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Star Wars: Andor on D+


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Posted (edited)

 

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Andor is two intertwined tales: Rogue One's doomed rebel on a path of self-redemption for unspecified things in his past: and Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly also returning) trying to kindle the political flame of rebellion in the Imperial Senate.

 

Again, I'm intrigued that the Mouse is using D+ not just to expand a franchise - but play with the kind of stories they can tell.

The genre they're going for is "dark spy thriller" - and it's certainly looking (and sounding) interesting from the trailer.

Let the wild unfounded speculation begin - what do you lot think of this?

 

Side note: if you have Closed Captions on - the dude playing the tune on the coffin is listed as The Time Grappler, which is an IMDB listing people would kill for.
Presumably coming to a Comic-Con near you...

 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver
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Posted (edited)

Perhaps Star Wars is learning from their sibling company Marvel.  Many of the MCU movies reflect certain film genres, such as Ant-Man being a heist movie or The Winter Soldier being a political intrigue thriller.  SW also has Dave Filoni.  I'm not sure how much he contributed to Andor, but his Clone Wars also reflected certain film genres at times, or even specific movies.  One, for example, was a kaiju movie-like story, while another was clearly influenced by Magnificent Seven and of course Seven Samurai.

 

I have to wonder, if Mon Mothma is deeply tied to this story, can Jimmy Smits' Senator Bael Organa be in it as well?

 

6 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

The genre they're going for is "dark spy thriller" - and it's certainly looking (and sounding) interesting from the trailer.

 

Interesting you bring up a spy thriller.  While no doubt "dark spy thriller" is probably more in the vein of a Bourne movie, I got the distinct impression that some shots and locations in the trailer were influenced by the production designs of Ken Adams, who created a distinctive look, especially with the use of space and occasionally mimimalism, for the James Bond franchise, starting with Dr. No.  You can see what I mean with the white conference room hosting the white uniformed men around the 0;54 mark.

 

I'm intrigued by the soldiers in HoJo colors ("HoJo" as in Howard Johnson's, a former hotel and restaurant chain known for Googie styling and their distinctive use of dark aqua and orange).  I'm trying to figure out if they're a previously unseen branch of the Imperial Army or Navy or if they're another previously unseen concept: a planetary army or militia in league with the Imps.  The color choice doesn't really strike me as imperial.  Imps tend to favor shades rather than color, with the possible exception of the use of red among certain elite troops or a couple of environmental colors, essentially camouflage  for shoretroopers or mudtroopers.

 

Disney seem to be determined to fill in all of the 19 year gap between Episode III (19 BBY*) and Episode IV (0 BBY):

  -- 19-18 BBY The Bad Batch

  -- 14 BBY (approx.) Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order - the canonical video game.

  -- 12 BBY (approx.)  Solo: A Star Wars Story

  -- 11 or 10 BBY (probably) Miniseries Obi-Wan Kenobi

  -- 5 BBY Miniseries Andor

  -- 5-1 BBY Star Wars: Rebels (maybe to early 0 BBY)

  -- 0 BBY Rogue One -- mere weeks prior to the Death Star destruction.

 

* "BBY"= Before the Battle of Yavin, a.k.a. the destruction of the first Death Star.

 

EDIT:  Oh, I'd also add that I think it hilarious that IMDB.com is not giving character names for many of the actors in Andor, but if you watch the trailer at Star Wars' official YouTube channel and have the CC on, you can see the names.   Oops.

Edited by Techwright
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Posted (edited)

Nice. I hadn't been thinking about the Ken Adams type sets, I'd been thinking war movie (Andor's town resembles your typical French hamlet as pastiched/cobbled together from different locations in the likes of Kelly's Heroes) and also a number of Rebels designs.

 

The ultra-clean, white-on-white thing representing fascism - as seen in the conf room and the lab(?) early on is also very Lucas...

THX-1138-Lucas-Prison.jpg?mtime=20220122

 

Same goes for that Raft-like prison (or processing facility? Training base?) with the inmates shuffling along hamster-like corridors in white jumpsuits with orange stripes.

 

As for the HoJoTroopers - which is probably going to stick as a name - no clue either. But as we know from history, and can see today... not everyone fights against incoming evil. Some choose not to see it. Many just shrug their shoulders, keep their heads down, get on as best they can. Some welcome it as a chance to take power, profit themselves, be somebody, settle scores. 

 

And others... well. You've probably seen this GIF'd a few times. Watch it through.

 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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It looks vaguely interesting.  The problem is I don't really care.  I know what happens.

 

I will watch a WW2 movie about a small group of people because while I know how the war turns out, I don't know what happens to those people.  But I don't care to watch a movie about how the war progresses - I know.

 

Disney+ is making semi-entertaining Star Wars shows but I really won't be excited until they get away from the rebellion era and show me something I don't already know the ending to.

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  • 1 month later

Trailer 2 dropped today:

 

  • Looks good. Looks very good. Very polished.
  • 3-ep drop - I guess there's a lot to take in in terms of worldbuilding for this one, so makes sense...
  • Saw Guerrera (de-aged Forest Whittaker) is back. Wonder if anyone else is showing up?
  • Denise Gough's as-yet-unnamed white-suited Imperial taking lead menacing duties.
  • Stellan Skarsgård looking brooding as usual and appears to Have A Past.
  • Ooh, sneaky concealed laser cannons. Keen.
  • Mon Mothma's high-end life contrasting with Andor's near-Pythonesque levels of grime jars a little... but is possibly supposed to.
  • Still no info on who the local Waffen-Imperial types are.

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12 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Trailer 2 dropped today:

 

  • Looks good. Looks very good. Very polished.
  • Agreed!
  • 3-ep drop - I guess there's a lot to take in in terms of worldbuilding for this one, so makes sense...
  • I wonder if it is 3 eps in compensation for starting late.  They were originally going to start broadcasting at the end of August as I recall.
  • Saw Guerrera (de-aged Forest Whittaker) is back. Wonder if anyone else is showing up?
  • Yesssss!  (for Forest and Saw back) Might get an Erso name drop.  I think this is the time when Saw and Jyn Erso had a parting of ways.  Mon Mothma's presence still suggests a visit from Bael Organa, and since Jimmy Smits was playing him for Kenobi around the same time this was being put together, I could see them slipping him in for a cameo.  Also, I'd be very much surprised if we don't see the capture and re-programming of K2SO (so Allen Tudyk back, yeah!)
  • Denise Gough's as-yet-unnamed white-suited Imperial taking lead menacing duties. 
  • Yeah, not sure what to make of that yet.  It's like they're trying to portray her as very Aryan. The Empire is already strongly Nazi in portrayal.  I'm not sure they need to add in the Aryan bit.  That said, I appreciate the efforts made recently to incorporate more females into the Imperial ranks.  Now if only the Empire would let go of their bigotry towards alien species serving in the ranks (Thrawn being the notable exception).
  • Stellan Skarsgård looking brooding as usual and appears to Have A Past. 
  • Dipping into the sibling company's pool of fine actors, I see.  Well that's fine.  Marvel borrowed Oscar Isaacs after all.
  • Ooh, sneaky concealed laser cannons. Keen.
  • Mon Mothma's high-end life contrasting with Andor's near-Pythonesque levels of grime jars a little... but is possibly supposed to.
  • There's potential here for portraying Mon Mothma as something of a galactic Scarlet Pimpernel.  Maybe not the sword fighting, but the mask of a high-life aristocrat secretly hiding a master spy and saboteur.
  • Still no info on who the local Waffen-Imperial types are. 
  • Is that what they are?  Huh. I'd have taken them for an interpretation of the Vichy collaborators.

It's the thick of peach season where I am, so I've altered my traditional orange notes for more of a summery peach.  Pray I don't alter it any further. image.png.ac4b5bcab527c13f39621aaa55d29b6b.png

 

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Posted (edited)

Without getting into direct historical comparisons - local battalions or puppet regime - either of us might both be right depending on which way they go with the story.

All second-guessing based on costume choices at this point, though I agree the blue-and-orange guys don't look like mainline Imperials.

 

Both kinda fulfill the same story function: for all its might, the Empire can't hold down every little system's uprisings and rebellions, and the illusory freedom of the Imperial Senate didn't last long. (Tarkin implies it's a pain in the backside in New Hope - "Fear will keep the local systems in line...") Plus, someone's gotta keep the starliners running on time, and provide grist to the war machine.

 

So any mighty Empire needs jackboots on the ground - local boots who know the terrain and either happily obey or don't question it.

 

Which gives rise to a lot of different character possibilities. There are the people who just kept working when the other lot took over, and "don't want trouble". There are the opportunists. There are those want to stop the worst excesses from the inside, be the "adults in the room". (Spoiler alert: ain't gonna happen.) There are those who maintain order out of fear of reprisals. The military cosplayers. And those who just like that taste of power over others just a touch too much.


And then... then there are the believers.

 

Such locals engaged in plenty of acts of performative cruelty, but also (with a few exceptions such as 1st Italian) weren't as disciplined, motivated or effective as the real deal. This is why young Andor might find it easy to get away with things at first - training against Imperial Skuls, if you will. These units also provided pathways into the main organisation - which could prove useful. 

 

PS: btw, just realised how I've been looking at this. They've taken the proper-war-movie-but-in-space vibe of Rogue One and doubled down on it. Vader was used sparingly but effectively: the core of the fighting was all very human and ground level. K2SO would be fun to see back - Alan isn't yet listed on IMDB, but most of the listed cast are only confirmed for one episode. Seeing a galactic war on a human level... is a new thing.

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver
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  • 2 weeks later

We're getting some feedback regarding Andor from some (allegedly) early viewers of the first 4 episodes.  For me, the interesting bit in the writings was:

 

...it’s the most serious, grounded thing Star Wars has ever done. It feels more like an English-made espionage thriller than Star Wars. ...

 

The article goes on to say, in so many words, that we're not going to see clear black hat / white hat roles here, but shades of gray.  There's going to be humanity to some of the villain roles.  These points are actually interesting to me, because I remember similar discussion regarding Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier around the time it came out, and it has proven to be a fan favorite, and the #1 Marvel movie on many fans lists.  I also appreciate the comment that explains why they need to release the first 3 episodes together. 

 

Source discussion:

https://bespinbulletin.com/2022/08/first-reaction-to-andors-first-four-episodes-appears-online-grounded-complex-expect-division/

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As I've said (way too many times) before: Disney is using D+ the right way.

Sure, they're cashing in a fair bit, but they're using it to play around with new kinds of stories in their properties, in this less-risky environment, and see what flies.

 

As they say in the article: whether the Space Wizards universe can handle this kind of intense storytelling - that requires more of the audience's belief and involvement... is a question. And one we won't be able to answer 

 

But a darn good question to ask. 

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I am concerned because Cassian's character arc in Rogue One was that he went from a ruthless Rebel agent who basically used his contacts and allies to achieve his ends, into someone who earnestly cared for his compatriots and the cause he was fighting for.  What change can we or should we see in this series?  Perhaps him going from an idealistic and hopeful "we can save the galaxy" type into the cynical pragmatist he ends up as?

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24 minutes ago, biostem said:

I am concerned because Cassian's character arc in Rogue One was that he went from a ruthless Rebel agent who basically used his contacts and allies to achieve his ends, into someone who earnestly cared for his compatriots and the cause he was fighting for.  What change can we or should we see in this series?  Perhaps him going from an idealistic and hopeful "we can save the galaxy" type into the cynical pragmatist he ends up as?

I suppose a part of that answer will depend on just how far into the 19 years between Episode III and Rogue One we are.  The closer to Rogue One it starts, the more likely he will approach his jaded days.  As this is rumored to be a multi-seasonal series, though, we may be starting half way into that two decades, giving him time to more slowly become the man we see at the start of Rogue One.

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Following up on my previous comment, I did some quick digging.  Footnotes found online state that Andor will be set 5 years before Rogue One, so the year 5 BBY is the in-universe date.  In context, this is 5 years after both Obi-Wan Kenobi and Solo: A Star Wars Story, and is the same year that the series Star Wars: Rebels begins.  Kanan Jarus and Hera Sindula are already doing rebel cell work, and "Fulcrum" is coordinating Rebel cells throughout the galaxy.

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Right. We may finally have an answer as to who the mysterious red-and-blue folks are. They're Imp-

LUCASFILM PR: Whoah there honey, this isn't released till September. We have top men working security, how do you know?

Er... just saw it on Twitter?

LUCASFILM PR: Top... Men.

Seen that movie too, and I've felt the fear induced by the Disney assassins. Stop the growling, it's out there now.

LUCASFILM PR: We demand to know how you came by these plans..

LEGO PR: er... hej guys. Ve heård shøuting. Is something wrøng?

Oh hi there. This you?

LEGO PR: yes, this is right good, is it not?

LUCASFILM PR: oh hell not you lot again DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORD EMBARGO MEANS??

LEGO PR: Toy buyer deadlines are different - and vell, we just vild og crazy guys, ja?

 

The set was first revealed - though not full details - in May at Celebration.

The chase ship - a "Tac-Pod", which does look like a dinky Fiat 500 version of Imperial Assault craft - looks both mean and slightly pathetic.

Doubling on that is the name of the Imp on board it, one Syril Karn.

(I, for one, ain't scared of anyone called Cyril, mean frowny face or not.)

 

However, we finally get an answer as to what the red-and-blue types are. Syril is listed as Deputy Inspector Karn - so Imperial police.

We've not seen those around before in SW, but it does make sense in this new context.

 

- Places that are occupied would have a metric ton of troops around, heavy visible presence, and military running the show.

 

- Tatooine is theoretically Empire but a trade and tactical backwater, and pain in the backside. Give that s*** detail to a few unfortunates you don't like.

 

- A place that's either fully annexed or willingly joined an Empire doesn't need occupation forces full time - they just need to keep on top of the daily rote of actual crime, keep a weather eye out for any signs of rebellion (which at this point are only bubbling under), and indulge in a little light corruption and profiteering on the side. Probably.

 

Hence, cops. Hence, Gestapo-type storylines. However, I'd bet that if Cyril has chased our heroes off-world, he ain't gonna get much help from the proper Imps. Outfits like these like their hierarchies and entitlements.

 

The only other thing this tells us is that Lucasfilm are charging more for the branding than before. This fairly small set is an eye-watering €70 - considering the vastly fancier anniversary edition Galaxy Explorer set I just got suckered into buying is  only €100, t'would appear fans are not terribly happy.

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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Imp police...huh.  On the surface it doesn't sound as interesting as the idea we bandied around about a Vichy-government type of officer. 

16 hours ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Doubling on that is the name of the Imp on board it, one Syril Karn.

(I, for one, ain't scared of anyone called Cyril, mean frowny face or not.)

 

It's "Syril" with an "S".  That makes all the difference.  This is Proper Syril, thank you very much.  (He's still a Howard Johnsons bellhop in that outfit.)

 

We'll, two pennies and a stick of gum says that his character will be at least partially based on Inspector Javert, which might not be a bad thing, so long as its more of an influence to the character than a straight ripoff.  Time and showing will tell if Inspector Clouseau also was an influence.

 

Now that I think about it, there were Republic police shown in the animated Clone Wars.  At least two episodes.  The inspector, Tan Divo seemed very familiar, as if he was based on someone or another character.  Divo often used police androids to supplement his officers.  While I don't expect Tan Divo in the Andor series, I'd not be surprised to see these as an outgrowth of the Senate/Coroscant police.

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Knowing the fondness Filoni has for rezzing even the smallest of characters, he might do. The role of a just man in an evil organisation could fit with this kind of storyline rather well. (Thinking the Fatherland novel - haven't seen the Rutger Hauer version or the sadly short-lived SS-GB BBC series that... borrowed heavily from it.)

 

BTW - odd but interesting bit of trivia. This series is a bit more expensive than Mando or Obi-Wan because they chose to go full live action and practical sets, not the Volume (aka StageCraft once you count the full suite in these days.) Filming in grim British quarries is a long and honoured sci-fi tradition, but even I think that's taking gritty realism a little too far...

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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