This Is Why ‘Star Wars: Andor’ Keeps Proving It’s the Best ‘Star Wars’ Show Yet
Star Wars: Andor has been easily one of the best things that Star Wars has ever done, week in and week out. It frankly isn’t even a competition. The Disney+ show, which focuses on Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor prior to our first introduction of him in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is a new era for the galaxy far far away and comes at a perfect time for the franchise.
So far, I have loved every single show that has come out of the Disney+ era for Star Wars. If I were ranking them prior to the release of Andor, I probably would have put Obi-Wan Kenobi as my number one purely because it was the nostalgia that I needed and wanted and it gave me a look into Leia Organa that we never had before. But now with Andor, everything is changing.
One of the things that using Cassian Andor as a jumping off point lets the series do is focus on the Empire and the pain it is causing throughout the galaxy in a way that shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi can’t really get into on such a week-to-week level. He can’t be on the ground and in the fight as much as someone like Cassian can, and those around Ben are, typically, either people who don’t want to fight or those who cannot because of their status in the government (or for Owen and Beru, it’s about their duty to Luke).
But with Cassian, he is in the thick of it all from the jump and we get to explore the Empire like never before that has made each week of Andor better than the last (and that’s saying something).
It is highlighting the horrors of the Empire
In episode 7 titled “Announcement,” we really got a look at how the Empire falls into its fascist patterns the minute that the story is not focused solely on Vader. Even when it is focused on Vader, it is still obviously a commentary on a fascist regime but this episode showed just how deep it runs through the ranks.
The power that the Empire holds over its citizens wasn’t one that upheld peace or justice. Instead, it was a strong arm that would strike down any who opposed it. We see this not once but twice throughout the episode.
First, it’s shown in the death of Clem. Clem Andor is not doing anything wrong and is, in fact, trying to keep the peace that the Empire so willingly lies about doing. He is trying to stop a fight from happening and the Empire strikes him down and hangs him as a traitor despite the reality of the situation. For Cassian, he’s thrown into jail for simply walking to the store on the planet Niamos.
There are similarities between these two moments that truly highlight the fascism that is alive and well within the Empire. Cassian is nearly killed by a KX droid that says “Hang” at him because the trooper was casual in his request of the droid. And no one would have carried had Cassian gotten murdered by the droid. If anything, they would have labeled him a traitor to the Empire (which to be fair he is but he was not doing so in that moment).
Both Clem and Cassian are examples of the horrors that the Empire is willing to do in order to keep their power. The innocent have no rights and have no time in their eyes and even the slightest mis-step can cost them their lives.
So why is Andor the best?
For me, this series isn’t just the highs of the Rebels winning or the pain that Obi-Wan was feeling. It isn’t the hope we’ll get to see Han, Leia, and Luke together again like in the sequel trilogy. It isn’t the Republic rebuilding like in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett and this series isn’t the nostalgia of Obi-Wan and Anakin.
What it is is showing the reality of this power and what it does to those who want their freedom. Each week, it works and is so beautifully told thanks to Tony Gilroy and company and the series is just a spotlight on how cruel the Empire can be. And I just want to sit everyone down who hasn’t watched it yet and watch the entire season thus far with them.
(featured image: Lucasfilm)
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