So after the big drop of the first three episodes last week, this week saw the regular cadence start with one episode weekly being released on Disney+. Andor took a while to get going. Episodes 1 and 2 involved a lot of talking and background world building. Some people didn’t like that. I personally did. Then it all kicked off in episode 3 as certain foundations dropped into place.

Andor

This is most definitely not your kids Star Wars right now. A frequent refrain when we moaned about the prequels or the sequels was:

“Well, you are not kids. It’s not made for you anymore!”

Well, it is starting to feel very much like Andor is made for us. The audience that grew up with Star Wars as a key touchstone in their lives is now us, cynical, grumpy and hard to please.

It is early days, but it looks like they have given us an espionage tale with a political thriller woven throughout it. It is adult, it feels mature. It’s not Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy but it’s not Roger Moore’s Bond either. Andor genuinely feels like somebody made a Star Wars show for grownups and isn’t afraid of detail or a slow burn. Through that lens, episode 1 and 2 feel well paced.

Episode 3 introduced another layer, with Corporate Sector Security as the Empire’s unfashionable enforcement wing being fleshed out. Also Stellan Skaarsgard’s Luthn Rael emerged. Here in episode 4 we get to see a lot more of him and begin to understand who he is and what he is doing. His transformation into foppish, extravagant dealer in galactic antiquities as his cover is fascinating, and gives a hint as to how he uses the façade to further his aims.

Andor

There were some fantastic Easter eggs and fan nods built in, many around Rael’s antique gallery. There was what looked like Plo Kloon’s mask present but the biggest news for hardcore fans would be the carved stone tablets that were said to be 14,000 years old and seemed to represent the iconography of the world between worlds.

Fans deep into the lore and who are up to date via shows like Star Wars: Rebels know this is a collection of paths that connected time and space. Essentially, it allowed those who knew how to access it to travel through time and alter reality. One of our own Outposters Shermdawg was a passionate advocate of the storytelling possibilities these presented.

Andor
The world between worlds?

Other Easter eggs include the appearance of a classic speeder bike, complete with nostalgia evoking sounds, and mention of an unusually large amount of construction activity around Scarif. Saw Guererra was namechecked. It was also great to see Imperial bureaucracy at is finest, represented by a load of British people with their naturally villainous accents, as is now traditional. It felt like old school Star Wars.

There is even a dinner invitation for Sly Moore, Palpatine’s aid, that forms the basis of an intriguing look at the not so happy home life of Mon Mothma and lays bare divisions in galactic politics even within families.

Andor

Once again the episode was dialogue heavy, rather than action heavy. Once again, this ain’t for kids. I am sure there will be more pew-pew lasers and swooshie TIE fighters soon, but for now it’s delivering detail through conversations.

We learn that the rebellion is currently made up of disparate rag-tag freedom fighters spread out across various worlds, funded on the quiet by certain members of Coruscant establishment who know something is beginning to stink around the Emperor.

Andor

The uptight sector security deputy Syril Karn is also left with a plot thread dangling that may lead to him becoming one of the most interesting characters in the show.

Whereas everything from The Mandalorian to Obi-Wan Kenobi can sometimes feel like you can sense the extras nearly bumping shoulders with each other inside the Volume stage, Andor was shot mostly on location, and it is so much better for it. It has a sense of scope and scale.

The greatest compliment I can probably pay the show right now is that my reaction to Star Wars since the Disney acquisition has largely been:

“Oh God, please make it stop!”

Last night something new, and totally unexpected happened. At the end of the show my reaction was:

“Wait… you can’t end there! I need more!”

Such is Lucasfilm incompetence that I am afraid to be feeling like this, expecting a sucker punch to land at any moment, but so far this is exactly what my middle-aged self needed from Star Wars and I am well and truly onboard.

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