Andor is considered by many to be one of the greatest recent Star Wars media and a very refreshing change from the less-than-well-received sequel movie trilogy. So, what makes Andor such a strong series? Here are 6 reasons why Andor is the best Star Wars.
Brilliant, Consistent, and Complex Characterisation
Cassian Andor is an engaging main character because he isn't perfect. He start as a roguish anti-hero whose main motivation is finding his sister and accidentally sets off a chain of events that will change him and his loved ones.
Originally, Cassian's main concern is himself and his loved ones, without any intention of getting in danger to fight against the empire. This is a far cry from the much more selfless and dedicated rebel we see in Rogue One. Andor brilliantly captures the character's slow transformation, as well as his interactions with those around him in the meantime.
By the end of the show, Cassian isn't a completely different person but he has grown significantly and every major event he experienced added to that.
The side characters are just as interesting, from his foster mother, Maarva - who becomes a Rebellion icon - to Senator Mon Mothma and her complex motivations.
Complex characters can't shine without stellar performances. Thankfully, Andor has those, too.
This is not limited to Diego Luna's portrayal of Cassian Andor. Every character was memorable at some point.
Antagonists such as Syril (Kyle Soller) and Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) also get an honorable mention as they managed to scare us with their ambition and ruthlessness without going over the top.
In the latter half of the show we get a truly unforgettable performance by Andy Serkis as Kino Loy. Around that time, one of Luthen's (Stellan Skarskard) monologues gave us goosebumps.
Beautiful Filming Locations
One of the criticisms of previous Star Wars media was their overreliance on CGI and artificial locations. Andor has instead opted to add real scenery in the mix, and the result is beautiful.
For instance, the first half of the show features Cassian going on a life-changing heist. This was partly filmed in Scotland, including in Glen Tilt Park and Cruachan Dam.
The particularities of the filming locations made for a really amazing atmosphere. Seeing the actors interact with a living, breathing space, was refreshing and it allowed the creators to use CGI where they could really make a positive impact.
A Slow Burn But Coherent and Mature Plot
Many sci-fi shows rely on a fast, even hectic pace, on galactic battles and action sequences. Andor does feature its fare share of action but this isn't its sole foundation. Instead, the show has a overreaching plot that starts off a bit show but only get better and better by the finale.
While not all characters stay with us throughout Andor's episodes, they all have role to play in the main character's story, while their subplots are equally engaging.
The plot is primarily driven by the characters conflicting desires for freedom, career advancement, safety, power, and other such understandable motivations.
Even where the distinction between hero and villain was obvious, all characters felt real. None of the cartoonish villains or spotless, selfless heroes we've often seen in other parts of Star Wars.
Instead, we have characters who want things and will do anything to get them. The plot therefore moves away from a linear hero's journey. It's hard to predict how it will all end.
An Story That Doesn't Shy Away From the Ugly Parts of Resistance
No one denies that we should resist oppression and injustice, but some sci-fi movies, especially those aimed at young audiences, sometimes risk glamorising rebellion.
Even the original Star Wars movies, while classic and iconic, didn't explore disturbing social issues as thoroughly as Andor.
Andor's rebels are hardly perfect. They're flawed people, not in spite of their resistance to evil, but, in Luthen's case, even because of it. This show recognizes that war is ugly and sometimes people will do terrible things for a righteous cause.
This theme is made more nuanced by highlighting the Empire's evil not through the use of the Force but through darker forms of cruelty that echo real-life cases of oppression.
From torture, forced labor, and unreasonable detainment to subtler and more casual cruelties, the acts of oppression in Andor feel real and emphasise the need for resistance - imperfect as it is.
A Great Show that Even New Fans Will Appreciate
Another amazing thing about Andor is that it stands well on it its own, as an independent show. You will only benefit by being familiar with the Star Wars franchise but you don't need to have watched much to enjoy it.
With big franchises, some new movies and series rely to much on existing fans's nostalgia. Andor avoids this pitfall so well that some people think it doesn't feel like Star Wars. We'd argue that it's the best Star Wars so far.
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