which is superb.
This is clearly the Star Wars universe but it feels grittier and more real than anything that has come before.
The pacing of Andor is also excellent. This is a show that is not afraid to take its time. Sweeping shots of scrapyards and townspeople going about their daily routines helps to build a world that feels lived in. There is also a near total absence of lazy exposition, with a clear focus on allowing the story to unfold more naturally.
Without revealing spoilers, this show appears to be more character driven in its early episodes. There is certainly spectacle, but it does not take precedence over everything else. The tone is consistently serious, without excessive fan service or moments of out of place comedy. This is clearly the Star Wars universe, but it feels grittier and more real than anything that has come before.
Andor may be a prequel, however at the moment it feels very much like a blank slate. It is true that the titular character’s fate should be well known to anyone who watched Rogue One in 2016, but that does not hurt this story. A journey can still be enjoyable even if the destination is known.
The cast is full of experienced character actors who add a great weight to each scene. A short interaction between Ron Cook and Stellan Skarsgård aboard a bus into town and Rupert Vansittart’s brief turn as a world-weary corporate officer both typify everything that makes this show great. No scene is wasted and each character no matter how small, is three-dimensional.
So far, Andor is wonderfully constructed and paced. It fits well into its world without neglecting good story telling. There have only been three episodes at the time of writing, but I cannot wait for more. Whether it will stay the course and continue as it has begun remains to be seen, but the early signs are certainly very promising.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.