On September 21, three episodes of Andora, the fourth series of the Star Wars franchise, premiered. It’s a prequel to Rogue One, which in turn is a prequel to A New Hope. And the new series has every chance to please even those who are cold to the space saga.
The showrunner was Tony Gilroy, who wrote the script for four films in the Jason Bourne franchise. He also worked on Rogue 1, so he is well acquainted with the main character of the series.
The main role was played by Diego Luna, who also played Cassian Andor in The Outcast. Also appearing on the screen are Stellan Skarsgård (Chernobyl, Nymphomaniac) and Kyle Soller (Titan, Fury).
The action takes place 5 years before the events of Rogue One. The series follows the formation of the Rebel Alliance, but focuses on Cassian Andor, a common thief who becomes the most important figure in the resistance.
Excellent genre movie
Perhaps for the first time in the history of the Star Wars franchise, a project has been released that can easily be called a spy thriller. Andor refuses spectacular duels and focuses on suspense. The eternal fear of persecution, as well as the fight against the giant bureaucratic machine are the basis of the plot.
The fights and gunfights in the series are completely different from what is customary to see in Star Wars. Instead of mass battles during which hundreds of stormtroopers are destroyed, battles in Andor affect only a few heroes at a time. Because of this, every character that appears on the screen takes on special importance – none of them are scattered.
One of the main problems of the entire Star Wars franchise can be called the fact that the images of the characters lack depth. In recent years, various screenwriters have tried to solve this problem, but it has not been very successful. Making a couple of good characters in the film they do, but no more. “Andor” from the first series not only introduces the viewer to the characters, but also explains their relationship to each other.
Flashbacks, acting, high-quality dialogues, camera work – absolutely all the components here are at the highest level, so the story comes to life. And you don’t have to remember all the details of the political conflicts in the Star Wars universe in order to empathize with the characters: they are already self-sufficient.
The series has a great cast. Diego Luna does a great job with his difficult role. His hero is not just a person who goes against the system. Cassian Andor constantly doubts himself and his actions, but life has taught him to deal with unnecessary thoughts.
Sometimes he acts simply instinctively, sometimes – listening to his conscience. The hero is forced to balance between a kind guy who gets into trouble and a cynical performer of deadly missions. And Diego Luna copes with both.
Other actors also add depth to the story. So, Kyle Soller, playing an imperial officer, fanatically believes in his duty – it is this belief that defines him. For the sake of observing some laws, he is ready to step over others, confident in his innocence. He is sure that the side for which he fights has the right to any violence.
Stellan Skarsgard has a similar hero, but he fights for the rebels, that is, against the state. And both actors make their characters complex and deep, which makes the confrontation more intense.
Unusually cold atmosphere
“Andor” from the very beginning shows the viewer cold streets and an abundance of gray. Sometimes the series is reminiscent of Blade Runner , sometimes it’s a movie about the Middle Ages.
Its creators managed not only to show a variety of scenery, but also to keep the nervous tension – the most important component of a spy thriller. Danger awaits Andor wherever he goes, and literally everything helps to feel it: the looks of passers-by, lighting solutions (dark alleys at every turn) and music.
The soundtrack plays a big role in creating the atmosphere of the series. “Andor” refuses bright and loud compositions, focusing on calm, slightly tragic music. She adds emotion, but does not come to the fore.
Ignoring fan expectations
Andor refuses fan service. The show’s writers don’t seem to be interested in knowing what people like about Star Wars at all – they focus on their story and their characters.
Perhaps this will disappoint someone. However, in recent years, so many sequels and prequels have been released that have exploited the same characters that simply abandoning them is perceived as heroic. At the same time, Andor shows that nothing terrible will happen if lightsabers and references to heroes are thrown out of the project.
“Andor” turned out to be interesting, high-quality and self-sufficient. The complex characters and carefully crafted atmosphere fit together perfectly within the confines of a spy thriller. In addition, the series perfectly balances on the verge of an independent project and a common franchise. Therefore, both Star Wars fans and lovers of spy thrillers can watch it.
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