STAR WARS: ANDOR IS NOT THE TYPICAL SCI-FI SHOW
Written by Tony Schultz on January 12, 2023
Star Wars stirs up instant memories and images of Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker batting in spaceships or with lightsabers. Maybe you see strange aliens in your mind or strange people in real life dressing up like the movie characters. That’s all OK because it just shows how powerful it is not just as a movie franchise, but as a pop culture phenomenon. Whether you like, hate, or are indifferent to Star Wars you do know what it means when someone says, “May the Force be with you”. The lore of Star Wars has many offshoot stories in books and video games of times way before Vader and Skywalker and TV shows that grow the story lines of characters you know. Fans of the movies have always wanted to know more backstory on their favorite characters. How did they grow up? How did they meet? What were they doing before this? What were the Clone Wars? Some of those questions have been answered with prequels and standalone movies. One movie that got released back in 2016 was “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” that gave fans the story of how the Rebel Alliance got the plans to destroy the Death Star in the original Star Wars. All we knew was that Princess Leia got them to the Rebels, but how did SHE get them? Now that we had that story we wanted to know more about those characters and that’s how we got the Disney+ show “Andor”. This show is not typical of any of the previous Star Wars shows or movies as it’s missing several of the things everyone knows: Darth Vader, the name Skywalker, and the Force. They’re never mentioned.
So how is this so different from any other science fiction movie of show? Other than lasers and spaceships it is more like an episode of a thriller or spy TV show than heavy on the alien blasting alien action. “Andor” is not about the flash of being the hero, it is about the gritty and dirty actions that individuals had to do to in order to make real change. Think of it like this: we watch a war movie where the heroes go out and prevail over the bad guys and we cheer where this is more about the underground freedom fighters living as the oppressed and using every trick to not get caught. The feeling of tension is always evident and you’re not sure who you can really trust at any given time from the slightly unhinged leader of the rebellion to the spy/smuggler that will use whoever he can to secure victory. Even the main character, Andor is hard to trust. The action is less on laser blaster fights and more escapes and infiltrating the Empire. There is political intrigue and maneuvering that you would see in a movie about trouble in The White House than you would ever see in Star Wars. There are also powerful scenes involving the torturing of prisoners that make the Empire appear more evil than it ever has previously. It’s quite the refreshing change up if you’re a fan of the movies. It may also make someone who doesn’t like all that sci-fi action take a step into the world with a more adult view of the powerful holding down the weak until the weak find their strength. Fans and non-fans of the Star Wars juggernaut have chimed in and they really like this show as do I. I loved that all the characters we know are not mentioned at all except the Emperor which you can’t avoid since he leads The Empire. It’s a more adult look at what war would really look like in space, and not just stories of heroes and villains they eventually stop.