Andor is a thrilling and gritty adventure worth watching
The new Star Wars series on Disney+ is a must watch this fall.
There wasn’t much we knew about Cassian Andor when we first met him in the 2016 Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One.
Of course, we knew that he was an intelligence officer of the Rebel Alliance, learned of the Empire’s Death Star plans, and that the mission he and others embarked on was heroic. But still, not much was known about him. That is until now.
The three-episode series premiere of Andor dropped earlier this week on Disney+, and so much was unpacked, still leaving just enough imagination for fans to guess what will unfold throughout the rest of the season. So here’s a little recap:
Set five years before the events of Rogue One, the new Star Wars series takes place during a time when the Rebellion is forming against the Empire.
In its first episode, titled “Kassa,” searching for his missing sister, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) travels to the industrial planet Morlana One. While in a brothel, Cassian asks for information about his sister’s whereabouts, but as he leaves, he comes face to face with two Pre-Mor Authority security officers. A fight between the three breaks out, leading Cassian to accidentally kill one officer and execute the other, leaving no trace behind.
Fleeing to the planet Ferrix, Cassian seeks help from his friend Brasso (Joplin Sibtain) and asks him to create an alibi. Brasso, being the good friend that he is, helps him out. Cassian also asks help from another friend, Bix (Adria Arjona), a mechanic and black market dealer, to contact a black market buyer for a Starpath Unit he has had in possession for some time.
However, in Bix helping Cassian out, her boyfriend, Timm (James McArdle), becomes jealous of their connection and grows suspicious.
Back on Morlana One, the Pre-Mor Authority learns of the killings. Chief Hyne (Rupert Vansittart), the chief inspector of security, plans to cover up the murders; however, Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), an eager-to-please deputy inspector, is determined to solve the case, and once word gets around that Cassian is a leading suspect, Syril is steadfast on capturing him. Then, in a flashback, while checking out a crashed ship, a younger Cassian (who goes by the name Kassa) and his tribe on his home planet Kenari stumble across a Republic mining operation.
From the creators of Rogue One comes "the best Star Wars series yet." The first three episodes of #Andor are now streaming only on @DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/6o3GqhAqkl
— Andor | A Star Wars Original Series (@andorofficial) September 24, 2022
This leads us to episode two, “That Would Be Me.”
Timm, still suspicious of Cassian, reports him to Pre-Mor Security, and a warrant is sent out for his arrest. Karn teams up with Sergeant Linus Mosk (Alex Ferns), a Pre-Mor officer who is equally adamant about capturing Cassian. Meanwhile, back on Ferrix, Cassian’s adoptive mother, Maarva (Fiona Shaw), becomes panicked after learning from their droid B2EMO that a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
As all of this unfolds, Bix’s black market buyer, Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), arrives at Ferrix to collect the Starpath Unit. In another flashback, after Kassa and his tribe investigate the crashed ship, one tribe member is killed. Angered by this, the rest of the tribe then attack the remaining survivor of the ship and leave the crash site. However, Kassa stays behind to explore the ship and leaves the audience to learn how he got his hands on such Imperial technology.
Episode three, titled “Reckoning,” picks up on Rael arriving on Ferrix and then meeting Cassian in an abandoned factory. Karn, Mosk, and a dozen other officers also arrive and confront Maarva on Cassian’s whereabouts. But of course, she doesn’t give in. However, when Cassian sends a transmission to B2EMO, Karn and Mosk learn of his whereabouts, sending them off on a search throughout Ferrix.
Side note here — during this moment, as the Pre-Mor Authority officers search for Cassian, I think we can all agree that the guy ringing the bell truly shined. He said nothing but said so much at the same time, and I hope he’s having a fantastic day.
Bell ringer aside, as the Pre-Mor Authority officers run around the city (and basically be rude to those that live there), in the factory, Rael tries to convince Cassian to join the Rebel Alliance (cue my excited screaming!). As they discuss, a few of Karn’s officers find them, and a raid ensues. Before they can get hurt, Cassian and Rael make it out, Starpath Unit not so much.
Bix learns that Timm was the one that informed on Cassian. As she goes to help Cassian, she’s stopped by officers, but then Timm shows up, sees Bix has been injured and sadly dies after trying to interfere. The officer who shot Timm is then sent to return to the shuttle and await his punishment. But as the officer returns to the shuttle and tries flying off, the shuttle explodes, thanks to Brasso sabotaging it.
At this point, the plans that the Pre-Mor Authority officers thought over have failed. And just when Karn and Mosk think they still have some chance, Cassian and Rael trick the officers and escape from Ferrix. In a flashback, back on Kenari, Maarva and her husband, Clem (Gary Beadle), search the crashed ship and come across a distraught Kassa. Fearing that the Republic will find him there, Maarva and Clem take him with them.
More than 4 years ago I received some news about going back to Cassian Andor. In 2018 it was announced. Today we reveal the end result of a very intense and enriching journey. I’m proud of being part of the #Andor team, thank you all for the amazing ride. https://t.co/3CZMETNDVE
— diego luna (@diegoluna_) September 21, 2022
Now, here’s my review.
I should preface by saying that when I went to see Rogue One in theaters back in 2016, I absolutely loved the film. I still love it to this day and think it’s one of the best films to come out of the franchise. Mind you, The Force Awakens had been released a year prior, but there was something about Rogue One that was different. It was a breath of fresh air. It was more mature, not just in style but in storytelling.
So in 2018, when it was announced that Cassian Andor would be receiving his own prequel, to say that I was excited was an understatement. Not only was I excited to see the Latino legend, Diego Luna, return to the Stars Wars universe, but I was just as excited to see the mature style Rogue One gave us to return to the screen again. And with this recent three-episode series premiere, Andor is, without a doubt, that breath of fresh air.
Its first three episodes are needed to fill that gap from 2016 when we last met Cassian. It explains so much yet still leaves us with questions about this complex character, and I’m so glad that there will be two seasons of this show because I know there’s still so much to learn about Cassian. But until then, I’ll be enjoying this first season and taking in every bit of information on how this rebel became a crucial member of the Alliance.
Stream new episodes of Andor on Disney+ every Wednesday here.