‘Andor’ Season 1 Review: An Unparalleled Star Wars Story

Andor Season 1 Spoilers Ahead

Andor Season 1 promotional image
©Lucasfilm Ltd. via Hulu

When it comes to Star Wars, fans and critics alike are consistently divided—calling something perfect always feels like a personal belief rather than a genuinely objective statement. But Andor Season 1 is as close to perfect as it gets. Rogue One is one of our top three favorite films for many of us, and the entire lore becomes richer by expanding the story. Objectively, factually, and in every way where profound storytelling matters.

From the first episode, “Kassa,” to the last, “Rix Road,” and every narrative in between, Andor set the stage for a richer, more complex examination of what a rebellion looks like, packing every episode with various arcs that seamlessly thread the overarching story in a pristine mosaic. The overriding thematic showcase of good versus evil slash light and dark is relatively simplified in the original trilogy. And while that’s certainly not a bad thing because it’s where the charm comes from, the stories that follow, like Obi-Wan Kenobi and now Andor, peel back on the prominent layers and heighten the stakes while strengthening the story’s heart further.

Andor Season 1: The Spark

Diego Luna in Andor Season 1
©Lucasfilm Ltd.

This show is, first and foremost, about hope. It’s the narrative that treks Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor toward igniting the spark within to become the Rebel leader we know and love in Rogue One. While Cassian shares the stage with multiple characters throughout the season, there’s a clear picture painted through quiet moments that shows us the character grows by virtue of those around him. His experiences thus have a visceral effect on the audience as we walk through his path slowly and intimately.

Andor’s first season isn’t explosive or full of special effects light saber battles diving deep into the lore of The Force. In the same way that Rogue One reflects the dreadful politics that mirror the real world, the prequel series takes its audience through the side hustles that draw characters toward a more significant rebellion. It quantifies the risks and measures each character takes to ensure the safety and wellness of those they care for, as well as revolutionizing what it means to act in desperate times.

Still from Andor Season 1 Episode 6
©Lucasfilm Ltd.

The layers and singular experiences these characters have under their belt in twelve episodes, with twelve more to follow before the legacy cemented in Rogue One, is incomparable in the Star Wars world. While the animated series Clone Wars layered and dove deep into the post-Attack of the Clones era as it allowed audiences to understand the characters better, no series has elevated the stakes quite like Andor. In the first season alone, the weight of The Empire’s ever-growing venom stung at the end of every episode. You watched character after character attempt to strengthen dynamics while their souls were sucked out in the process of getting through one more day.

The riveting detail here is that we know where these journeys end—we’re almost constantly reminded of it through subtle means every time certain places are mentioned or a character steps onto the screen. We can almost sense it in Cassian’s physicality because Luna plays heavily with the depiction that every day is a means of survival…until the one day when we know it’s no longer the case.

Maarva in Andor Season 1
©Lucasfilm Ltd.

There’s immense ground to cover with every episode in Andor Season 1, which Marvelous Geeks’ Meredith Loftus did so brilliantly week after week, and that’s a testament to Tony Gilroy’s advanced means of compelling storytelling. No episode felt like a filler or read like the kind of stepping stone that could frustrate audiences—every arc felt carefully retained and meticulously drawn out to allow her for more intimate connections within the universe. Cassian’s home in Ferrix is as much a part of his story as his character—the people he cares for, the people he fights for—the reason it all works so potently is because it takes us through the brittle moments of the mundane to thrust us toward the archaic battles that sting and burn.

Maarva Andor’s death and the legacy she leaves behind in the final episode is one of the most jaw-dropping moments in Star Wars because it’s clear as day that the fight here is with the people. It’s The Empire against a Rebellion—the ones who aren’t force-sensitive or trained beyond the jobs they accomplish. It’s grim and harrowing, yet hopeful because it acutely reminds viewers that without these people, The Empire would’ve never been defeated. The Rebellion wouldn’t exist and thrive outside of the shadows years and years later.

In every way that matters, with an impeccable cast, spectacular directing, and intimately staggering character-driven narratives, Tony Gilroy’s Andor Season 1 is the best show of the year. The series is unlike anything Lucasfilm has produced, and in every way where it matters, it’s the kind of esteemed storytelling that deserves endless praise.

Andor Season 1 is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.


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