TV Review: ‘Andor’ is surprisingly good

“Andor” starring Diego Luna, the first three episodes released today, and unlike previous shows like Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett, it’s actually not bad.

“Kenobi” and “The Book of Boba Fett” were bad because of their poor script and over-the-top fan service. Showing a beloved character took precedence over a good show. They’ve also made their main characters worse in hindsight, now portraying Kenobi as a weak, stupid man and Boba Fett as a boring coward. So when they have a character that was developed a bit in a spin-off movie like Cassian Andor, they have to work with it a lot and make sure it keeps its character.

Andor’s character in “Rogue One” was that of a sneaky assassin who constantly lied and killed for a cause he was growing weary of. Thankfully, his character stayed intact for this show, and that’s all thanks to Tony Gilroy, the show’s head writer and showrunner. Gilroy also co-wrote Rogue One, which Andor is based on. But before we get into the show itself, it’s still important to talk about the bad, but it’s a short list.

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This could be an issue with Disney+ streaming error or uploading the wrong version, but there are no subtitles for parts where there is “foreign language”. This often happens in the first three episodes when Andor has flashbacks of only the native language being spoken. This didn’t make it difficult to understand what was going on as reading the body language and watching the action worked, but I’m not sure if subtitles should be included. If they don’t have subtitles for this segment, that’s not a bad thing on the show’s part, but usually when aliens speak, they do have subtitles.

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Well, the story is really interesting this time and the characters aren’t that bad at all. There will be no spoilers in this review so this will be brief. Each episode lasted around 35 minutes, but the show definitely had a slower pace, something much needed to flesh out the characters.

The story of the first three episodes revolves around Cassian Andor trying to escape from a planet after brutally killing two police officers. This then introduces us to the series’ best character to date: Syril, played by Kyle Soller. His character is that of a stoic and unflappable officer who is tough but has never seen battle. His cowardly speech in episode two was amazing as he tries to come across as strong but ends up coming across as weak to the men he is tasked with commanding. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor does a good job too, but nothing stands out.

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One thing that stood out was the show’s lack of overuse of green screens. Rather than relying on them, they chose to shoot in real locations and only use green screens for the background or when absolutely necessary. This made the show feel more real compared to other Disney shows and made the show look a lot better overall. Another great piece was the music. It wasn’t intrusive and used when needed, making slower or character-centric moments feel more dramatic and real.

Overall the show is moving in a great direction, something that wasn’t expected. Hopefully the show can hold its own and not end up like the other shows.

Rating: 4/5


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