Streaming / TV series Disney+ K-12 2022
A few days ago I spotted a „working class Star Wars“ comment on Andor somewhere in the www cloud. That made me think – and yes, in a way I can only confirm:
In the Star Wars movies, we don’t see much of the (dirty, spirit&mind-numbing) daily routines a farmboy, a scavenger, a soldier or a Jedi-in-hiding go through (only the latest Star Wars spin-off delivered more on the latter). The story takes us quickly to quite lavish high-tech environments, shows us ruling classes with (Sith) Lords, Emperors, princesses, Senators and the Jedi knights around them, commanders on battle ships and Death Stars where soldiers, staff and robots more or less serve as mere decorative background elements. What can be seen as „lower class“ characters still have this flashy lifestyle of smugglers, bounty hunters or rebel pilots on missions to save lives; low-tech tribes are presented as cuddly-cute – even though they seem to hunt and eat humans on a regular basis.
I guess you get my point here.
Basically we meet average-Jane&Joe characters in „low and dirty“ situations the first time in „Solo“ and of course „Rogue One“, but still only in a few scenes.
Andor – the prequel to the latter Star Wars spin-off-movie – focuses fully on a disillusioned „working class“ reality, people whose outlook on life is hardly more than basic survival, by all means necessary – therefore can be called the darkest, „most adult“ Star Wars feature so far. As if it was a documentary, luckily from a planet far far away: Destroyed environments, recklessly exploited people&aliens, terrifying scenes obviously inspired by the even more terrifying real life on Planet Earth.
The first Andor episode reminds me of a Film Noir, a Le Carré spy movie, „Law & Order“: a cynical „detective“ character walking down dark alleys in pouring rain, looking for a „damsel in distress“ last seen in a strip club; dirty cops, flashbacks of a troubled youth, more trouble on the sinister horizon of a forlorn planet. No clear black-white good-evil, rather a lot of shady grey …
As I have always loved crime & mystery thrillers, I got immediately hooked – even though the unfolding story and all those flashbacks felt a bit confusing at first. A wonderful delivery by Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, creating an instantly relatable and likeable character, although he’s neither nice nor heroic. Rather „Constantine“ than „Batman“ – however, there’s a hint of a Mission Impossible/James Bond twist that might be coming up in future episodes. Which would be sooo cool… Based on what I have seen so far, I can only congratulate series developer Tony Gilroy, directors Benjamin Caron, Toby Haynes and Susanna White and the awesome cast for delivering fully on fan expectations.
We already know how Andor ends*, which makes Diego’s performance even more poignant, even without his slowly unwrapping tragic backstory (heartbreaking: Fiona Shaw as Maarva Andor).
Love it, looking forward to more of this darker stuff from the Star Wars universe. Both thumbs up.
* In case you have no idea what I am talking about – you better watch „Rogue One“ only after all the Andor episodes have aired.