"Star Wars: Andor" Season One Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

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All for the Rebellion

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Star Wars: Andor
Studio:
Lucasfilm Ltd
Premiere Date: September 21, 2022 on Disney+

Synopsis: The “Andor” series will explore a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

Episode 1 "Kassa" - Series Premiere - September 21, 2022
Cassian Andor's reckless search for answers about his past makes him a wanted man.

Episode 2 "That Would Be Me"
Cassian attempts to lay low on Ferrix as agents of the law close in.

Episode 3 "Reckoning"
Cassian's desperation to avoid arrest leads him to a mysterious man with unknown connections.

Related Links
*Official Website
*Disney+ Landing
*Andor News & Discussion
*Star Wars News & Discussion
*Episode I - The Phantom Menace Talkback
*Episode II - Attack of the Clones Talkback
*Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Talkback
*Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Talkback
*Solo: A Star Wars Story Talkback
*Obi Wan Kenobi Season 1 Talkback
*Star Wars Rebels Series Talkback
*Episode IV - A New Hope Talkback


 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Kassa"

Just going by the beginning, that was a little harder and grittier than I like my Star Wars. But I'll tell you what compels me. This (so far) is not an action show. It's a drama. Specifically a crime drama. It's for that reason I suspect it will not set the Star Wars fandom on-fire the way the Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi did. But there were a ton of individual elements that intrigued me for the precise reason that they had never been done in Star Wars before.

For example I very much like the implication that at this stage of the game, Imperialist bureaucrats are outright lazy. The Inspector completely nailing the specifics of the crime, and suggesting a death by misadventure was freaking riveting, as was Cass' friend's completely credible alibi being made up off the top of his head. The stuttering Droid is fun too, and the notion that is takes a lot of power for a Droid to lie is neat too.

To make a long review short, I hated the opening scene, but found everything past it fascinating for the fact that these were all scenes Star Wars never shows us of behind the scenes of lower ranked Imperialists and civilians. It was cool for that reason. The office politics of Star Wars are something Randall and Dante seemed to wonder about in Clerks, and we actually see a bit about it here. ***1/2.

Star Wars: Andor "That Would Be Me"

First sex scene in Star Wars history. We don't see anything good, and it cuts away before it even really begins, but it's significant in this chaste franchise anyways.

Cassian was apparently an Ewok growing up.

Interesting the Deputy Inspector has zero charisma. But he still gets the applause and the kudos for the boring speech anyways. That's seems real-world familiar. Still, sweet gig.

I liked the scene of Andor dickering with the guy over the price of transport. The last scene of the two guys on the transport was cool too.

I mentioned this won't set the Star Wars fandom on-fire already, right? ***.

Star Wars: Andor "Reckoning"

I am about to pay this the highest compliment I can give an hour of television: That was interesting.

I also get the logic of the three episode premiere drop on Disney+ now. People might have checked out due to lack of interest without the context of this episode. Episode 3 is make-or-break for the series, and Disney+ damn well better have it in the can from the outset.

First s-bomb in Star Wars? I believe so.

The Imperialist police force is beyond not ready for prime time. Buncha Keystone Cops there.

Timm paid a high price for his treachery. It's admirable he rushes to Bix's defense when he sees the cops have roughed her up. But they wouldn't even BE here yet if not for him.

I like this Rael cat. His discussion with Cass about the fat and happy Imperialists did not fall on deaf ears by me. I do notice that most of the cops are ridiculously overweight considering their profession.

I'm knocking off a half-star the final grade for the ridiculous notion that perhaps kid Cass has never seen his reflection before. Even if Mirrors aren't a thing on Human Endor, reflection pools obviously are. Come on, man. Cass couldn't have been THAT much of a Luddite.

Also I must note that humans are called humans in the Star Wars Universe. I repeat: Interesting.

That went places. Mostly interesting ones. ****1/2.
 
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Yojimbo

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Ok, yeah, that made sense why they released the first 3 at once. It starts off in the slow burn that a spy drama/thriller series typically would. All 3 at once would help with the audience's attention span, lol.

I didn't expect it, I was confused at first, but then loved that they started at the bottom of the totem pole of the Empire, an outsourced private police company for the sectors they don't give two hoots about. Basically the Empire's rent-a-cops. And how the bureaucratic malaise has trickled down even down to them with the Chief Inspector telling the Deputy to falsify a report to satisfy the Empire's stats. The Deputy Inspector was well cast and acted. A total pencil pusher with no field experience that moved up the ranks by filing his reports on time and we didn't need any exposition for it, you get all that just from watching.

Also liked the spotlight on essentially is outer rim blue collar life - always dirty, always making side-deals to make it to the next day, scavenging, bartering, knowing how to make up alibis right away when asked, have a system to warn each other about Corporate police, and sneakily sabotaged the ship with the tow line. Didn't feel bad for Timm. Rat gets what a rat gets.

I dig Stellan Skarsgård's Luthen Rael. Definitely got the notion he's going to be one of the main founders of the Rebellion. Lesson 3, always carry lot's of charges. :D
 

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Episode 4 "Aldhani"
Out of options, Cassian is recruited for a dangerous mission to infiltrate an Imperial garrison.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Alhani"

It's not an action show. It's a straight drama. And an interesting drama at that.

I both like and dislike the prissy old Imperial Major we met at the beginning and the end. Him discussing their security duties as health care workers fighting viruses from the outside and within was an entirely unpleasant allegory, but I DID like him giving encouragement to Meera at the end. This is the first show or movie to suggest that not everybody who works for the Empire is necessarily malicious.

Rael's scene at the gallery with the Senator was interesting, as was her argument with her clueless husband. Rael's debate with Vel over Cass joining her team was similarly riveting.

Karn is in the doghouse. The fact that he's a Mama's Boy is no surprise.

Saw Guerrera was mentioned here. I doubt we'll see Forest Whittaker though.

I liked it. ****.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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I began watching the show on Disney+ yesterday and honestly, I'm impressed with it plus I like how this show is more of a espionage thriller series than a space Western series like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.
 

Yojimbo

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A lot of players introduced. Digging the tension and drama going around. It's great to watch as Andor proves there can be a Star Wars show that isn't a space western.

Brilliant structuring of the hidden layers of people and places like the room in Rael's ship and him dressing up as his public face and getting into character then seeing him use that smile at his gallery. And turns out he is in league in Mon Mothma. Intriguing. Or the Deputy Inspector arriving at the sterile, white, bright Coruscant then takes the elevator down to the dark, dirty, street level.

Rael is a really interesting character. How he talks to Cassian then Vel. And telling Vel it's not much of a team if it falls apart because of a late add. Hoo hoo. Man, I hope Mothma's husband is just a doofus and not spying on her, too. For all we know that could be a politically arranged marriage.

The 'office squabble' at ISB was intriguing. They're surgeons. Meero, a young upstart who works hard and can see the rebel threat for what it is, Blevin is the career officer, and Partagaz is the experienced mediator helping take a scalpel to the galaxy for the Empire in the most efficient, expedient, and impactful manner. An interesting parallel to inaction that led to disaster on Pre-Mor. Should be interesting to see what Meero does after her 'stay compliant' and keep up the good work advice from Partagaz. Because the Empire is supposed to Big Brother to the max but peeking behind the curtain, we're already seeing chinks of complacency and divisions.

During the briefing, a Arvala-7 was mentioned. I think Din met Grogu on The Mandalorian season 1 on either Arvala-5 or 6 I believe. And of course, we get a glimpse into the ISB whom Rogue One's Orson Krennic was a part of (as well as the Scarif reference). So it's interesting the spy show is not just about the Rebels, the ISB factors in, too. And Luthen had a kyber crystal and mentions Utapau, which was the planet Obi-Wan defeats Grievous on in the prequel trilogy. Mimban and Rakata were some deep cut references, too, I think. Pretty sure the former was on Solo, the infantry training locale that Han abandoned. I'd bet everything in Luther's gallery was an easter egg but I recognized the Mandalorian armor, some holocrons but that silver armor with the prongs out the helmet I blanked on (EDIT: Starkiller's Sith Stalker armor from Force Unleashed). The Saw and Partisans shout out, hmm, wonder if he and/or the group will appear this or next season.
 
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Episode 5 "The Axe Forgets"
Cassian must carefully navigate the distrust inherent in being the new member of a secret operation.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "The Axe Forgets"

I'm going out on a limb and declaring this show the most interesting Star Wars project I've ever seen. Supplanting (ironically, I might add) Rogue One in that specific department. Every bit of this show fascinates me and raises questions (and the right questions). This is not the best Star Wars show. The Mandalorian has more thematic resonance to me for Mando's relationship with The Child, and Obi-Wan Kenobi has better melodrama and action. But I feel like this is the first project in this Universe I have seen with real people in it, and not just George Lucas cardboard matinee archetype cut-outs. I mean, when the guy "apologizes" to Andor and describes the death of his farmer brother due to the Empire, Cass' first immediate question is to ask what kind of farm. That right there is not great writing. It's GOOD writing, which is WAAAYYY better. If feels real, and credible, and as if these are real people nervously waiting it out until their important life-and-death mission, and finding some way to trust each other as they steel themselves for it.

Karn's scenes with his mother were similarly riveting. Her disappointment is palpable, I think justified, and frankly a bit gleeful. There is a sadistic streak in Mama Karn gloating over her son's predictable failures. It's great characterization, and we've never seen a mother like this in Star Wars before. And she makes the franchise richer for her presence. Bonus points to the scene for introducing the idea that the Star Wars Universe DOES contain mundane things like dry, sweetened, cereal. But because it's Star Wars, the milk is actually blue.

The stuff about reorganizing the troops based on what hand they favored was neat too. It also made sense, and was something I never thought about, which made it even cooler.

I think the most impressive thing about the show to me, and why it's unlike every other Star Wars project, is because the people in the Empire we see are good people, trying to do their jobs as best they can. We aren't dealing with Dooku or Tarkin. Part of me is rooting for the Empire characters every time they make a discovery and rise above their mundane jobs and stations. What a fascinating and horrific idea it is to make me feel that. That's amazing to put me in these specific people's shoes, even if it only winds up for this specific series. I'll never forget it for that reason.

I can't stand the Senator's husband. I think she might have divorced him ages ago if that wouldn't have added an extra level of scrutiny to her. She's doing her best to keep from getting found out, and her entire family killed, and he seems to be deliberately sabotaging her and her political position and career while unaware of how precarious it is because she's an actual traitor. But could you picture her warning him about that? This is not a guy you can trust with a secret that large. He'd tell it to impress the people at the first bar he got drunk in. This poor woman has the crappiest family and personal support system possible for somebody helping the Rebellion on the downlow. I feel truly bad for her. I understand why her daughter is upset, and I hated her husband for enjoying winding her up and setting her against mother for kicks. This crap AMUSED this jag. And it's infuriating. He's stupid. And stupid people are dangerous because they can't be predicted or controlled. Which could potentially be the Senator's entire undoing.

I am currently enjoying She-Hulk: Attorney At Law for the slight comedic romp it is. But still, even if it's one of the few Marvel Studios shows I've enjoyed, I look at this and Obi-Wan Kenobi and I wonder why the HELL I am not permitted an amazing Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show. Those seem to be all about the cash grabs, and building the brand, and tying into the movies. Andor's arc is a literal dead end. We know his actual future. Why is it his show, not even the BEST Star Wars Disney+ show, is better than every single Marvel Disney+ series? I think the best thing that ever happened to Star Wars was them pulling back on the big screen stuff once people become oversaturated with it. I hope Kevin Feige makes a similar decision with the Marvel stuff on the TV end. Marvel's spiraling is not sustainable, and each new Star Wars show just makes that stuff look worse and worse by comparison.

That was some interesting television. My highest praise possible. *****.
 

Yojimbo

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Very well executed idea to revolve a whole episode around the day before the big operation and to convey that tension is almost spiritually felt and affects the rest of the cast around the galaxy. Luther is fretting and listening to comms a bit longer than he should be, Mon and her family.

Loved that Andor just comes clean with his role in part to call out the others trying to use him as a patsy for their own fears.

It's worrisome that Vel and Cinta's part was never revealed whenever it came up. I'm concerned the plan was always for them to use themselves as bait/a distraction so Andor could fly away unnoticed and they're essentially committing suicide for the mission.

I'm betting Karn's uncle will get him a job at ISB and he'll be working for Meero. But yes, I feel the same way, Fone. I'm kinda rooting for Meero then I realize, wait, I'm rooting for an Empire officer.
 

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Episode 6 "The Eye"
With cover from a spectacular local festival, the Aldhani mission reaches a point of no return.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "The Eye"

That was majorly unsatisfying. But let's get real. This specific show was never built to give easy answers and a cookie cutter happy ending. It is the Star Wars project with zero good guys and zero bad guys. I feel like if the finale had made me happier by the end, it would have been unusual and out of character for the show. I would have preferred it, yes. But it's not just an unrealistic expectation on my end. What I wanted might not be in the best interest of the message of the show.

I love that the Imperialist of color that we been secretly rooting for these past few weeks turns out to be a Rebel. Of course. That's how they "escaped his noticed". Because they didn't. The fix was already in there.

I love that Andor just shoots the dude unexpectedly at the end when he broaches the subject of stealing the bounty and ditching the Rebellion. I liked that because if he was going to refuse to do it (and he was obviously) that was the right moment to kill him. And he'd definitely need to be killed for that (because he'd want to kill Andor before he revealed his treachery). He was not on his guard. He was putting feelers outs to see what "Clem" thought about it. If he sensed an actual danger Cass would rat him out, his guard would be put up. Cass kills him before anybody else would firmly decide yes or no. His murder is Cass' real final decision.

That spaceship escape scene at the end was a real quality Star War if ya ask me.

I mentioned I'm going a bit off-topic, but even if I was not completely satisfied with the finale, it was damn solid. And the first season of Andor will be left with a favorable impression in my mind. I love that it's basically a drama with limited action. What tension exists is due to nerves before the battles, or hostage situations (and yes, the Rebellion takes innocent kids hostage at this point). You can tell the both the Rebellion and the Empire itself are in their infancy in how bad and unprofessional they are as this is going on. The actual leader of the mission actually almost refuses to say "Go," for a mere case of nerves. It's all interesting stuff.

What's off-topic is I watched and enjoyed that AFTER I saw the hot mess that was the She-Hulk finale. Why the hell can't Marvel Studios give me ONE decent TV show? Okay, Loki, but like, that's IT. I'm not okay with Star Wars routinely impressing me on Disney+, while Marvel Television is busy making me cringe in embarrassment. It's not right. I admire the Star Wars shows for having creators and showrunners with an actual vision, wanting to tell their own story, instead of being hype projects to pass the time between movies. And maybe I would have preferred a less ambiguous ending for the season. But it was damn solid ending, which is more than I can say for this Marvel Studios garbage. I don't know what the answer is about this. ****.
 

Palin Dromos

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Psst..I'm pretty sure that wasn't the finale. According to Wikipedia and IMDB season 1 is 12 episodes.

And I though it was a darn good ep; there was no way the heist was going to go smoothly. It was just a matter of who wouldn't make it out.
 

Yojimbo

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Correct, we're only at the half-way point of season one.

The hints were there and yes, we're in the very early days of the Rebellion where there's no complete unity, vision, and trust. And a lot of people gave up their lives for the cause from day one up until the end of Return of the Jedi. It seems Nemik's manifesto will be something will spark many people and individuals like Luther and Mon (and Leia) will be the leaders that will push for all these individual groups to combine into one and to keep the Rebellion together.

The getaway scene was visually amazing no doubt about that.

Should be fascinating to see what the fallout of this heist will be from both sides next week.
 

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Episode 7 "Announcement"
The repercussions of the Aldhani heist reach all the way to Coruscant, while Cassian returns home.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Announcement"

This episode made things a little too complicated to follow. It's going to be hard to describe my thoughts because I can't remember any of the characters' names (and the cast list was no help).

I liked the Imperial lady getting a promotion for taking initiative and essentially getting the guy who's had it out for hers' job. I though it was interesting the Colonel told her to watch her back. His tone suggested it was a helpful tip instead of a threat and that he was rooting for her.

It's interesting the Senator lady says her husband can't be trusted.

What was up with Cass' arrest at the end? It struck me as patently ridiculous.

This show is getting hard for me to keep the players straight. ***.
 

Yojimbo

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Interesting that the current atmosphere led to Meero finally getting a leg up. Suck it, Blevin.

It was pretty neat to learn that the colonel, Yularen, that was lecturing Major Partagaz and all the ISB heads was actually an actual existing character in the canon, he was in New Hope when Darth Vader does the infamous force choke at the meeting, was a Republic admiral that appeared in Clone Wars, and was a close ally of Thrawn in Rebels.

Uh, Vel has to assassinate Cassian now to clean up loose ends? Yeesh.

And Mon Mothma having to step on egg shells during the party in her own house to recruit an old friend who may or may not be on her side now. Boy.

Cassian's arrest really just highlighted how oppressive the Empire decided to respond to the heist. It felt like something that could happen in real life, a cop is suspicious of a guy looking over his shoulder and then the justice system does him dirty. Didn't expect the KX droids to appear to soon in the show but I suppose they are seeding K-2SO eventually showing up on this show.

And I suppose while Cassian was literally sent to prison, Karn found himself in a metaphorical prison with his awful desk job.
 
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Palin Dromos

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We got 3 truly standout scenes for 3 of the women characters in this ep. And with compelling women being in sorely short supply for much of Star Wars history I was really happy to see it.

Mon Mothma’s slow revelations to her old banker friend were wonderfully delivered. She really seemed like the steely chess player needed to lead and wrangle a rebellion that could topple Palpatine’s Empire. It was a bit of a relief to see after she seemed to waver with Luther earlier.

Maarva’s speech to Cass about being inspired by the rebels’ actions and her new found need to face the oppression and resist was so heartbreaking to hear and know that Cass was unable to understand it yet. His arrest and sentencing at the end was a much quicker demonstration of what she was saying than I expected, but it made it super effective.

Lastly I agree that seeing Meero get a win was (horrifyingly) satisfying, and the “watch your back” was an equally satisfying demonstration of how ruthless Imperial ladder climbing can be.

All three of these women expertly commanded their scenes! Kudos to the actresses, writer, and director.
 

Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Narkina 5"

This is the most ambitious Star Wars show of all time. The prison is not something any previous incarnation would have attempted. The notion behind it is so dark I believe this is the first Star Wars project I wouldn't allow a little kid to watch.

I mean, I knew the Empire was BAD, but not THAT bad. And it's really interesting to put Meera, a character we had half been rooting for in recent weeks, in charge of the incoming torture Bix is about to suffer. There were no good guys or bad guys in the previous weeks. This episode is different because it's starting to draw the lines.

I cannot overstate how horrific the idea of the prison is. I think the thing that brings home to me how hopeless and cruel it is is that for a reward, the second best team gets taste inserted into their food goop. The best team gets flavor. I can't picture a prison in our Universe sadistic enough to do something like that. It's like they are doing Concentration Camp parallels, but because of the cleanliness of the prison they can keep things TV-14. But it certainly is a horrific level of torture and abuse these people are facing.

Say what you will about Luthen, the dude can believably go toe to toe with Saw Gerrera. I loved Forest Whitaker's surprise cameo.

I'm not going to say this is the best Star Wars show. What I will say it's the one Star Wars show that is swinging for the fences. In the same way Rogue One was the one Star Wars MOVIE that did that. It is no surprise the most shocking Star Wars series is so heavily tied to the most shocking Star Wars movie. *****.
 

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