Of all the series that try to grow to infinity and beyond the factory STAR WARS, ANDOR is the best since MANDALORIAN. There is a truth, a tension and an intelligence put into play here that are its own and that, unlike the previous ones (even the one starring Pedro Pascal under a helmet), allow him to move a bit to the margins of the created universe. by George Lucas. Tony Gilroy’s series does not break or bankrupt anything within that world but it strays quite far from the prototype and from some of the most seen tropes and characters there, be they jedis, siths, skywalkers, lightsabers or anything that relates to “force.”
There is no mysticism or anything supernatural in ANDOR. What ROGUE ONE, the film to which it functions as a long prequel (yes, it is the prequel to a prequel), the series goes to the bases of the rebellion, to the wars and struggles of ordinary people to free themselves from the abuses of power of a political regime dictatorial, in parallel to the connection of all of them with the world of Leia, Luke and company. It is a classic story about a survivor, a thief with no apparent ideals named Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who, from a series of complicated circumstances that he has to go through, goes from being a marginal to participating in something that begins to take the shape of a revolution.
SPOILERS FROM HERE ON
The series is twelve episodes long (more on that later) and, rather than one long movie, can almost be described as four movies in one. The first one is linked to a crime – in legitimate defense plan – committed by Andor, his persecution by the Empire’s henchmen and his escape. The second is linked to his involvement, in principle a purely economic plan, in a rebel group that tries to steal money from an Empire unit located on the planet Aldhani. The third will have to do with his fall into a curious prison that also works as a factory. And the fourth, well, the one that involves what happens after he escapes from there…
All this journey of Cassian’s hero also includes some flashbacks to his childhood past (on the invaded planet Kenari) and, thanks to the time these twelve episodes give, to be able to explore many other characters and worlds that are managed around him, starting with the political and economic managements in the empire, life on the planet Ferrix – almost an entire world of working class – where he lives; His friends and “relatives” there, various characters from the Rebel Alliance and those who function as political and economic contacts who are managed from behind, without knowing very well who they are playing for.
There are more than twenty relatively important characters throughout the season, which allows the extensive participation of actors such as Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Andy Serkis, Forest Whitaker and many others, including Denise Gough. as Andor’s most direct rival, the one who has him between his eyebrows. And although at times they may be too many, it is a characteristic that serves to give ANDOR the feeling of being a fully formed universe, with a creator who has cared for each and every detail.
Thanks to the realism that it manages (within the possible in a series of STAR WARS) and a type of production design that brings it closer to a futuristic science fiction story with overtones more warlike than epic, more street than intergalactic, ANDOR It also makes the action and suspense scenes work more “close to the Earth” without excessive special effects, avoiding several of the clichés of the saga. Without going any further, even the Stormtroopers – who are usually almost a joke due to their clumsiness and inability to hit a shot – are effective and coldly kill many characters.
The only problem of ANDOR It’s the same problem as a good part of the series: it’s too long. It doesn’t need twelve episodes to develop its story (which is the first of two seasons), there are long sequences that are repeated, characters that lose weight for half a dozen episodes and then come back like nothing, action sequences that take place throughout of three episodes each (the preparation and robbery, on the one hand, and the situation in prison and the subsequent escape, on the other, could be much shorter) and although the length allows for the depth that Gilroy is looking for at the same time It generates a voltage drop in the series that extends beyond what is acceptable in this type of structure. With eight episodes (ten, maximum) it could have been an excellent series. Just as it is, it loses a few points in that capricious rating.
In any case, we are before a look and a way of understanding the universe STAR WARS which is the one that convinces me the most. I admit that what interests me least about the saga is its bombastic and somewhat bizarre mythology. And that, on the other hand, its side of action and adventures with political and economic seasonings seems much richer to me. If one had in his hands the possibility of giving someone the keys to the package STAR WARS I would have Tony Gilroy (director of MICHAEL CLAYTONscriptwriter of almost the entire saga BOURNE) among the strongest candidates to do so. He is someone who understands that, at its deepest core, the saga created by George Lucas may take place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” but that, more than anything else, it speaks to the world we live in today.
Series: review of “Star Wars: Andor – Season 1”, by Tony Gilroy (Disney+) – Micropsia