Andor Spoiler Review: Episodes 1-3


Diego Luna (front) plays Cassian Andor, and Stellan Skarsgard plays Luthen Rael on the latest in the Star Wars universe from Disney.


Twelve movies and nine shows later, the Star Wars galaxy still manages to get bigger and bolder.

The new Star Wars series “Andor” released its first three episodes on September 21st on Disney+. I’m happy to say that the show is absolutely nothing like how I expected.

“Andor” follows the story of Rebel spy Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna (“Narcos: Mexico”, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), as he navigates through a war torn galaxy entirely controlled by the Empire.

The show is a spin-off of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which starred Felicity Jones and Diego Luna as the same character. The show takes place five years before the film, and it is meant to dive deep into the backstory of Cassian Andor.

I’ve been very weary of Star Wars Disney+ shows ever since the Book of Boba Fett released. Which I hoped would have as thorough a story for Boba Fett as “The Mandalorian” has with Djinn Djarin. However, that story delved off into something bigger than it should have aspired to be, which hindered the newly evolving story of Boba Fett.

With these details in mind I kept a level headed approach on what to expect. I didn’t even look at press releases or early reviews just to lower my expectations. I was a really big fan of Cassian Andor when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came out, so I couldn’t bear watching any show or character be made mediocre due to saturation. I’m glad to say that I was wrong to be skeptical about this show.

As of the first three episodes it has shown many things I wouldn’t have expected from a Disney+ show. Including allusions to prostitution, corruption, and even cold blooded murder. Considering Disney+ hasn’t made many good attempts to portray dark tones in their shows, aside from a few exceptions, I am very impressed with how it was presented this time around.

The first three episodes really give off the impression that you’re not going to have a typical Star Wars story on your hands.

These episodes provided a fresh look compared to generic Tatooine deserts and giant city landscapes like other series before. There is a lush green landscape we see in Cassian’s past that encapsulates the good simple life he once had, compared to the current scrapyard town and planet that Cassian currently resides in. The sets are very lively and appear to actually be filmed for real. Unlike most of the other series movies in this genre nowadays which rely on complete cgi scenes a lot of the time.

Much of the acting has been excellent, which has gone far beyond what I believed would be the case. As someone who watched “Narcos: Mexico” which was led by Diego Luna as well, I figured he would be the only good part of this series aside from Stellan Skarsgard and Forest Whitaker. However, they were the only cast that I knew would be in the series, so I was skeptical with the rest of the cast. I’m very glad I was wrong there too. We see very mature acting from the supporting cast, especially from Fiona Shaw and Kyle Soller. The scenes we see with them offer a side to Star Wars we don’t always see. A side that shows desperation and stress in the most genuine ways.

Along with the acting, I found the score to be quite simple and somber. Which encapsulates the dreaded and dark feeling of this show so far. That has been the most consistent aspect of the Star Wars franchise: the score and music. It’s always great to hear a moving and touching score like we have in this show.

The outfits are standard Star Wars attire. Mostly dirt colors, with most characters wearing gear and ragged clothing. I’m sure that we’ll begin to see more diligent costumes in the coming episodes once Cassian joins up with the Rebellion for real.

With the Pre Mor security company, introduced in this show, there is a certain level of real world heaviness. Seeing how the company shrugs off death and murder as a political disadvantage and nothing else is somewhat unsettling. The company has a very corrupt attitude and parallels real world situations. The Pre Mor officers slack off, commit adultery, kill innocents, and have very poor decision making and ethics. We see one officer drinking while on duty and another two hanging at a brothel.

Yes, not only does Star Wars have gang hideouts, cantinas, and sleazy clubs, but it also has brothels. Something I never thought I’d ever see or hear mentioned in a Star Wars show of all places.

As for the characters we are introduced to many new characters and some returning. The two new characters that stand out to me are Stellan Skarsgard’s Luthen Rael and Kyle Soller’s Syril Karn.

We’ve seen Syril a lot these past few episodes giving us more depth into his character. We see that he’s devoted to his job at the Pre Mor security company, even more than his own boss. However, he’s still unsure of himself as we can see when he gives an on the spot speech to his peers. His ability to stay calm under pressure is very challenged throughout the episodes as we see him have many outbursts at work and out on the field. His nerves are very relevant at the end of episode three when we see his whole plan to capture Cassian fall apart before his eyes. He’s got a temper hidden beneath his trying professionalism that seeps through numerous times in the show.

As for Luthen, we get a good idea on what his role will be. He is clearly set up to be Cassian’s way into the Rebellion, but he isn’t a do-gooder Rebellion like Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia. He has no issue with killing or making a hard call. He’s even introduced initially as a criminal who is just helping Cassian disappear. We don’t exactly know what Luthen wants from our first impression of him. He has a mission and is very much at odds with the Empire and needs Cassian’s help.

As for the title character, Cassian Andor is not your typical Star Wars hero. Unlike killing because he’s in a war or killing because he’s paid to, Cassian kills because he feels it’s his only option in tough situations. This isn’t exactly a far cry to where Cassian was in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We are introduced to him in that movie when he kills one of his spy sources in cold blood just so he wouldn’t gain the attraction of storm troopers. However, the true difference is his reaction: while he doesn’t seem too bothered by it in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in “Andor” Cassian is scared by what he has done and runs away in complete distress after he kills two men.

“Andor” has been a very pleasant surprise of a show. It has introduced new sides to the galaxy which is very rare to see when it comes to a franchise as big as Star Wars. “Andor” strays away from being a cameo of the week type show and gives a rather thorough look into the characters. Something that not only Disney+ Star Wars shows are missing, but many Disney+ shows in general have been missing too.

I’m happy to say that I’m very excited to watch where this series goes. I’m cautiously optimistic on how the quality of this series will be, whether it’s consistent or has a downward spiral like previous series have had.

“Andor” stars Diego Luna, Adria Arjona, Stellan Skarsgard, Genevieve O’Reilly, Denise Gough, Fiona Shaw, and Kyle Soller. New episodes are released every Wednesday with the first three available to watch now on Disney+.