Happy Star Wars Day!!
It’s still mid afternoon where I am, so I thought I take some time to highlight the BEST live-action series streaming on Disney+… Now, even based on just the first season alone, I can confidently say that this Tony Gilroy-created series starring Diego Luna is truly one of the best series streaming out there, not just on Disney+
I’ve reviewed the series last Fall after I saw a few episodes, which you can read an excerpt below, but I loved it even more once I finished the series, so I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite scenes.
EXCERPT OF MY REVIEW
The series marketing promises a time filled with danger, deception and intrigue and it’s quite evident even from the first time we meet Cassian on a planet called Morlana One. He’s in hiding as he constantly has his hoods up and somehow got mixed up in the death of two employees of Preox, a mining corporation run like a military operation. Cassian is not exactly a virtuous man, reckless and aimless, still searching for his purpose and somewhat haunted by his past as a young teen, shown in a flashback when he and his group of friends see an object falling from the sky.
The tone is more of a spy adventure against the powerful status quo that exploits everything else in the planet, as the Galactic Empire and their allies are metaphors for corporate greed. Yes, we already know the fate of the Empire and the Death Star space station, but there is still something so satisfying to see just how the Rebel Alliance is finally able to break free from the Empire’s clutches and eventually destroy it. Gilroy sure knows how to write a compelling espionage thriller filled with political intrigue and covert missions. As with Jason Bourne, Cassian and his cohorts are being oppressed by a ruthless, powerful regime and this series shows the journey towards the Empire’s day of reckoning.
7 Favorite ANDOR Scenes
Obviously there are way too many memorable scenes to mention, but in the interest of page speed and my getting this post out the door in time, let’s stick with 7 (my favorite number).
Cassian’s not afraid to shoot an unarmed man
Even from its opening episode, Gilroy establishes what kind of show ANDOR is. It’s dark, somber, and gritty… with the protagonist showing he can be brutal and unrelenting in his decision-making. Luna is terrific and portrays his role perfectly. It shook me to see him shoot an unarmed guard pleading for his life, but it also excites me to see we’re dealing with a flawed antihero here, and that this was shaping up to be not your typical Star Wars show.
Cassian meets Luthen
I love that the series started out with a deliberate pace, the slow-burn style harkens back to true crime detective pictures and classic noir. This scene between Cassian and Luthen Rael (the always reliable Stellan Skarsgård) is tense and enigmatic, as we have no idea if Luthen can be trusted. I love the line Luthen asks Cassian, “Don’t you want to fight these bastards for real?” A concise statement that says so much.
Plus the production design by Luke Hull is top-notch, I love the look of this dilapidated warehouse with all the metal parts and swinging chains. I read an article where Hull (who also worked on the show Chernobyl) and Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson approached the series like a Star Wars period drama.
Prison break scene + Kino Loy’s Monologue
The series sure aren’t skimping on casting, we’ve got another phenomenal character actor Andy Serkis as the Imperial Prison’s shift manager who has a change of heart. He’s only in three episodes but he definitely made quite an impact. His rallying call to arms to all the convicts is one of the most emotional touchpoints of the series, given he pretty much had given up on ever being free. I love the testy interactions between Kino and Cassian… and his last line as everyone was jumping to the ocean below is heartbreaking!!
Mon Mothma & Luthen – the Great Pretenders
Mon Mothma is such a great character when she was first introduced in ROGUE ONE but Genevieve O’Reilly finally gets to shine in the role in this series. She’s got this icy regalness about her but you just feel the tremendous weight on her shoulder going against the Empire that could cost her EVERYTHING. She and Luthen hide their true identity so masterfully, it’s so fun to watch!
Luthen’s Emotional Monologue
The writing by the ANDOR team is spectacular, which includes Tony Gilroy himself and his brother Dan (who was nominated in the Best Screenplay category for Nightcrawler). Standing up against oppression takes enormous sacrifice and Luthen’s speech highlights what he has to give up. gives me goosebumps… even among his illustrious career, I’d say this is one of Skarsgård’s most memorable roles to date. I sure hope he gets at least an Emmy nom for this performance.
I’ve given up all chance at inner peace. I’ve made my mind a sunless space. I share my dreams with ghosts.
Nemik’s Inspirational Manifesto
I love how this series makes me appreciate this behemoth franchise as a whole because it focuses on ‘the little people’ as it were. It effectively demonstrates how small acts of rebellion can inevitably lead to a greater cause of freedom from tyranny. I’ve never seen Alex Lawther before but I’ll always remember his affecting performance here and THIS incredible manifesto… “Oppression is the mask of fear” – yet another short but powerful line. Nicholas Britell‘s elegant, evocative score is so perfect for this series.
Maarva Andor’s Hologram Speech
Last but not least, I’ve got to highlight one of my favorite ANDOR casting picks. I’ve loved Fiona Shaw in various British series/shows, so I was thrilled to see her as Cassian’s adopted mom. Even from the dead, she was still able to rally the Ferrix residents against the Empire via a hologram.
I read here that initially the show was going to push the boundary of what’s typically allowed by Disney execs. Denise Gough who played Dedra said in an interview that she was on set that day, “Fiona’s voice was over all of us. Except, at the end, she didn’t say, ‘Fight the Empire!’ She said, ‘F-ck the Empire!’ Which we were all really excited about. But we weren’t allowed to keep it, obviously.”
Well, if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 was allowed to have one F-bomb, maybe we could see some more appropriately mature content in ANDOR season 2!
I can’t wait for ANDOR Season 2 which is expected to be released in
#Andor season two’s final three episodes will take us through the last three days before Rogue One. https://t.co/buZrpJSWuF pic.twitter.com/P734NEvEND
— Nerdist (@nerdist) May 4, 2023
Have you seen ANDOR? If not, what are you waiting for?! But if you have, let me know your favorite scenes!
2 thoughts on “Happy Star Wars Day! My tribute to ANDOR – the best live-action SW series on Disney+ so far”
Yeah, this is definitely the best of the live Star Wars series. Mostly because they didn’t have to rely on anything relate to the Skywalker saga. I’m sick and tire of fans service to the original trilogy, which why I didn’t care for Kenobi.
The only complaint I have for this show is that the prison part took too long, they didn’t need spend 3 episodes on storyline.
I fucking love Andor. Those scenes you mention are perfect. The prison break is probably the best thing that I could say almost tops a lot of the things in the films. Even that monologue Andy Serkis did as the one that Stellan did over what he’s sacrificing. Phenomenal show as I am definitely going to be waiting with great patience for the 2nd season.