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

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Yojimbo

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Narkina 5 was an excellent reflection of the Empire - the military industrial complex and class warfare. It's truly what the Empire thinks of the people. Disposable tools clad in white slowly fading into the sanitized white decor with little identity, barely any hope or objection from them. Tables, games, reward, torture - all pitting the masses against each other so they have little time to form resistance while forcing powerlessness and hopelessness into them so the Empire can have its perverse vision of order and peace.

Yet there's still the contrast of arrogance. Meero again puts forth a solid argument that Andor is a crucial person of interest that could lead them to Luthen whose name they don't even know but they still don't really believe her. And the irony is the Empire has Andor and doesn't even know it. Just goes to show why the Empire eventually was defeated.

I guess that was progress with Karn gaining the notice of the ISB and meeting Meero but it's not enough to get him into a position where he can go after Andor. But still, the way he did it with the false reports I think conveyed to Meero he wasn't ready yet.

The only thing I really got from the party was Mon having to play a part among her peers, any of whom in the room, could be allies as much as they could be enemies.

Luthen and Saw Garrera was so entertaining. Their banter alone made the episode. But Saw's misgiving still shows there's still a long way to go before the official formation of the Rebellion.

While this was essentially the low point for Andor, with only 4 episodes left, I think we can expect things to start ramping up.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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I was quite impressed with the recent four episodes of Andor, especially this week's episode with Forest Whitaker's return as Saw Guerra and Andy Serkis' guest appearance but surprisingly enough, not as Snoke.
 

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Episode 9 "Nobody's Listening!"
Under intense scrutiny while imprisoned, Cassian makes allies to plan in impossible escape.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Nobody's Listening!"

Whoa. That was rough. I said earlier on that this is the first Star Wars project I would not let a little kid watch. Stuff like that is why.

Also, great episode title. It's not remotely a Star Wars title, which is why it's great.

Bix's torture was horrible. And I'm horribly reminded that just a few episodes ago I was half-rooting for Meero in her game of Imperial office politics, even knowing what she was. Seeing what she is is far more instructive here than knowing what she is. Before it was all theoretical, and I could be wrong that every person in the Empire is a monster. But when Bix tells her she seems like she's enjoying herself, that's accurate.

Kino finally tells Andor what he needs to hear at the end. After that? I don't blame him.

Val being Mothma's cousin gives both their roles in the Rebellion added context.

I can't tell if Karn's mother is supposed to be comedic or frightening. I find her both. Also, she's crazy. She's right to make Cyril speculate on whether or not she had a meltdown while he was gone. What is left unsaid is that she clearly did.

Karn is beyond pushing his luck. I think the problem is he fell in love with Meero from afar. The thing that disturbs me is that even knowing he's stalking her, there is something about Meera's reaction to him that says she's a little bit compelled there too. She shouldn't be for hundreds of reasons (not the least of it being risky for her career). But truly, it's almost flattering, isn't it? I don't know how I feel about that.

Also, that painless, peaceful death that prison doctor promised the poor guy who had a stroke... was not. I love that fact.

This continues to be the riskiest, most un-Star Wars, Star Wars project of all time. I don't know if I'll wind up liking it when all is said and done (I certainly did not like Bix's horrified screams when having to listen to the torture on the headphones) but it sure as hell held my interest. ****1/2.
 

Yojimbo

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I guess the torture device was a precursor to the gurney style one we see in the movies. What makes it even worse is we don't hear the sound and the doctor is so freakin' casual in attitude. And yeah, the scene with Bix made it clear or remind the audience, 'hey, she's a villain remember?'

Vel is related Mon Mothma. Now that clears a lot of things up. She's supposed to have a fake public persona of a spoiled rich kid, while in reality she's a tough as nails, rebel commander. Very interesting. But, oh yeah, she's still under orders to kill Andor. It was nice to see Vel help Mon get some of her resolve back. Although, now Mon is grappling with crossing over into the morally gray areas she needs to in order to bring the Rebellion into true formation. Namely making deals with shadier ilk.

Karn stalking Meero. Oh, man. I don't think there's more to say about that. I loved what wasn't said in the scene after when she sends her second away and she's in her office, a little out of sorts as she's taking her jacket and cap off.

RIP Ulaf.

Nice of Kino to finally change his mind.

Idk what would be more messed up: those giant sprockets they're making are part of the construction of the Death Star or that it's part of the system to keep them in line and those sprockets are just being shipped to a garbage dump.
 

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Episode 10 "One Way Out"
A rare opportunity opens and the time for Cassian and his fellow inmates to act is now.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "One Way Out"

Serious question: Is this the best Star Wars show of all time? It damn well might be. Is it the best Star Wars PROJECT of all time? Also maybe.

I can't say either for sure without seeing the finale, much less the next season. What I will say is that Disney needs to make a SERIOUS Emmy push for this show. Don't laugh. It's better than Game Of Thrones and that was nominated a few times and won once or twice too. It's a serious contender for Best Drama. We ARE living in a golden age of TV drama for sure. Maybe there might be five shows better than it on the air currently. But it's definitely the most prestigious show DISNEY has ever done, and it needs to act accordingly.

I also want to point out that there is not a single Marvel Studios TV show I would make the same suggestion for. The idea of any of those shows bringing home major Emmys is laughable. Yeah, people were impressed with Elizabeth Olson and Oscar Isaac. But both WandaVision and Moon Knight were so otherwise poor, Emmy recognition seems like a bad idea. This show's acting, writing, directing, just everything is phenomenal, and freaking Serious which is the thing that makes me take notice. I don't mean Serious as in tragic, or dark, or hard to watch. I mean serious in that it's an adult and clever enough show to have the Empire decide to do a phony look-in on the accident they staged because it would look suspicious if they ignored it. That's smart, adult, Serious writing that really is the kind of smart thing the Emmys claim to love.

To be sure, I think the Emmys have a terrible reputation and have given some trophies to absolute stinkers. The fact that Picket Fences, Ally McBeal, The Practice, and Murphy Brown have all won major awards says that the only reservation I have about this show being pushed for an Emmy is that it might actually be too good for the award. We'll see. But this is some high quality drama right here.

Kino's Braveheart speech is interesting because he doesn't believe he can do it, but it gets better as he goes along. I was very impressed of his suggestion that if someone sees someone confused or struggling, they should be helped. I think the biggest thing I took from the speech (beside Andy Serkis' amazing performance) is annoyance that it never occurred to George Lucas to give a similar moment to Luke or Leia. Star Wars: The Original Trilogy has its fans. But when it comes to Meeting The Cultural Moment when it comes to common tropes like inspirational speeches or complicated bad guys, it's Not Serious. And this show being Serious is WHY I think Disney needs to lobby the Emmy committee on its behalf.

The arranged marriage thing the Senator is considering for her daughter is gross and reminds me unpleasantly of Game Of Thrones. But the worst part is the guy saying she's lying and that deep down she IS considering it. It's kind of disgusting.

Luthen's monologue about sacrificing EVERYTHING is like Stellan Skarsgard's entire Emmy Reel. Like Serkis, he is a Serious Actor doing Serious Work that deserves award recognition.

I want to point something ambiguous out, because the prisoner escape was treated like a Big Hero Moment for everyone. While it's obvious a LOT of those guys were like Cass and railroaded with unfair sentences, and did nothing wrong, it seems impossible to me that that's true for ALL of them. The Freedom Fighter / Prison Takeover might well have been releasing a bunch of mass murderers, serial killers, child molesters, and rapists right back into the wild. It's not in the episode's drama's best interest to point that out, but I guess maybe I should after the fact.

And Kino can't swim. Of course. But he's gonna learn pretty fast, I think.

If there exists a better Star Wars show than this one, it exists in the franchise's future. If there is a better MOVIE than this? If the season ends as strongly as this, I will say the same thing then. *****.
 

Yojimbo

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Serious question: Is this the best Star Wars show of all time? It damn well might be. Is it the best Star Wars PROJECT of all time? Also maybe.
It really is.

The arranged marriage thing the Senator is considering for her daughter is gross and reminds me unpleasantly of Game Of Thrones. But the worst part is the guy saying she's lying and that deep down she IS considering it. It's kind of disgusting.
Well, yeah, it sucks but her back is up against the wall and she has no other option at the moment. I had misgivings about Mon throwing in with Tay because he sorta implied to her at the party that he was not squeaky clean anymore himself. It only emphasizes how embryonic the Rebellion is that Mon did not know what to do next and had very little allies to help her figure that out.

Mon's ideology and morality is certainly being tested. In stark contrast to Luthen who's 100% all in. Like he's willing to sacrifice 51 men to trick the ISB into thinking there's no intel leak. Damn, man.

Luthen's monologue about sacrificing EVERYTHING is like Stellan Skarsgard's entire Emmy Reel. Like Serkis, he is a Serious Actor doing Serious Work that deserves award recognition.
Everything. I was waiting for when Luthen was going to reveal that. And his conviction was so powerful. Even though he knows it is very certain he won't live to see the Empire destroyed, he still sacrificed everything for the cause.

I want to point something ambiguous out, because the prisoner escape was treated like a Big Hero Moment for everyone. While it's obvious a LOT of those guys were like Cass and railroaded with unfair sentences, and did nothing wrong, it seems impossible to me that that's true for ALL of them. The Freedom Fighter / Prison Takeover might well have been releasing a bunch of mass murderers, serial killers, child molesters, and rapists right back into the wild.
I wondered that but considering Narkina is a secret prison and since the Empire was clamping down with the new directive, they were gathering up innocent people, protestors, up to low level criminals like jaywalkers who normally wouldn't put up much resistance in a labor camp. But if even if it was varying degrees of crimes, let's not assume every one of them survived the drop into ocean, the swim to shore, or avoided Imperial pursuit on what I think is an uninhabited moon. But on one had, it was a system that was not just. If some prisoners did atrocious things, yes, they're terrible people. But if they served their sentence - the justice system is supposed to release them despite how much we don't want that to happen. But this was a totalitarian regime that simply puts them in a different part of the prison to keep working. Which you could argue they deserve but that's not legal and no way I'm going to agree with something the Empire chooses to do. But in the overall scheme of things, is it all right to sweep it under the rug it was ok to rally a bunch of criminals and riot in the face of the Empire being the unholy big bad that needs to be taken down? If you want to get really cynical, you could ask if anyone in the Rebellion was a criminal who joined for protection essentially and probably hoping for a pardon in the new regime. Man, there isn't really a right answer to this. Definitely some food for thought.

But I would add there was interesting contrast going on. Leading up to the riot and during, it felt like a well thought out plan but then there is the stark reminder the prison had no ships. So they have to jump down the equivalent of several floors into the ocean, filled with who knows what hungry creatures, and swim a distance to shore, not get creamed by other inmates dropping down, runaway on land while exhausted, evade recapture, and somehow make it off the moon. And the moment Andor hears Kino's admission and is pulled off the edge by the disorderly flood of inmates, it was just chaos.

And Kino can't swim. Of course. But he's gonna learn pretty fast, I think.
That was a metaphorical gut punch of a moment. Like a bird locked up in a cage its whole life, then when the door is opened - it stays inside because it doesn't know how to fly. It wants freedom but is utterly paralyzed to take the final step. Heartbreaking is what it was. I think the implication might be that he died by drowning or stayed behind and was executed. Either way, it makes Kino out to be a hero because he went along with helping Andor despite knowing what his fate would be. Either choice he made, he would die. Die in prison or die trying to escape.
 

Fone Bone

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I dunno, @Yojimbo, considering we didn't see him die, and that Andy Serkis is such a big get, I'm betting he survived. You are describing a beautiful, lyrical idea. That could potentially easily be disproven next week. Let's wait and see before we declare his actions tragic and sacrificial. You might be right. But it's Andy Serkis, and he's amazing. I doubt the show would want to give that up so easily.
 

Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Daughter Of Ferrix"

That stuff with Luthen at the end was a pretty good Star War.

How sinister is Luthen's plan? When you got Saw Gererra expressing morality concerns, you are kind of off the rails.

Cyril's mother being so horrible will never stop being funny.

Really feeling for that sad stuttering Droid. What a tragic moment.

Like I said, I just saw a pretty good Star War. ****.
 

Yojimbo

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Yeah, that was totally a red flag that Saw was the one with misgivings... but then Saw's conclusion, call it "war" was a big moment. I mean, the franchise is "Star Wars" but you rarely hear the word "war" if I'm not mistaken.

Luthen and his Hulcraft having some surprises and his battle and exit was amazing and stunning. It was almost like the SW version of James Bond's Aston Martin.

Man, feels like Andor's emotions will override his logic and he's going to funeral even though it will be a like a three trap. The Empire is waiting for him, Vel and Cinta will be waiting to kill him, no doubt Karn will be there to arrest him and exonerate himself. Curious if Luthen will chance it and try to extract Andor since it seems like he disagreed with Kleya about his importance a few episodes ago.

Mothma's daughter and her friends. Hmm, so the old cultural practice they revived. Sorta felt like a commentary on that controversy a few years ago when some high school girls made a pact to all get married or have children at the same time. I forget the exact details. But nonetheless, the notion of the children reviving the past with zeal contrasted with Mothma struggling with deciding to do the arranged marriage was genius.

Melshi's "they have to know" instantly reminded me of Nemik and his manifesto. And that shot of Andor looking at the sunrise thinking about his mother made me think of his last scene with Jyn in Rogue One right before they perished.

Love this show for consistently giving a diverse set of circumstances to its cast. I know Filoni and Favreau get a lot of love and I agree but man, let's give the Gilroys some more shows, too. I want to see what else they could create for Star Wars.
 

Yojimbo

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Episode 12 "Rix Road" - (Season Finale)
Cassian returns home to Ferrix, a tinderbox that is experiencing a spark of rebellion.
 
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Fone Bone

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Star Wars: Andor "Rix Road"

Best Star Wars anything ever.

I hope people see this and understand exactly what a toxic dumbass Quentin Tarantino is for talking down Star Wars at Disney. This show is essentially ten times better than the best thing Lucas ever did. It's amazing. Andor was NOT a fan-favorite character or somebody who demanded his own series, especially with his fate already known. And yet if you ask me it wound up the best Star Wars thing ever anyways. I don't really understand it either.

Meera is seeing Syril in a positive light for the first time ever. Those sparks of sexual tension are her seeing the man in an entirely different way. I heard speculation that Cyril's role in the finale was going to be to screw something up that couldn't afford to get screwed up. And I like that Karn has spent the season rising above everyone's basement-low expectations of him, and is given the hero moment instead, and it also looks like he's 9/10ths of the way to getting the girl to boot.

The Death Star tag was the least surprising thing ever. What it was was solidly constructed and COOL. I believe surprises in fiction are overrated.

Really looking forward to Season 2. Keep the Gilroys, Lucasfilm. They are the next Star Wars producer superstars. *****.
 

AdrenalineRush1996

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I was definitely impressed with the season one finale and can't wait for season two, especially due to the post-credits scene depicting the construction of the Death Star.
 

Yojimbo

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Had a feeling at some point Andor was going to read the manifesto. Wonder if it's going to be disseminated by Andor's friends, it is on that ship they left Ferrix on I think.

I'd bet the procession for Maarva was inspired by the jazz funerals conducted in New Orleans.

Brilliant move for Maarva's recorded message to be one of "Rebel!" against the fascist disease known as the Empire. So it seems Ferrix turned out to be an early spark for the Rebellion. Cheers with Wilmon avenging his father and setting off the explosions.

When that mob picked up Meero, I thought that was the end of her. Saved by Karn, ha ha.

And it seems after mulling it for the season, Mon made her choice and she's all-in. Even used her husband as an unwitting pawn knowing for well the driver would snoop on the staged spat and report it to ISB who would be dumb enough to think the made-up gambling streak accounts for the missing money in the bank account -- taking Mon free and clear to proceed with working with the morally grey dude and it only cost her daughter... I guess if any intersection is planned for Andor and Mon, won't be until season 2 at some point.

Loved Andor's finale statement. He didn't say it directly, which I loved, but Luthen's got himself another rebel.

The only thing that threw me off in the episode was Cinta. I guess the message was basically she's got PTSD and got fixated with the one Imperial. And that's a side of her Vel never saw before. There are worst consequences of war than losing a comrade or a lover, it's the one who survives but comes out broken.

The end tag was no surprise but still an impactful statement that the war is on and the clock is ticking. Gonna be a long wait until I'm guessing 2024 when season 2 is streamed.
 

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