Andor review: New spin-off gives Star Wars some creativity

For whatever reason, I didn’t go to theaters to see Star Wars when it premiered in Ireland on December 27, 1977. This probably makes me a minority of my generation. .

aybe, as a self-absorbed 15-year-old, think-it-all, I think I’d grow better than that kind of thing. So funny. Forty-five years later, men my age are often the loudest to be discovered when the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise doesn’t make things “okay,” as they see it.

I finally caught up with Star Wars in 1982 when it had its UK television premiere on ITV. Admittedly, watching a widescreen movie that has been adjusted to fit the 4:3 TV screen ratio using the dreaded panning and scanning method is not the ideal way to enjoy it.

Watching it on the box has another downside: it somehow makes all the British actors look familiar with small roles in the background more prominent than they might be compared to squeals, bangs, the sound of the big screen.

I don’t know about you, but realizing the Royal officer standing on Darth Vader’s shoulder was exactly the same as you’d seen in some crazy British sitcom two nights before removing the illusion and taking me out of the way. story.

Of course, the reason there are so many British actors in the original The Star Wars trilogy is because all the interiors were filmed at Elstree Studios in the UK.

Chances are you’ll experience déjà vu when you watch the latest Star Wars spin-off series Andor (Disney +), was filmed at another famous British studio, Pinewood – home of the James Bond films.

In the first few minutes, the typical hero (although the anti-hero would be more accurate) Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna from Narcos: Mexico, disturbed by several heavy objects, one of them is none other than Opening the street villain Jez Quigley (Lee Boardman), a character whose head appears to be carved from a slab of processed ham.

He didn’t last long. You haven’t even gotten to the sentence, “Look, what’s his name,” before Cassian pops one in Jez’s head, then sends his best friend away empty-handed.

And why does the space cop have the gravelly voice Sgt Kostek looks so familiar? Because he used to EastEnders villain Trevor Batemen (Alex Ferns, who also appeared in Chernobyl and Batman).

I know none of this should be funny. British, Irish and Australian actors have made huge inroads into US television and cinema in recent years. But I don’t understand why. I half expected Phil Mitchell to become a Royal Guard.

Anyway, Andor is being hailed as a series that will push Star Wars in a new direction, but if you’ve seen Rogue One, Set five years after the events and also starring Luna as Cassian, you’ll know what that direction is: moving away from the original’s great space opera and towards something with a sense of possibility. more base.

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This series can be understood as Star Wars without being too much like Star Wars.

There’s been talk of Empire and Rebellion, but there’s no Jedi knight, no light gun, and so far no Stormtroopers in white armor.

It’s crazier and more gruesome than what some might expect from the franchise, but it’s what one would expect from creator Tony Gilroy, who wrote the first four Bourne films and co-created it. works Rogue One. Spaceships are scratched and smashed, and everything has a more lifelike appearance.

It is also more violent. The good guys in the galaxy that George Lucas created would never shoot someone in the head in cold blood. But back then, Cassian Andor, a thief and an assassin, was still not a good guy.

The series, scheduled to run in two seasons, 12 episodes each (the first three are available as of today) follows his five-year journey to what he ends up as in. Rogue One.

Based on the two episodes I’ve watched, it’s hard to predict how much fun that journey will be. The characters are introduced and Cassian, now a wanted man for killing old Jez and his friend, runs a lot of laps and rushes in and out the door. But the plot remains murky so far.

The Disney+ series has been a mixed bag. But with no new Star Wars movies planned, it seems the small screen is where the future of the franchise lies. It’s ironic, in a way.

Rating: Three stars Andor review: New spin-off gives Star Wars some creativity

Fry Electronics Team

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