I'm not going to give away the all the spoilers for people who haven't seen it, but I can hardly believe that Andor is Star Wars.
[That said, some spoilers ahead.]
Seriously: Even Lucas himself struggled to find the depth that I watched in these past 12 episodes.
The show is a masterpiece, unlike anything else Disney has produced outside of the associated Rogue One and the wonderful shows crafted by Dave Filoni (AKA the man who should be in charge of all LucasFilm).
It boggles my mind.
Cassian Andor, the main guy, isn't even a B-list character in the Star Wars universe.
Heck, he isn't even a C-list character. He would be eight degrees removed from Kevin Bacon in some lonely corner of the galaxy.
The man was a side character in a film about the daughter of the man who built the Death Star.
That giant laser canon itself was merely a plot vehicle for the true saga unfolding in the galaxy.
I watched Disney butcher beloved characters in the sequels that were rushed to production with no overarching plan.
I watched them create "meh" productions around pivotal characters like Obi-Wan and Vader that you just can't get wrong, and give side characters like Boba Fett the Marvel treatment.
So how in the world did Andor feel like the most mature, Shakespearean-level production Star Wars might have ever achieved??
The show has multiple story arcs across multiple characters across an entire galaxy and yet the writers made the story connect together seamlessly across 12 episodes.
Even better, the cinematography is beautiful, and it SHOWS instead of TELLS.
Unlike... well... 👇
Consider the clip from the above screenshot in JJ Abram's Episode IX: Disney Finally Kills Star Wars:
Now compare it to this masterful scene from Andor [spoilers ahead]:
Even without context, you know the first one was a 5th-grade school play compared to the latter.
Since the entire IP is called "Star Wars," let's see how the space battles compare.
I'm not going to even get into the ridiculous "slow chase in space" from Episode 8, so here's Disney's Kenobi from this summer – a show we should have been talking about for years but that was forgotten immediately:
Meh. Lasers, then tons of unnecessary exposition.
And here's how Andor handled space battles:
- Less talk, more explosions.
- Less talk, more emotion.
When it comes to tactics and combat movement, Disney's top production team gave us this in Kenobi:
[Language on the added subtitles]
And this is Book of Boba Fett:
But THIS is from Andor (and this isn't even a small slice of the tactics shown):
Andor also makes you fear the Empire. It isn't just a bunch of dumb stormtroopers: It's a bureaucratic regime with terrifying nightmares beyond your wildest imagination. Subterfuge and games of cloak and dagger await any who would dare oppose it.
Again, all the money and top talent went toward the other shows. Andor was just supposed to be a blip on the radar: Something to tide the fans over as a fun side project.
Instead, it's been gaining steam since the first episode – a very unusual trend for TV shows, which usually dip in viewers after the pilot. On Wednesday morning after the Season 1 finale was released, it was trending on Twitter.
LucasFilm didn't need to release a statement condemning racism or hatred when fans criticized the show because they made a GREAT show (with a diverse cast of characters WE ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT, I might add).
Meanwhile, over in the corner, Jedi Master Dave Filoni created another great mini-show this month that Disney considered a side project, Tales of the Jedi.
Until Disney realized that these side projects are actually the heart of Star Wars and they fire the woke production leads who hijack characters like Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker for their own cultish agenda, it will never understand what it has.
And Star Wars matters. Andor shows why.
Both halves of this nation see the other side as serving an authoritarian regime. The Left sees Trump supporters as domestic extremists that want to launch a new Nazi regime or the Handmaid's Tale. The Right sees wokies as as jackboot commies that are trying their hardest to implement 1984.
Only one side can be correct. But who?
Art, especially in literature and the theater, speaks to the objective truth and objective nature of power, corruption, censorship, love, friendship, and destiny. You see the armies of Mordor or the black mask of Vader and you know, regardless of political ideology, that you are looking at evil incarnate.
As you watch the drama unfold, you notice how the bad guys wield power. You see how they censor people, weave lies to take away liberty, oppress people with heavy taxes and penalties for speaking out. You see how physical force is used to stop dissent. You notice their mannerisms. You notice the vast bureaucracy or war machine that supports them.
Andor does this as well as any Star Wars film made by Lucas. The reason Star Wars is great is not because of lasers, starships, or space wizards. The reason it is great is because it reflects on the definition of good vs. evil, the call of destiny and purpose, and nature of true power.
Simply put, Star Wars makes spiritual arguments and observations within the sociopolitical framework of an alien galaxy, and it makes us think deeply about the struggles in our own world and hearts.
As we process these things within ourselves and then with each other, there's no telling how we might reweave our shared social fabric and unite against the powers that have tried so hard to divide us.