Michael's Take on Disney's Andor show
#1
I've been watching Disney's Andor, which tells how Cassian Andor lived before joining the Rebellion. I don't know if it will take his life up to the start of Rogue One.

Cassian Andor is a dark character, a good guy who struggles with the moral implications of his actions. He redeems himself in Rogue One, but this show follows his pre-Rebellion career. Diego Luna, who plays Andor, is one of the producers and I think he has a strong influence on the character development.

Cassian is not a bad guy. He's not a good guy. He's someone who wants to survive as the Empire strengthen its control over the galaxy. He is adrift and seeking a way out from under the Empire.

I don't have time or energy for a full review of the show. But I think this is one of the best post-Lucas adaptations or extensions of the Star Wars universe that I've seen. It's gritty and a bit slow in part, but the writing and plotting are much better than the final trilogy movies. I won't say this is a story that George Lucas would have wanted to tell, but Cassian Andor is kind of the character people imagined Han Solo should have been before he hooked up with Luke Skywalker and the Rebellion (you know - "Han fired first" and all that).

The series began a little too slow for me. It took a few episodes for me to get into it. There could be lots of reasons for that, but I think the last few episodes have been better.

Stellan Skarsgard has a significant role in the most recent episodes, as does Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter movies). Genevieve O'Reilly appears as Mon Mothma, who is helping to organize the Rebellion.

According to IMDB, the 2nd season (not yet filmed) will "[lead] directly up to Cassian Andor's first appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story".

Tony Gilroy is the executive producer for the show. He handled rewrites on Rogue One. So there is clear continuity in direction for the character and in some ways for the Empire between this show and the movie.

The series is using constructed sets. CGI effects are minimal. The production values are both high and traditional and I think that contributes a great deal to the appeal of the show. It feels like classic Star Wars in many ways, although the story is grittier than it would have been (I think) if Lucas had produced it. I think fans of Rogue One who have been dithering about watching this series should take the plunge. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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