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ANDOR: Star Wars from a certain point of view


Disney’s latest space opera ANDOR offers a new perspective on an old universe.
BY ANTHONY CASTLE

ANDOR is the newest Star Wars streaming series and a layered exploration of identity and oppression set five years before the original film's events. The 12-episode series tells the story of Cassian Andor, a thief who becomes a revolutionary and chooses to fight against the fascist Galactic Empire.


Andor is a cynic and an opportunist, making his own luck in the galaxy, but after being harassed by security officers, falsely imprisoned and used for slave labour, he realises the injustice of the power structures around him.

Created by Tony Gilroy for the streaming service Disney+, ANDOR is a prequel to the Star Wars film Rogue One (2016). Diego Luna reprises his role as Cassian Andor and serves as executive producer of the series, having incorporated his own migrant experiences into the story.

Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The series offers all the motifs associated with the franchise, with Neal Scanlan providing the designs for the creatures and droids, and there are familiar faces for the fans in the ensemble cast. Genevieve O’Reilly reprises her role as Mon Mothma from Rogue One (a character initially glimpsed in Return in the Jedi in 1983), and Forest Whitaker is back as the rebel extremist Saw Gerrara (also seen in Rogue One).

Where ANDOR makes its mark is not in how it recaptures the nostalgic motifs of earlier films but where it chooses a different path. Star Wars is known for its fast-paced pulp adventure, punctuated with romance and pop spirituality, exploring the dynamics between fathers and sons, but Andor reinvents each of these elements.

ANDOR approaches the core components of Star Wars, but from a certain point of view. Rather than having a fast and propulsive narrative, the series builds slowly in establishing its premise and themes.


Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The lead character isn’t given a love interest, but an unsettling chemistry develops between the antagonists (played by Kyle Soller and Denise Gough). Where the Star Wars trilogies often focus on the damaging legacy of the patriarchy and the relationship between fathers and sons, each of the main characters in Andor is shaped by motherhood.

The core ethos of the classic Star Wars trilogy is often summed up with the wise words of Jedi Master Yoda, “do or do not, there is no try”. ANDOR expresses this differently, with the revolutionary writer Nemik (played by Alex Lawther) encouraging characters to fight what is wrong in their worlds with a new maxim, “remember this, try”.

Star Wars is best understood as a fairytale, with heroes discovering who they are and how they will right what is wrong in their world. ANDOR captures the franchise’s sense of saga and spectacle with a stunning performance from Stellan Skarsgard as a spy, thrilling heist and prison break sequences, and an expansive production design by Luke Hull.

While fans and audiences can be thrown when old properties try new things, the reinvention at the heart of ANDOR reminds us why these stories mattered, to begin with. ANDOR tries something different and succeeds, offering a new perspective on an old universe.


While ANDOR may be Star Wars from a certain point of view, the core message remains the same. All of us must choose who we become, and when it comes to fighting the hardship and injustice in our worlds, we must all remember this; try.


ANDOR is rated M for language and violence. Streaming now on Disney+.



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