From Flight to Fight: “Andor” Review

A review of “Star Wars: Andor” on Disney+

by Lucas Matsuda, Reporter

Taking place 5 years before “Star Wars: Rogue One” is “Andor,” a 12-episode series reprising Diego Luna as Cassian Andor and serves as a prequel to the aforementioned movie. The first three episodes released Sept 21, 2022  on Disney+ to mixed reviews from critics and Star Wars fans alike. With another live-action Star Wars show, there comes high expectations set by other shows like “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” does this show hold up?

The first three-episodes, while around 40 minutes each, feels like a whole lot of nothing happens. The episodes focus around Cassian after he is harassed by officers in an alley and accidentally kills one when defending himself, killing the other to leave no witnesses. It takes the show three episodes for Cassian to get the plot moving and join what is speculated to be the beginning of the Rebel Alliance to fight against the Empire. The show also tries to explore other areas of Cassian such as his past and other characters in the show, by displaying their own motives and how each side is less black and white, but more of a gray area. These bits and pieces are hints of where the story will go from here and set the foundation for the Rebel Alliance. 

Throughout the rest of the episodes, the show explores more about Cassian’s past and puts him in stressful and dangerous situations which helped form new ideals on fighting against the empire.  It’s not until the season finale that we really see Andor become more akin to his future self in “Rogue One.”  I can really appreciate the series more through each episode feeling much more grounded and time is really spent on character development which makes Cassian’s rag-tag team of fighters an interesting watch.  Each episode, though slower, really ties it together in a spectacular finale in the prison break.  

However, while the story may be slower than other shows, the show excels at it’s visuals and fight scenes. There are so many beautiful and stunning cinematic shots throughout the first three episodes. The overall design of each planet and its people all feel like it fits perfectly in that time period of Star Wars. The final fight scene in the third episode was excellent as well.  Each gunfight felt intense and amazing. The visuals made for yet another enjoyable Star Wars blaster duel. 

One thing the show really excels at is the more grounded and original storytelling which is largely due to the time period in which the show takes place.  Having the show focusing on characters that we know little about and in a large enough time-frame that remains largely uncovered by any live action Star Wars film gives the directors much more to work with and a lot of creative freedom to flex their storytelling abilities. 

Even though the first three episodes were a bit slow, the more I watched the show, the more I enjoyed the slower-paced storytelling and came to appreciate the series as a whole much more.  The plot and action felt top-tier and you really feel as if these characters are more real with no “magic power” guiding them in their journey.  Overall, I would recommend this series to any Star Wars fan as it is easy to pick up and is a different approach to how Star Wars has been handled before.