Star Wars collectiongot here to Disney Plus on , with the primary three episodes touchdown collectively to offer us a feature-length opening. The collection is about 5 years earlier than spinoff film , which passed off straight earlier than the occasions of authentic Star Wars movie .
It dives into the backstory of the darkly heroic Cassian Andor (), who’ll go on to grow to be a hero of the Insurgent Alliance because it faces down the totalitarian Empire. This can be a significantly bleak period within the Star Wars universe, with insurgent forces scattered across the galaxy as Emperor Palpatine’s forces steadily crush unusual folks of their grip.
Let’s get to know Cassian and firm by recapping the foremost occasions of this opening trio of episodes — a threecap, if you’ll. Put together to enter the Insurgent Alliance of SPOILERS.
Tears within the Rain
MORLANA ONE — On this cool-looking sci-fi dystopia of a planet, the collection’ extraordinarily Blade Runner opening units up the emotional stakes, as Cassian tries to search out his misplaced sister in a brothel. This reveals that he is from the planet Kenari, which we see in flashbacks via these first three episodes.
He would not have any luck discovering his sibling, however catches the eye of two company safety drive goons (Corpos) who may as effectively have “BULLY” labels caught on their foreheads. They attempt to shake down the mistaken man in Cassian, and he by accident kills one and shoots the opposite as he begs for his life.
It mirrors our first encounter with Cassian in Rogue One, the place he weapons down a insurgent informant as an alternative of letting him fall into the fingers of the Empire. Our hero is not a part of the Insurgent Alliance in Andor, so he kills these dudes to save lots of his personal pores and skin relatively than for the trigger.
This proves to be the present’s inciting incident, because it catches the eye of the one zealous Corpo officer and a insurgent recruiter.
CORPORATE SECURITY HEADQUARTERS — That Corpo officer seems to be Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), who’s trying extraordinarily effectively put collectively as he presents his report on the killings to his supervisor, Chief Hyne (Rupert Vansittart, whom you may acknowledge as Recreation of Thrones’ Lord Yohn Royce).
Hyne instantly acknowledges that the 2 lifeless Corpo boys had been dirtbags who acquired themselves killed. He reckons the incident ought to be swept neatly beneath the rug for all eternity, and provides a beautiful cowl story.
“I think they died dashing to assist somebody in misery. Nothing too heroic, we do not want a parade,” he says. “They died being useful. One thing unhappy however inspiring in a secular kind of method.”
I am mundanely impressed simply listening to it. Hyne is aware of that highlighting Corpo corruption will give the Empire a gap to step in and seize management of the Morlani system. Basic colonialism, in an period when Palpatine’s totalitarian regime is increasing.
The naive Syril would not think about the larger image and is quietly disgusted on the chief’s willingness to look the opposite method. On the face of it, it is exhausting to argue with him — two of his colleagues had been murdered. Quickly empowered by Hyne’s absence, he gathers an enthusiastic however incompetent safety crew to hunt Cassian down.
Welcome to Ferrix
FERRIX, MORLANI SYSTEM — The majority of those first three episodes concentrate on the drudgery of life on this robust industrial world, and the deliberate pacing reveals that Andor is refreshingly affected person with its universe constructing. Characters work unusual jobs, and the extra enterprising ones have facet hustles (or a number of facet hustles, in our hero’s case).
We’re additionally launched to a bunch of characters in Cassian’s orbit, and it is not at all times direct about who they’re. Let’s run via them so we are able to preserve monitor:
- Maarva Andor ( ) is Cassian’s adoptive mother. She and her late husband, Clem, saved him from Republic forces on Kenari a couple of a long time in the past, through the Clone Wars (as seen within the flashbacks). Maarva is not in one of the best of well being, however her defiant response to the Corpo raid suggests a few of that outdated hearth continues to be burning.
- B2EMO — AKA Bee-Two or Bee (Dave Chapman) — is Maarva and Cassian’s extraordinarily good droid. He is a bit like a lovable outdated canine; nonetheless charming, however possibly not as dependable as he was once. His boxy design is visually pleasant, his shade jogs my memory of the house fits in and that hound is simply plain impolite for peeing on him.
- Bix Caleen ( is Cassian’s loyal buddy and former flame. She’s operating a busy storage, and acts as a fence to attach stolen items with consumers. One such purchaser occurs to be a recruiter for the insurrection.
- Timm Karlo (James McArdle) is Bix’s worker and present boyfriend, whose jealousy leads him to rat Cassian out to the safety forces and finally will get him killed.
Huge shoutout to the unnamed man who strikes the gong/hammers the anvil to get everybody on the town shifting. He is credited because the Time Grappler (Neil Bell), and makes all the things 100% extra atmospheric.
Kassa from Kenari
KENARI, THE PAST — “Abruptly the Riot is actual for you. A few of us dwell it. I have been on this battle since I used to be 6 years outdated,” Cassian tells Jyn in Rogue One. “You are not the one one who misplaced all the things. A few of us simply determined to do one thing about it.”
We study an enormous quantity about Cassian in these episodes, together with the childhood he alluded in Rogue One. Flashbacks reveal his childhood on Kenari within the time when the Galactic Republic ran issues relatively than the Empire.
Right here, our hero goes by Kassa (performed by Antonio Viña) and resides as a part of a tribe alongside together with his sister, Kerri (Belle Swarc).
I really like that the Kenari flashbacks haven’t got subtitles, because it forces you to concentrate to characters’ physique language. It is clear that Cassian was a little bit of a sneaky chancer whilst a child, moving into conditions the place he would not essentially belong — like becoming a member of the group of older children to take a look at the ship that crashes.
After one of many youngsters is killed by a trigger-happy officer, Kassa checks out the vessel alone and finds everybody on board was killed by gasoline (presumably launched when the ship sustained the injury that made it crash). It is possible these folks had been a part of a mining effort, most likely strip-mining Kenari’s sources.
He runs right into a younger Maarva and Clem Andor, together with Bee (again when the droid was shiny and new), who’ve seemingly boarded the downed ship looking for salvage. Understanding the Republic is on the way in which and can kill Kassa in the event that they discover him on board, Maarva decides to take him with them. That is kinda kidnapping; I ponder if it was ever a supply of rigidity between Maarva and Cassian?
The folks on the ship have the emblem of the Confederacy of Impartial Techniques (aka the Separatists, led by Rely Dooku) on their uniforms, suggesting that they had been transporting materials for the struggle in opposition to the Republic. Within the current, we study that Kenari was “deserted after an Imperial mining catastrophe. Deserted and thought of poisonous — Imperial prohibition.” The Empire could have tried to mine the planet after the Clone Wars.
FERRIX — “Revolt, destruction of Imperial property, assault on Imperial soldier.” Cassian’s rap sheet hints at his anti-Imperial leanings, and his try to promote a stolen starpath unit (which seems to be rather a lot like Darth Vader’s chest piece and comprises Imperial coordinates) places him on the radar of insurgent recruiter Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård).
The present turns extraordinarily intense and superior when their paths cross. Luthen is impressed with Cassian’s skill to make use of the Imperials’ conceitedness to slide proper via their defenses, and pushes the youthful man to hitch the rebels.
“Today will finish, Cassian Andor. The way in which they chortle, the way in which they push via a crowd. The sound of that voice telling you to cease, to go, to maneuver. Telling you to die,” he growls, oozing charisma with each syllable. “Do not you wish to battle these bastards for actual?”
They flee the Corpo safety goons’ effort to trace Cassian down, which matches fully off the rails when the folks of Ferrix push again in opposition to their bullying — the banging on metallic is intimidating as heck.
The third episode’s last moments see Cassian fleeing Ferrix with Luthen, whereas Syril seems to be shell-shocked that his zeal has ruined his profession, Bix mourn’s Timm’s demise and Maarva sits with Bee in her chilly condominium.
Rogue thoughts, unanswered questions and Easter eggs
- Where is Cassian’s sister? How and when did she get off Kenari?
- Clem, Cassian’s adoptive father (Gary Beadle), was hanged by the Imperials, but why?
- Composer Nicholas Britell (known for his work on and ) gives this show an awesome synth sci-fi opening theme, especially as it bleeds into the Blade Runner aesthetics of the first scene. It changes slightly in each episode too.
- This show takes place “5 BBY,” which stands for “Before Battle of Yavin.” This is the climactic skirmish of A New Hope, where Luke Skywalker blew up the Empire’s first Death Star battle station, and a pivotal moment in the Star Wars universe. It’s when everyone realized that the Rebel Alliance wasn’t just foolin’ around.
- For prequel context, Andor happens 14 years after the Empire seized control of the galaxy in Revenge of the Sith and four years after in the Disney Plus series.
- It’s unclear when the flashbacks take place — reference books say Cassian was 26 in Rogue One, so he’d be 21 in the present day part of the show. If he’s been fighting since he was 6, that’d place the flashbacks 15 years before that — the period when the Clone Wars were raging throughout the galaxy. Both Kassa and Cassian look older than those ages, I guess he’s lived a hard life.
- If so, the intense mining operation on Kenari might be linked to the Republic desperately gathering raw materials to sustain the war effort. Thanks to William Devereux, host of the Star Wars-centric Ion Cannon podcast, for helping me organize my timeline thoughts.
- Cassian’s jacket is extremely cool. Would it be too sci-fi to wear in real life? Maybe Columbia Sportswear or some other fashion brand will release one.
- “No weapons. No comms. No credit. No nonsense.” The bouncer’s words are ones to live by.
- Syril is the kind of a character we regularly see in Star Wars novels — a middle manager with an inflated sense of importance and low self-esteem who steadily goes off the deep end, making life hell for the heroes. Kyle Soller performs this role magnificently.
- Add Timm to the list of boring Star Wars names along with Luke and Ben. At least the extra m gives it a bit of sci-fi flair.
- This show alludes strongly to sexuality in Bix and Timm’s relationship, as well as the brothel in episode 1. The latter is a familiar sci-fi image, but Star Wars has traditionally been pretty sexless.
- It’s really cool that Bee is showing his age through a data lag and acknowledging that lying requires more processing power. Classic Star Wars droids R2-D2 and C-3PO are in service for decades, but they’re clearly well cared for. Cassian and Maarva don’t have the money to do so with Bee.
- Cassian’s papers say he’s from Fest, a snowy world you visit in the Dark Forces. In the current continuity, it’s only previously been mentioned in By Whatever Sun, a story written by EK Johnston and Ashley Eckstein in 2017 anthology From a Certain Point of View, and some reference books. 1995 video game
- The one Corpo’s slow clap after Syril’s limp speech is glorious. Ouch.
- You might be wondering why Cassian’s fellow Rogue One hero Jyn Erso doesn’t have a show. Between that movie and its prequel novels and , her life story has been pretty comprehensively told. Catalyst in particular will make you way more invested in Rogue One’s Erso family and Director Krennic.
- The shipyard at the start makes me think of the start of 2019 video game .
- The dropships used by the Corpos look like converted Republic Gunships, as first seen in Attack of the Clones.
- “Rule No. 1: Never carry anything you don’t control.” Luckily, we don’t all carry devices controlled by giant megacorporations in real life. That’d be ridiculous.
- Sergeant Linus Mosk (Alex Ferns) says the word “shit” when the Corpo operation starts to go sideways. It’s the first time we’ve heard that word in Star Wars, which normally uses its own selection of sci-fi swears (like “bantha poodoo”). This ain’t your daddy’s galaxy far, far away.
- Cassian gazes into the sunlight as he leaves Kenari and Ferrix, in beautifully juxtaposed moments. In Rogue One, he opens his eyes as he and Jyn are engulfed in blinding light as their lives end.
- I got the idea to use the datelines to set the scene from my CNET colleague Erin Carson’s . Imitation is the sincerest form of thievery, Erin, mwahaha.
- This show will run for two seasons, with 12 episodes planned for both, and run directly into the events of Rogue One. Season 2 is reportedly scheduled to shoot in November.
- I hope Maarva puts the heat on.
Come back for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, Sept. 28, when episode 4 of Andor hits Disney Plus.