Hey there Outposters, Andor has finally wrapped up season 1 and this has been probably the most divisive Disney Star Wars property yet, at least at the Outpost. More divisive than The Last Jedi? Of course! We all hated that one, there was no divisiveness. We all enjoyed The Mandalorian, we were all fairly lukewarm at best on The Book Of Boba Fett and we all disliked Kenobi. 

But here? There’s no agreement. It’s a maddening show that has us at each other’s throats in our Slack channels that we use to run this place. So rather than have three different reviews, we’ll each write up a blurb here. Because multiple perspectives are better than one, right…

…right?

Drunken Yoda

So I am probably most on the fence on this show, neither loving it nor hating it. Some of it I have really enjoyed and some I can barely stay awake. This is one of those shows that I respect more than I enjoy.

Andor is a show trying to do more than what has come before. It’s a self-serious show with a tone more in line with Game of Thrones than the fun adventure style format we have come to associate with Star Wars. This is both a plus and a minus.

Andor

From the positive standpoint, it’s pushing the boundaries of what we can expect from a Star Wars show. While the color grading does sometimes make it look dreary, one cannot fault the special effects. I don’t feel at any point during the show it felt green screened. Some of the shots are truly magnificent.

From a negative standpoint, there is a quiet and a lack of exposition that is necessary for this style of show. There are times I have no idea why we are where we are or why people are doing what they are doing. Motivations are muddy. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching something from the edges, as if I’m not in on the backstory enough. Which is nuts considering how much I do know about Star Wars in general.

Other times Cassian Andor feels like a guy who is barely moving forward his own story. Things are happening all over the place with all sorts of people who have elevated him to the Most Important Person Ever but he never seems to be at the forefront of what’s going on or have a lot of agency in the events unfolding around him. It’s little like the Harry Potter effect, just whisked away from one place to another while all the supporting cast treat him like a macguffin.

It isn’t until the last 10 minutes of the final episode that he seems to be taking his place in the world and asserting himself. After 11 hours and 50 minutes of airtime, that seems far too late for him to assume that position. It’s not that he doesn’t have agency in his own storylines but those are isolated from the Empire, the Rebellion, and his friends on Ferrix.

There there’s Mon Mothma’s story which is really disconnected from everything else. She has money problems, she’s been funding some of the rebels activities, she needs to hide the gaps in her account. That’s it. That goes on spread out over 12 episodes and it’s not compelling.

Andor

Pacing is inconsistent at times too. There are times I wish it would just get on with it and I’m certain this could be trimmed by at least 2 episodes.

Still, there’s something here. Even if I get frustrated of not fully understanding character motivations to do things, the plot and decision making to get to these goals are never stupid. At no point did I roll my eyes or shake my head. When character’s goals are clear and they embark on a plan of action, such as Cassian’s prison break, it’s well done and quite compelling.

And I would say that if this is “woke” I would like to better understand how we are defining that term. There are people of all races in this thing but they are on both sides. There are good black guys and bad black guys, good whites and bad whites. In other words, the races and genders became a non-issue in service to the story so I really had no issues with any of that.

Overall I have to give it a straight down the middle 2.5 out of 5. It’s a frustrating exercise that could be so much better if I could emotionally connect to the characters more than I do.

Boba Phil

Everyone in Andor is bloody stupid! Andor, the wanted Jaywalker, knew the Empire was going to be at the funeral, but he had to save Bix, his sort of girlfriend… and how, by the way, did he find her in that room? I guess the same way Syril managed to get Dedra away from a screaming mob.

The Empire is stupid for having Andor in jail, but the only confirmation they need for anyone is to ask their name! Andor is a wanted man, but they don’t send out a hologram, just like they didn’t in Obi-Wan?

The entire funeral made me laugh in places at the complete incompetence of all of the players. The Empire knew it was going to kick off, but then, when it does they all go to pot. All of the stormtroopers have guns, a few shots in the air would have dispersed that crowd, but no, it’s better to have a drawn-out punch-up.

I also loved how the explosives are so incredibly unstable, that if one goes, they all go.

I completely missed why Luthen wants Andor dead, but it’s OK since the cliffhanger isn’t a cliffhanger at all!

Checklist: Andor, Mon, and Sol are all OK, everyone else dies. There is zero tension in a cliffhanger when you go into this knowing what the outcome is.

This series has had some good moments and the actors have all been good, but it’s been boring in a LOT of places, Andor has played sidekick to everyone, including his own mother in this episode and he’s still a dull character that would have been forgotten if they didn’t make a “subscribe for 3 months” series about him.

So far, Luthen has given a rousing speech, Serkis gave one to get out of jail, and now his mother seems to be the one who kicked off the rebellion. All of the main focus hasn’t really been on Andor at all, but then, this is the Disney way. Obi-Wan had it, Hawkeye, Hulk, Ironman soon etc. etc.

I will keep saying it, but this entire series was far too long, there was so much filler that a better writer could have condensed it into a much more manageable movie, but that’s not where the money is now. Disney knows they have to hold off cinema releases until Kennedy is fired. In the meantime, a monthly sub is worth more money.

Andor is a show I will watch again when there is a fan edit, but, like Obi-Wan and Book Of Boba Fett. I would never sit down and watch it again. I did want to like this show, but it just wasn’t for me. I don’t just need pew-pew and laser swords, I need good characters I want to find out what happens to them.

I’ve seen anthology series, with just a 45-minute window, that have a compelling character who I’m totally engaged with and has a complex story in a short time. When a series like this just drags on for 11 hours plus odd, it’s just too long when I just don’t care about anyone.

Matt AKA EggyWeggs

Here we are again – at the end of yet another highly divisive Star War that gets everyone’s arse hairs in a twist.

You all know by now that I went into Andor with a very pessimistic attitude. A prequel to a prequel about a dude with very little charisma or screen presence. And unfortunately for the showrunners, it was following the all now familiar tripe that we’ve come to expect in the form of Book Of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi

There is no way on Alderaan this show was going to be good… was there? Wrong. 

Andor

Andor became a very rare shiny Kyber crystal in a franchise that seems to have been engulfed by the dark side thanks to Emporer Kennedy and her sith minions. 

Gone was the incessant overuse of CGI. Gone was the endless stream of memberberries. Gone was the appalling tone-deaf writing that at times felt like it had been written by an angry teenager who spent a day watching CNN whilst deciding what gender they/them were this week. 

Gone was a cast who at times felt like their role was simply a healthy paycheck, and who had better things to do with their day. And most surprisingly, gone were the laser swords and endless pew-pews.

Andor 11 2

In their place were actually physical sets and locations that gave you a sense of scale and atmosphere. The memberberries had been picked and discarded in favour of subtle nods to the past delivered in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-them kind of way. 

The writing was, in all honesty, some of the best I have heard in many a year. Passionate speeches or hushed conversations really rammed home the importance of why the Rebellion was formed, or alternatively, why the Empire was tightening its grip.

We had actors and actresses at the top of their game who treated their characters with respect and candor. They made me believe in real characters again and not just Ewan McGregor or Hayden Christensen or Pedro Pascal playing dress up.

Andor

And finally, the lightsabers and guns were replaced with a methodical web of intrigued and plot devices akin to Dejarik pieces slowly being put into place that eventually paid off in the final episode.

I get why some Star Wars fans hated this show, it didn’t always feel like a Star War, and it would be rude of me to say it’s a Star Wars show for adults. After all, we all love (or loved) Star Wars because of the swashbuckling adventures and escapism it gave us as kids.

But let’s be honest, we constantly whine that Star Wars is dead, the magic has gone and those in charge no longer understand the franchise. But, and this is going to be controversial, perhaps shows like Boba Fett and Obi-Wan are not meant for a man quickly approaching his 50s. 

Andor’s slow pacing, themes of political intrigue, and varying web of story arcs was, against my own better judgment, something that I never knew I needed. 

The Star Wars are dead, long live the Star Wars. 4/5

Andor

Stark

Sometimes I feel like I am watching a different show to my fellow Ouposters… some of my fellow Outposters. Andor was almost exactly what I have been waiting for out of Star Wars. Back in 1999 we all realised, with disappointment, that maybe we were moving on in life and Star Wars wasn’t moving with us.

From 2015 onwards, and certainly from 2017, disappointment was replaced with horror and disgust as we saw that not only were they not even bothering to acknowledge fandom with their efforts, they were simply not trying. Making elementary mistakes.

One of the things I wanted to see them do was actually take the Star Wars universe out for a spin and see what else they could do with it. Color within the lines, but maybe draw some new lines themselves? The Mandalorian seemed to start to get there, at least at first and before it became the Baby Yoda marketing sizzle reel.

Andor

Andor is the first time I feel they have tried to give us Star Wars for us grown-ups as we are now, as time marches relentlessly onwards.

You HAVE to watch it, lean into it, and sometimes you have to interpret for yourself. It refuses to spoon feed you. It’s a political thriller, and espionage story, and it just unfolds deliberately slowly and is better for it. It uses Kubrickian shots at times. I like that motivations are murky.

This is particularly interesting with the early players in the Rebellion. They skirt the boundaries, live in grey areas. By strict rules they are terrorists at this point and that makes it interesting. You question motivations. How far is too far? We see murders, IEDs, brutal interrogations, the ruthlessness of the Imperial bureaucracy. It’s a blessed relief to be free of force users and cod-philosophy, instead seeing people starting to crack as they are pushed too far.

I liked this conclusion a lot. I liked how all, well most, of the many moving pieces came to assemble around Ferrix and the funeral. I liked how Andor wasn’t at the centre of the events there. I liked seeing how the spark of the Rebellion spreading to normos was just normal, downtrodden people and was basically a riot.

I also liked seeing competent Stormtroopers who can actually shoot. I liked getting a sense of the fear the people feel when these guys come to your town in force.

Bring on Season 2 of Andor. Also, taking a snapshot of professional reviews for this show, I really hope Lucasfilm are learning something.

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