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It is. I haven’t watched the last couple seasons of Star Wars shows (boba and obi wan) because the end of Mandalorian season 2 made me need some time away, but these first four episodes of Andor have been some of my favorite Star Wars viewing of the Disney era.
 

I was never as huge into the EU/Legends stuff as my friends growing up, but Andor captures the most aspirational version of the EU feeling for me: The idea that off in the corners of the Star Wars universe, there’s a bunch of human-scale stories happening that are probably just as interesting (or more interesting) than the operatic drama at the heart of it. Some episodes of Mandalorian have scratched that itch, but nowhere near as potently or consistently as these first few hours of Andor have. 
 

Andor also just looks great. One of my favorite things about the main Star Wars movies is that as the story goes on, from scene to scene, you learn more about the universe: you’re going somewhere new, seeing something you’ve never seen before, learning about a new place with its own rules and a history you’ve not yet encountered in the story until now. It’s a type of worldbuilding that leaves tons of pockets for your imagination to explore in its wake. Mandalorian didn’t do that for me - it felt like it was circling the same few places over and over, and even when they went somewhere that was technically new, it either felt the same as what came before, or like it didn’t really belong in the show. Andor though, is delivering this particular Star Wars feeling in a way that’s totally working for me. It helps that all the production design is really inspired, and it’s shot very cinematically. I don’t feel the edge of the virtual set the way I eventually started to on the Mandalorian. (I’m sure they’re using the volume plenty as part of their toolkit, but it’s blended in better and doesn’t feel so one note as a result.)

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45 minutes ago, Jake said:

It is. I haven’t watched the last couple seasons of Star Wars shows (boba and obi wan) because the end of Mandalorian season 2 made me need some time away, but these first four episodes of Andor have been some of my favorite Star Wars viewing of the Disney era.
 

I was never as huge into the EU/Legends stuff as my friends growing up, but Andor captures the most aspirational version of the EU feeling for me: The idea that off in the corners of the Star Wars universe, there’s a bunch of human-scale stories happening that are probably just as interesting (or more interesting) than the operatic drama at the heart of it. Some episodes of Mandalorian have scratched that itch, but nowhere near as potently or consistently as these first few hours of Andor have. 
 

Andor also just looks great. One of my favorite things about the main Star Wars movies is that as the story goes on, from scene to scene, you learn more about the universe: you’re going somewhere new, seeing something you’ve never seen before, learning about a new place with its own rules and a history you’ve not yet encountered in the story until now. It’s a type of worldbuilding that leaves tons of pockets for your imagination to explore in its wake. Mandalorian didn’t do that for me - it felt like it was circling the same few places over and over, and even when they went somewhere that was technically new, it either felt the same as what came before, or like it didn’t really belong in the show. Andor though, is delivering this particular Star Wars feeling in a way that’s totally working for me. It helps that all the production design is really inspired, and it’s shot very cinematically. I don’t feel the edge of the virtual set the way I eventually started to on the Mandalorian. (I’m sure they’re using the volume plenty as part of their toolkit, but it’s blended in better and doesn’t feel so one note as a result.)

Very well said. This pretty much reflects my own feelings towards the show. But: Mando did the same for me. While it didn't cover as many different formerly unseen corners of life in the SW galaxy, it did provide me with a smaller set of stories, which didn't try to one-up each other in epicness and relevance to the fate of the universe, like the sequel trilogy did.

 

The only thing bothering me about Andor is the combination of pacing and release scheduling. Generally, I wouldn't mind the slow burn the show provides, but at only 45 minutes an episode, each one covers way too little ground. Premiering 3 episodes in one go was a smart move, and I'd wish they would just continue releasing it as 3-episode/2-hour bundles. Waiting for each episode will be painful.

Edited by Laserschwert
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Good interview w/ Tony Gilroy here: https://scriptmag.com/interviews-features/tony-gilroy-on-the-screenwriting-of-andor

 

Quote

SCRIPT Magazine: You're working in a place where the fans are a very loud, vocal group, how do you write to manage them while maintaining your writer-ly integrity and not being overly precious about the material?

 

Tony Gilroy: We're doing a thing where we're basically saying all this stuff is real, we believe in it as much or more than anybody ever, there's absolutely nothing cynical about what we're doing. Without even analyzing what other people have done before, the whole team is saying we're gonna go down and get inside this thing in a way that no one ever has before. We're gonna go down and figure out what people do and how they live together and what it smells like, and we're gonna get really filthy with this... In a way, you could argue that we're taking it more seriously than anybody ever has before. The other part of it is we're also respecting things canonically, we're using canon. We're not going to violate accepted canon. The problem is that there's a lot of variations of canon. I have become aware over the years, there's many different levels, so somebody's ox is gonna get gored, I assume at some point, but within the day-to-day work of it, I think we're honoring it.

 

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The Star Wars fanbase is amazingly layered and contradictory, spanning across multiple generations of fans who are looking for a wide variety of contradictory things, to the extent that "I like Star Wars" or "I don't like Star Wars" sound extremely limiting.

 

I loved Rogue One, and I love Andor. I think it's because I am a "Star Wars 90s EU fan". I love dense worldbuilding, and I didn't even notice the most recent episode had zero action scenes until somebody pointed it out to me.

 

I've heard the criticism that it "doesn't feel like Star Wars", and I understand that criticism exists because of how many different Star Wars's there are! But for me... I became a Star Wars fan through Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. I went to a friend's house and watched him play Shadows of the Empire. At school, another friend described to me the story campaign for TIE Fighter. Yet another friend described to me Thrawn and the New Republic and Imperial Remnant. If I were to give a summary of the original Star Wars/A New Hope film to someone, I'd mention that the Emperor dissolves the Imperial Senate, because to my brain that's a very inportant and compelling part of the story. Then when Phantom Menace came out, even though I hated Jar Jar and Ani like a good '90s teenager, I never understood why people had a problem with the opening crawl or the political backdrop of the story - to me, that was the meat and potatoes!

 

So when I watch Andor, it feels more Star Wars to my "90s EU Lucasarts" fanbrain than most other live action products.

 

Plus, he has a Bryar pistol. And also they mention Fest. So you know... easy fanservice for my ilk. 😛

Edited by BaronGrackle
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3 hours ago, BaronGrackle said:

I've heard the criticism that it "doesn't feel like Star Wars"

Whoa, I honestly had no idea this was a take. Andor feels like what my imagination always told me was happening off screen in the edges of the Star Wars universe, and it’s a treat to get to see it on screen. (It might be like you said, my real EU exposure is from Dark Forces, TIE Fighter, and the Heir to the Empire trilogy, and in modern times the world of Kieron Gillen’s Star Wars comics, all of which feel of a piece with Andor to me.)

 

Rogue One I ultimately didn’t like at all. The end left such a bad taste in my mouth. I know the audience in my theater was just whooping it up during the final huge space battle, and were literally screaming when Darth Vader was tearing through the ship, but none of it felt right to me. It felt like those scenes were looking right at fans in the eye and saying “you like this, don’t you?” Reader, I did not want it. The end felt bigger than the battle of Yavin, Darth felt wildly more powerful and more desperate. Everyone knew everything about the beginning of A New Hope in the last scene - it felt like it ended moments before A New Hope starts. It was so pat, designed to make a Star Wars fan hyped more than designed to tell a compelling story. (* I understand that many people absolutely love Rogue One, probably including you whoever is reading this. I’m glad you like it! Please don’t feel compelled to defend it or tell me why I’m wrong, thanks! I’m only bringing it up in the context of Andor in the next paragraph.)
 

Andor, so far, has none of that. The cinematography and dialog are all played straight - the characters live in the universe of Star Wars, but to them that’s just life. There is no self awareness that they are “in a Star Wars movie.” No fourth-wall-breaking quoting of existing dialog, no using old iconic shots as shorthand for story moments. The TIE fighter that flew by our heroes in episode four was a moment of absolute human-scale terror. They don’t know, like we the audience do, that powerful Force users can knock them out of the sky now. I bet when we see stormtroopers, if we do, they will be actually threatening, and scare our heroes. (They don’t know that “stormtroopers can’t hit anything” is a popular meme among their shows viewing audience.)

 

When thinking about that TIE fighter moment and how successful it was, I am reminded of the moment when in Star Wars, they hyperspace jump to Alderaan and it’s dead silent until suddenly they get buzzed by the TIE fighter and everyone in the Falcon jumps.


What Andor reminds me of the most is Star Wars (1977): the only other piece of Star Wars media that didn’t know it was “a piece of Star Wars media,” because it was lucky enough to exist in a world where it was the only one. Andor exists in a world where there are a million other Star Wars things, and I respect the heck out of it for trying to be true to all the internal rules and history of this universe, while refusing to let our worlds awareness of Star Wars reach back through the screen and change how the characters act or make decisions. 

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13 minutes ago, Jake said:

Whoa, I honestly had no idea this was a take. Andor feels like what my imagination always told me was happening off screen in the edges of the Star Wars universe, and it’s a treat to get to see it on screen. 


Well, I gave a paragraph of Star Wars things that make me happy. For other people that list might include lightsabers, the Force, hero's journey in a fantastic space setting... a minimum of one action sequence... 😆

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4 minutes ago, BaronGrackle said:


Well, I gave a paragraph of Star Wars things that make me happy. For other people that list might include lightsabers, the Force, hero's journey in a fantastic space setting... a minimum of one action sequence... 😆

Well, they’ve gotten that in literally everything else that’s been shown on screen, other than the Ewok adventures maybe. So fair to them I guess but this is so refreshing. Stories like this have only ever been in games, books, comics so far. Glad to see one on screen, and (so far) done so well. 
 

I enjoyed the first four episodes enough that if the show does crap the bed I’ll still be happy. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

That was one heck of a heist alright. As things were building up, I almost convinced myself that:

Spoiler

The Dhani that were vibing out before the show started were going to be part of the plan to attack/distract the garrison while the main rebel crew did their thing.

 

I'm glad that didn't happen as it might have been too much, but I do wonder how that might play out and if Gilroy and co. drafted that idea at one point.

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But guys, what about that part in the third trailer, where Thrawn walks into the shop where Luthen works? And he looks at some ancient art from Fest and Kenari and he's like, "The Rebels who committed this crime have a member from Kenari who pretends to be from Fest. I understand everything now." And he shoots Luthen. In the trailer, remember?

 

Do you think that's coming in the next few episodes?

Edited by BaronGrackle
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16 hours ago, ThunderPeel2001 said:

 

Just watch ep 1... Slow burn doesn't cover it. But it has gotten under my skin a bit

 

The show is designed as 3 episode arcs, so episode 1/4 are kinda introductory 2/5 set up 3/6 big time payoff. So that may be worth keeping in mind, I've found the show to be excellent

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  • 4 weeks later...

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