Thoughts on Andor
Hey to kick things off here's my take on my favorite series of 2022. -B
Andor is real Star Wars. It’s on the same order of magnitude of Star Wars as rogue one which was on the same order of magnitude as the OG three. Other Star Wars'(es?) have been good. Even momentarily that good. But no single other full thing has had “it”. They haven’t felt like Star Wars. Most were too slick. Or too ensemble. Or too tenuously charted. These were not critical failures per se but they were a barrier to the mountain top.
I don’t know where I read this lately, but Star Wars isn’t sci fi, it’s fantasy. When the technology does more than facilitate epic fantasy in space we go sideways. Lightsabers are just magic swords. The Death Star is just a dragon. Jedi are just wizards. If you explain the magic (midichlorians, palpatine-al clones) it goes poof.
Star Wars came from the 70’s which was a more physical age. Electronics were big and bulky and noisy and dangerous. Industry was nasty and amazing. Andor has that hot lacquered motor winding smell. Even in Coruscant it’s a little art deco with grunge down below. Gatsby would recognize it. Our modern social metaverse foundationed gnostic world, divorced from the indignities of physics and molten iron, barely resembles it.
The casting is fantastic. The characters are clean and complex and compelling. The tension is clear and overwhelming. The empire is suffocating but not distant and full of people who are just like us on the outside. They aren’t faceless nazis but they are terrifying. The empire is a machine and not an emperor and somehow that is infinitely worse.
Prequels often struggle with being confined by what comes next, but not this one. Somehow it has cracked open the shell and found an enormous landscape, an epic myriad of new ground that doesn’t require Luke to drop in or Darth Vader to saunter by to stand up on its own.
More of this please