There’s one scene in episode 7 of Andor that despatched me reeling. 

It begins out bizarre. Cassian Andor, having pulled off an unattainable heist on the Galactic Empire, was doing what any affordable felony would do within the aftermath: partying it up in what can solely be described as “Area Ibiza.” Getting boozed up by night time, lounging off the hangover on the seashore by day. An odd vibe for a universe often dialed in on area wizards duking it out with laser swords, however I digress.

Whereas lounging, Cassian – a passerby in a very new, separate crime he has no involvement in – will get pulled up by a Stormtrooper and is interrogated on the spot, accused of collaborating in a criminal offense he merely witnessed. 

Anybody watching that scene who’s been interviewed by a rogue cop nearly actually had a knot of their abdomen. Cassian, well mannered and forthcoming, frantically tries to keep away from bother as he’s slowly ensnared by a calculated sequence of main questions, leading to him being imprisoned for a criminal offense he did not commit. It is a scene each brutal and baffling in its truthfulness. What initially looks like parody slowly unravels into one thing horrifying. The end result feels depressingly inevitable: That is what occurs while you enable fascism to flourish with out recourse.

A KX droid looms over Cassian on a beach promenade in Andor

Cassian’s first encounter with an Imperial KX droid is something however nice.


Lucasfilm

It is humorous, however Andor – a by-product present targeted on a personality from a by-product film – is actually the primary Star Wars “factor” that is proven us that the Galactic Empire is a really fascist regime that’s, at its root, very unhealthy. In a universe the place the villains are imagined to be area Nazis, that is form of bizarre. 

Nevertheless it’s additionally why Andor continues to be a surprisingly wonderful TV present. For those who aren’t already watching it, you completely must be. It guidelines. 

Andor guidelines as a result of it is a present obsessive about the smaller issues in its universe. Star Wars has historically been about humongous occasions, gigantic area battles with galaxy-altering penalties. However at no level in any Star Wars film have I gotten an actual sense of what Luke Skywalker and Co. had been really combating for; or what the rebels had been rebelling towards. 

Darth Vader was unhealthy as a result of he wearing black and choked dudes. That is it. The Emperor, then again, had a pale, pasty visage and a creepy chuckle. Certain, these people blew up planets and slaughtered younglings, however that is pantomime villain stuff. In Andor the villain is the sluggish, unassuming creep of fascism, and that makes the present one of the vital compelling issues Disney has produced since buying the Star Wars license in 2012.

The unmistakable silhouette of black-clad, helmeted bad guy Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus.

Good to get a breather from this dude.


Disney Plus

It is a present targeted on the trivia of the grind. We get to see condo buildings, damaged robots, dissatisfied moms consuming dinner with their grownup youngsters. We watch the impacts of forms in motion, shitty little work conferences, workplace bitch classes. We watch households bickering over breakfast, agonizing over visitor lists and simply typically partaking within the banalities of on a regular basis existence. Unusually, it is fascinating.

I’ve usually criticized Star Wars for obsessively plugging the gaps of its personal timeline and making its as soon as grand universe really feel small. Andor’s universe-building is totally different. It dials in on minuscule particulars in a manner that makes the world of Star Wars really feel authentically lived in. By weaving the tales of those much less vital characters into the grand narrative, we get to really feel the big scale of broader conflicts. This is not a Star Wars story, it is only a bit-part story that takes place someplace in that universe. That is superior. 

However past these topline ideas, Andor is solely a present that’s good in nearly each side of its manufacturing. It appears to be like nice, it is nicely written. Not a single line of dialogue feels overwrought or clumsy. It is filled with plenty of top-notch performances as nicely. 

Denise Gough – who performs Dedra Meero, a member of the Imperial Safety Bureau – brilliantly captures the company anxiousness of high-stakes conferences the place a single flawed phrase might have you ever shedding your job. And, as this tweet states, there’s not a criminal offense I would not commit if Stellan Skarsgård gruffly requested me if I wished to “battle these bastards for actual.”

Andor takes Star Wars to a spot it is by no means been. It feels extra like a John le Carré novel with blasters than an area opera. And as somebody who actually as soon as ended a Star Wars rant/article with the words, “that is sufficient Star Wars for me thanks,” it is a welcome change.

For those who, like me, discovered your self exhausted with the exploits of Luke Skywalker and Co., I’m urging you to rethink. Andor, whatever the Star Wars baggage, is among the greatest exhibits of 2022. I am as shocked as anybody.





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