there is a sceneof This blows my mind.
It started weird. Cassian Andor, our titular anti-hero, pulls off an impossible heist in the Galactic Empire and is doing what any reasonable criminal would do afterwards: in what can only be described as “Space Ibiza” place to meet. Get drunk at night and hangover on the beach during the day. The strange atmosphere of the universe usually attracts space wizards to show them off with laser swords.
While hanging out, Cassian – a passerby in a brand new independent crime he wasn’t involved in – was stopped by a stormtrooper and interrogated on the spot, accused of taking part in a crime he had only witnessed.
Anyone who saw that scene and was interviewed by a rogue cop almost certainly had a pimple in their stomach. Cassian, courteous and friendly, frantically tries to avoid trouble as he slowly gets caught up in a series of carefully crafted leading questions that lead him to imprisonment for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s a true scene that’s both brutal and puzzling. What initially felt like a parody slowly turned into something terrifying. The result feels depressingly inevitable: that’s what happens when you allow fascism to run wild.
It’s funny, but Andor — a spin-off show focusing on characters from a spin-off movie — is actually the first “stuff” in Star Wars This shows us that the Galactic Empire is a true fascist regime, fundamentally, very bad. It’s a little weird in a universe where the villains are supposed to be space Nazis.
But that’s also why Andorra continues to be a surprisingly good TV show. If you haven’t watched it, you should definitely watch it. it rules.
Andorra rules because it’s a show obsessed with the smaller things in its universe. Star Wars is traditionally about gigantic events, gigantic space battles, with galactic-altering consequences. But in any Star Wars movie, I don’t really get what Luke Skywalker and company are really fighting for. Or what the rebels were against.
Darth Vader sucks because he wears black and suffocates dick. That’s it. The emperor, on the other hand, was pale and pale, and smiled horribly. Sure, these guys blew up planets and slaughtered cubs, but that’s pantomime villain stuff. In Andor, the villain is the slow and humble creep of fascism, making the show one of the most high-profile works Disney has produced since licensing Star Wars in 2012.
It’s a show that’s obsessed with the little, honed minutiae. We can see apartment buildings, broken robots, disappointed mothers and grown children having dinner together. We watch bureaucracy in action, bad little job meetings, office bitch meetings. We see families bickering over breakfast, wrestling with guest lists, and just being generally involved in the mediocrity of everyday life. Oddly enough, it’s charming.
I’ve often criticized Star Wars for its obsession with filling in the gaps in its own timeline, making the once grand universe dwarfed. Andorra’s cosmic construction is different. It dials in tiny details in a way that makes the Star Wars world feel real. By weaving the stories of these lesser characters into the grand narrative, we get a sense of the sheer scale of the wider conflict. It’s not a Star Wars story, it’s just a small piece of a story that takes place somewhere in that universe. Excellent.
But aside from these top concepts, Andorra is just a show that excels in almost every aspect of its production. Looks good and well written. Not a single line feels overworked or clumsy. It also contains many top-notch performances.
Denise Gough — who plays Dedra Meero, a member of the Imperial Security Service — brilliantly captures the corporate angst of a high-stakes meeting where one wrong word could cost you your job. and, As this tweet saysif Stellan Skarsgård rudely asked me if I wanted to “really fight these bastards”, I wouldn’t commit any crime.
Andor takes Star Wars to a place it has never been. It feels more like a John Le Carre novel with a blaster than a space opera.as a real person“That’s enough for me, thanks,” is a welcome change.
If, like me, you find yourself exhausted by Luke Skywalker’s exploits, I urge you to reconsider. Andor, whatever the Star Wars baggage, is one of the best shows of 2022. I am as surprised as anyone.