The long awaited event happened in Andor this week. So how was a more action-orientated episode of this, so far, slow burning thriller set in the Star Wars universe? In short it was good. Very very good.

As we say every damn week now when we talk about this show, it looks like the adults are in charge of Star Wars for this one. Even though there are more lasers and swooshie space ships in this episode, that is still the case. The beautiful shots in mostly real environments remain. Glen Tilt in Perthshire, Scotland stands in as Aldhani, and the Cruachan Power Station Dam in Argyle and Bute filling in as the Imperial base. It was even possible to spot what looked like the HQ of the McLaren Formula One team in one shot.

Andor

This episode of Andor treated us to some more excellent sneering superiority from Imperials, showing their attitude to the indigenous life in the planets they are tightening their grip around.

This episode introduced a lot of tension. The central heist action started slowly and there was a Bond-like infiltration into the facility by one part of the team. Their costumes gave a nice nod to the Rebel commando outfits from Endor, while utilising the Echo call signs from Hoth.

Andor

In fact, everything in this looked pleasingly Star Wars, from the control room dials and switches to the properly old school TIE fighters with with old school pilots. Standard issue speeder bikes in the background, too.

A local religious ceremony was the cover the proto-Rebels were using to cover their tracks and rob the payroll for the whole sector. The way the Imperial grunts had to deal with it brought to mind all those newsreels of totally bemused GIs surrounded by the insanity of normal life in Afghanistan a decade ago.

Andor

By the time the heist kicks into gear, you just know that the crew are about to face a big and unplanned for challenge, as is traditional in heist movies. When things start to go wrong, standard Imperial grunts show themselves to be far less gullible, and far better shots, than Stormtroopers. At this point you can feel the creeping sense of dread as you know they aren’t all going to make it out alive. Will there be a moment of supreme sacrifice, and who will make it?

Andor

By the time the flare goes up at Imperial Air command and screeching sirens send TIE’s scrambling into a meteor shower, you are on the edge of your seat even though you technically know they have to escape as there is the rest of the series to deliver. After all:

“Nobody want to be up in this!”

It was great to see the Senate again, straight from The Phantom Menace, as word spreads of what just happened on Aldhani. The ripples of rebellion are starting to pan out, just as Cassian Andor reminds us once again that he’s not necessarily a nice man.

Andor

The closing statement of last weeks episode has proved very, very true. Also true is the fact that this remains the single best thing Disney have put out with the Star Wars logo on it.

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