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Star Wars: Andor on D+


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Posted (edited)

 

x

 

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.

 

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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.

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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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Posted (edited)

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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Posted (edited)

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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  • 4 weeks later

Final Andor trailer dropped at D23:

 

Not much new here, other than introducing three new characters:

  • Denise Gough's character gets her first lines and a name: Dedra Meero, of Imperial Security (Gestap-ish, I'd guess.) According to interviews, sort of agrees with Andor that her colleagues are fat, lazy, corrupt and "very mediocre". But... she's A Believer. She is going to be a problem.
  • Same goes for Adria Arjona's Bix Calleen - guessing love interest, likely an early 'fridge candidate. Lazy writing if they go for that.
  • Finally, Faye Marsay (ooh, nice Old Hollywood name there) as Vel Sartha - who seems to be the link character between Andor & Rael's down and dirty Rebellion A-Plot and the political intrigue B-Plot with Jen O'Reilly's Mon Mothma.

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On 9/11/2022 at 8:15 AM, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

Final Andor trailer dropped at D23:

 

Not much new here, other than introducing three new characters:

  • Denise Gough's character gets her first lines and a name: Dedra Meero, of Imperial Security (Gestap-ish, I'd guess.) According to interviews, sort of agrees with Andor that her colleagues are fat, lazy, corrupt and "very mediocre". But... she's A Believer. She is going to be a problem.
  • Same goes for Adria Arjona's Bix Calleen - guessing love interest, likely an early 'fridge candidate. Lazy writing if they go for that.
  • Finally, Faye Marsay (ooh, nice Old Hollywood name there) as Vel Sartha - who seems to be the link character between Andor & Rael's down and dirty Rebellion A-Plot and the political intrigue B-Plot with Jen O'Reilly's Mon Mothma.

Stellan Skarsgard's character sounds in dialog in this trailer like Saw Guerrera.  I'm going to guess Saw doesn't actually just talk with him, but actually convinces him to act, and in a manner closer to Saw's ways, which probably leads to conflict between Skarsgard's character and Mon Mothma who canonically has clashed with Saw over idealogical differences in how to run the rebellion.

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With respect to m'learned coll, I'd say it's almost the other way round.

Saw/Forrest seems reserved, weary, strategic, yet idealistic.

Luther/Stellan is pi**ed. In pain of some kind... visible grief? Rage snapping through barely-controlled visage. Likely this is about something personal.

 

Assuming that's Luther's Wacky Races lightsaber-ship in the final trailer, he's also clearly a dangerous man, and there are one or two comments about if he's keeping it together.

That makes him interesting plotwise: a loose cannon in a ring of spies - will provide plenty of push and adrenaline, but also increases the risk of costly screwups.

 

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On 9/18/2022 at 7:55 AM, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

With respect to m'learned coll, I'd say it's almost the other way round.

Saw/Forrest seems reserved, weary, strategic, yet idealistic.

Luther/Stellan is pi**ed. In pain of some kind... visible grief? Rage snapping through barely-controlled visage. Likely this is about something personal.

 

 

 

Fair enough, though I would point out that Saw has taken the lethal and dangerous route for some time before this, especially after his sister's death.  Perhaps he's been worn out by this constant effort and Luther is the rejuvenating spark?

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So, the 3-ep launch drop has landed today. I've only managed to get through Ep1, but good stuff so far:

Spoiler
  • Cold-ish open sees Cassian looking for his missing sister...
  • So far, so very Blade Runner. Plus a few familiar Imperial design cues borrowed from Filoni's Rebels and Clone Wars visions.
  • Definitely gritty Star Wars if it's in a very obvious brothel (set in a galactic version of either De Wallen/Reeperbahn or a WeWork. They kinda look the same).
    (EDIT: a correspondent notes ROTJ had scenes set on a crime boss's "party barge" with a lead character in heavy bondage, so YMMV).
  • That didn't go the way I thought it was going to: I thought that was code for a Rebel deal.
  • Assh**es gonna assh**e, on whatever side of the galaxy they're from. And karma (and/or "accidents") will get them.
  • Finally the answer: HoJoCops are Corporate security/mall cops! Making the Empire more of an evil military-industrial complex. Symbolic, I guess.
  • Eager beaver Syril should have got stuffed. Instead, he's hacking everyone off in his boss's absence, and I suspect This Will Not Go Down Well for him, or anyone. Bringing the Empire down on a couple of quiet little systems does not seem like a smart move. His boss seems considerably smarter (and made a great impression in such a small scene, and possibly as a one-shot character. Nice work.)
  • On that note: Syril's interestingly drawn, and I recognise this from real life. Many, many corporate and political bullies are awkward, nervous little snowflakes hiding under a macaron-thin carapace of toughness and wanton cruelty, which they inflict - often under the guise of being sticklers for rules - to distract attention from their own failings. If they put this much work and love into all the characters, even the little ones, me very happy.
  • Back on Ferrix: we've got People Of Honest Toil (ie: mud, terrible clothing) and a lot of Brit/Pratchettesque humour ("he told me I just had to stand here...")
  • Cassian owes a lot of people a lot of favours (and money) and is running out of excuses and wiggle room.
  • I'm guessing Bix was signalling Luther... so he'll show up at the tail of Ep3?
  • We keep getting these intercuts with a (fairly) primitive tribe Cassian belonged to - I'm guessing we'll figure out what happened to them in Ep2...
  • Weirdly, this is really interesting in many ways because it's not a massive space opera (yet). We're doodling in the more mundane little details of life in the Empire without doing hefty worldbuilding - right down to the blue noodles.

 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

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I've just finished the 3rd episode.  But I'll break it down by episode so as not to spoiler anything (I hope).

 

Episode 1

On 9/21/2022 at 6:15 PM, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

My comments in orange.  - Techwright

  Hide contents
  • Cold-ish open sees Cassian looking for his missing sister...
  • So far, so very Blade Runner. Plus a few familiar Imperial design cues borrowed from Filoni's Rebels and Clone Wars visions.
  • Interesting observation.  For me, it seems to be heavily drawn at times from Les Miserables, with Cassian in the role of would-be-redeemed criminal, and Syril in the role of can't-change-must-pursue investigator.  It remains to be seen if Cassian's sister takes queues from one or more of the feminine roles from Les Mis.
  • Definitely gritty Star Wars if it's in a very obvious brothel (set in a galactic version of either De Wallen/Reeperbahn or a WeWork. They kinda look the same).
    (EDIT: a correspondent notes ROTJ had scenes set on a crime boss's "party barge" with a lead character in heavy bondage, so YMMV).
  • They did say way back when they first announced Star Wars products coming to Disney+ that they were going to explore the vast galaxy beyond sith and jedi, and it seems this show was what they were referencing.  I do think they need to be careful to maintain something of a balance though or Star Wars will be lost and it will just be another sci-fi.  More on that in a bit.
  • That didn't go the way I thought it was going to: I thought that was code for a Rebel deal.
  • Assh**es gonna assh**e, on whatever side of the galaxy they're from. And karma (and/or "accidents") will get them.
  • Finally the answer: HoJoCops are Corporate security/mall cops! Making the Empire more of an evil military-industrial complex. Symbolic, I guess.
  • I get the impression they're more like what I've read of British police in Victorian and Edwardian ages, or USA state troopers:  Using a central base/town to cover more towns that don't have a permanent police presence (or possibly have just a constable).  "towns" translates to "backwater planets" in this production's case.
  • Eager beaver Syril should have got stuffed. Instead, he's hacking everyone off in his boss's absence, and I suspect This Will Not Go Down Well for him, or anyone. Bringing the Empire down on a couple of quiet little systems does not seem like a smart move. His boss seems considerably smarter (and made a great impression in such a small scene, and possibly as a one-shot character. Nice work.)
  • He did have a great scene, didn't he?
  • On that note: Syril's interestingly drawn, and I recognise this from real life. Many, many corporate and political bullies are awkward, nervous little snowflakes hiding under a macaron-thin carapace of toughness and wanton cruelty, which they inflict - often under the guise of being sticklers for rules - to distract attention from their own failings. If they put this much work and love into all the characters, even the little ones, me very happy.
  • Back on Ferrix: we've got People Of Honest Toil (ie: mud, terrible clothing) and a lot of Brit/Pratchettesque humour ("he told me I just had to stand here...")
  • Those bits reminded me of scenes from the canonical game Jedi:Fallen Order. (Which if anyone's not played it or seen it, I recommend watching the "movies" that some YouTubers have cobbled together of the cut scenes and some action bits.  It's pretty great.)
  • Cassian owes a lot of people a lot of favours (and money) and is running out of excuses and wiggle room.
  • I'm guessing Bix was signalling Luther... so he'll show up at the tail of Ep3?
  • We keep getting these intercuts with a (fairly) primitive tribe Cassian belonged to - I'm guessing we'll figure out what happened to them in Ep2...
  • Ah, episode two, where the primitives capture and torture a bald guy until he joins the tribe and teaches them how to fight back against...oh, sorry, wrong Star Wars flashbacks.
  • Weirdly, this is really interesting in many ways because it's not a massive space opera (yet). We're doodling in the more mundane little details of life in the Empire without doing hefty worldbuilding - right down to the blue noodles. 
  • Do they make blue noodles using blue milk?  What is the Star Wars obsession with blue food?  Has no one ever pointed out to them that blue is nature's way of saying "poison, don't eat!" ?  And why are Star Wars noodles served in a Chinese take-away box...with chopsticks?  Have they no origami box of their own?  Where are the spiral eating instruments? the lightsaber chopsticks?

 

 

On to episode 2:

Spoiler
  • Okay, on the one hand, I really like the chime anvil.  On the other hand, what is the storytelling purpose?  There's so much focus on it, I've come to think it must be symbolic, but I've not picked up on the symbolism.  I can't even tell if it is meant to be a timekeeping piece, and if so, what's he using to keep it precise?  His climb, positioning, and posturing before striking the chime anvil all suggest a more laid-back function, like tunes on church chimes, though there's not much melodic about it.
  • Speaking of symbolic, there's something oddly symbolic-feeling and visually arresting about the wall of shipbreakers' gloves.  Why just the gloves?  Is it representative of some future tragedy in the story?  It kind of reminded me of mass tragedies where boots of victims, or firemen, or whomever are laid out side-by-side.
  • The all-points-bulletin stated a "Kenari male".  A Kenari male...what?  This is Star Wars, where few planets are purely one species.
  • The droid "B" (B2EMO...as if THAT isn't a custom license plate) is apparently voiced (and presumably controlled?) by Dave Chapman, the same Muppeteer who did BB-8, one of the few bright spots in the Sequel Trilogy.
  • Loving Fiona Shaw as Maarva.  She has an air about her performance, as if she just came to set from performing a Shakespearean tragedy.
  • And in polar opposite opinion is the opening scene of Sgt. Linus Mosk.  That monologue from him seemed more tinny and canned than tuna fish, though admittedly it did get across that he's a fanatic to the cause.  It still felt like 1D writing.
  • Just to make sure you know that this little box Cassian is holding is Imp tech, we're going to emboss a large, prominent Empire symbol on the side that is normally completely installed and covered up...for reasons, of course.
  • I'm intrigued that the "tribe" of vagabond kids young Cassian is tied to speak a foreign tongue.  I don't recall seeing this before in Star Wars, that is, I don't recall seeing the human species speaking anything but galactic standard as their native tongue.  Keep in mind, Star Wars lore says humans have been around and planet hoping for tens of centuries, and their standardization of speech is a result of that.  Displaying an alternate language shows further isolation of this little tribe.
  • Love the thin look of Luthor's ship in flight.  He's got a talking ship's AI as well.  I don't recall seeing that before.  It's usually droids that plug into a ship. (Which goes to a point I said I'd make later in discussion.)
  • Okay, the shooting scene: first, just how long was that guy unconscious?? The kids had a long face-painting ceremony, then a long hike to the wreck.  And he just NOW wakes up?  The all-dead guy was actually turned slightly green by then.  Second, he wakes up, stands up, sees the girl from behind and thinks "shoot to kill"?  These are republic personnel?  That was poorly written.
  • Granik, the "nip, nip, nip" little alien talking to his human coworker about the all-points-bulletin was played by Kiran Shah who has a long history with Lucasfilms in both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.  Also in Disney's camp he played the evil dwarf Ginarrbrik, the White Queen's servant in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

 

 

 

And episode 3:

Spoiler

Okay, I stand corrected from my episode 2 comment: those killed in the ship crash must have been exposed to something.  Young Cassian (credits list him as "Kassa", guess he changed to a "C" later) boards the ship soon after his tribe hauls away their fallen leader.  No way did all those guys turn that green so soon.  Which leaves me wondering if whatever they were exposed to is the herald of the destruction of Cassian's homeworld.  Episode 2 had a report saying Kenari was abandoned after an Imperial mining disaster, but could that be a cover story?

Shipbreaking scene again reminiscent of the game Jedi: Fallen Order, just with less Saarlac.

People ducking and running all over, and the North group of police just happen to focus on the main female character's actions?

Idiot traitor charges the guns-drawn rent-a-cops and expects a different outcome than what happened?  Poor writing.

I don't get why the shuttle pilot repeatedly tried to push forward with a massive weight pulling his ships' stern down.  I'd think it would be obvious to reduce altitude and try to figure out what's happened.

Not quite sure where they're going with the Syril character.  He feels like he's out of his depth and headed for a meltdown. 

Curious to see what episode 4 brings to the fate of Maarva and "Be", who were not able to flee the police.

 

 

Okay my big thought so far...

Spoiler

I can see why they needed to release 3 episodes together.  It takes a lot of time to build this story.  My big concern is...it still doesn't feel like Star Wars.  It's a fair story so far, but all the elements could have been inserted into any generic sci-fi universe.  There's not a whole lot that says "Star Wars" other than obviously Cassian Andor being the main character.  Mentions of a Republic, an empire and rebellion: these are common themes in sci-fi.  Yes there's Arabesh, the Star Wars language, and there's a few droids ...who look different than a host of droids we've seen in Star Wars.  And there are several alien faces ...who all look different than any aliens we've seen in Star Wars. There's space ships...which all look different than the models we've previously seen in Star Wars. And there's the big, bad, large and in charge thug group...who looks different than anything we've seen in Star Wars.

 

I'm detecting a theme here.

 

I don't mind new droid styles, new aliens, new fascists to decimate.  But it is not a blended universe to this point.  It is a separate, mostly generic sci-fi universe. The Mandalorian had new droids, new aliens, new ships and yet it blended these into a host of recognizable features from other Star Wars works.  The Star Wars galaxy is ancient and the species have been planet hopping for millenia.  We should be seeing Twi'leks, Rodians, Trandosians, Jawas, and Quorran and maybe even a Pa'lowick or two (Sy Snoodles).  Droids in the Star Wars universe have a chance at a very long "lifespan" as long as parts are available, so we should be seeing old R-series droids and protocol droids.  Would it hurt to have some period ships flying around. (To be fair, it kind of looks like the shipbreakers are still working on Clone Wars era capital ships).

 

You want to show us a corner of the Star Wars galaxy, fine...even good.  But remember, even the backwater worlds are connected to the rest of the galaxy somehow, and will reflect that in their equipment and populations.

 

Critiques aside, I am enjoying the show and look forward to episode 4.

Edited by Techwright
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19 hours ago, Mr. Vee said:

Really hoping these eps were just prelude to a spy show as these bored the hell out of me as much as Boba's non-Mando episodes did. 

 

Without too many spoilers here: yes, slow burn for Eps 1 and 2. But that fight sequence in Ep 3? 

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???

 

About Ep 2:

Spoiler
  • No, I've no idea what The Time Grappler (actual character name) is supposed to be doing either, but at a guess it's dawn/dusk/shift change, and looking/sounding cool as a slightly otherworldly way of doing things.
  •  I thought of the wall of gloves as miner's hats, representing bluecollar Folks of Honest Toil. But the tragedy may not have happened yet. The Imps will not be pleased at this act of sabotage and Ferrix may well be made an example of.
  • Alex Ferns as Linus is doing a standard British, puffed-up Sergeant character who sucks up to officers and stamps down on his own men, as exemplified by Windsor Davies over many years. However, his trust in this officer may be somewhat misplaced...
  • The lost tribe put me in mind of the Thunderdome survivor kids. Maybe they are a lost tribe from another ship or a gen-ship.
  • I actually liked the box markings. It's better than their old Empire Inside logo.
  • I think the idea of having the talking ships and droids is kind of a neat shortcut. They can actually have proper dialogue two ways rather than having to beep and boop at people and then an actor read back the other half. Also, it's nice to see BOB from Black Hole still getting work these days.
  • More standard Brit humour: The Nutter On The Bus Sketch, cranked up by throwing Skarsgard into it. In this case, he has to deal with the marvellous veteran character actor Ron Cook, who has a great line in chirpy irritants.

 

And Ep 3:

Spoiler
  • Kanaris was deemed a closed world after the, er, accident. Marva's attitude inside the ship suggests it was just a coolant leak or similar rather than carrying anything really nasty. Or does it?
  • And if the Republic killed everyone to clean up their mess, this leaves the question: how did his sister get off-world and how did he find her again?
  • Andor has a prison record. Will we see that in flashback (the weird white outfits and the tubes from the trailer) or is he going to break into one?
  • The sheer scale of fail of Syril's disastrous (and disobedient) adventure is going to catch up with him. Over half his squad is dead, more injured, on a job he'd been specifically told to ignore.
  • Normally, the Empire does not tolerate faiiilluuurrree, but I suspect Dedra may have a use for Syril. Possibly a pair of earrings, but he may even have something to bargain with if he's smart. I also get the feeling he's going to turn against the Empire at some point, though what'll push him over I don't know. (Also, is anyone else getting young Kyle McLachlan vibes from his namesake?)
  • Luthen's whip: neat. Sleek. Stealthy. BUT... Lots of visual design callbacks to a certain shabby Corellian freighter. It's a hero ship. Millennium Falcon GTi.
  • Why didn't the guy realise he was towing half the junkyard? Because, clearly (and slightly heavily written), we can see these dudes are not the brightest bunnies in the box. If they had double the IQ points they'd be proper Imps, and also able to count the number of enemies they're facing without looking down and taking their shoes off.
  • And I say again: that fight in the steelworks. Okay, so it's a bit weird having Very Heavy Dangerous Stuff hanging from chains for no good reason rather than neatly racked on the floor, but fun as all hell to watch. 

 

Pretty happy with it so far. Also might follow the standard D+ thing of Episode 4 as when things kick off properly, and when we get taken from a backwater scrapyard to the dark, festering heart of the Empire.

 

Unless we flip to Mon Mothma's side of the story and set her up. It'd be disappointing if we didn't get at least some Cassian:Impossible action on Wednesday.

 

One other thing - there has been fair warning that there will be multiple time jumps in this show, as it needs to cover Cassian's life and adventures for the five years prior to Rogue One. Originally it was going to be one year per season, but Lucasfilm now want to wrap it in two.

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

WAKE UP YA MISCREANTS AND... HEY, GET YOUR OWN DAMN SIGNATURE.

Look out for me being generally cool, stylish and funny (delete as applicable) on Excelsior.

 

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Also, just for @Techwright: don't think they have the chopsticks. But:

 

Edited by ThaOGDreamWeaver

WAKE UP YA MISCREANTS AND... HEY, GET YOUR OWN DAMN SIGNATURE.

Look out for me being generally cool, stylish and funny (delete as applicable) on Excelsior.

 

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46 minutes ago, ThaOGDreamWeaver said:

 

Without too many spoilers here: yes, slow burn for Eps 1 and 2. But that fight sequence in Ep 3? 

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???

Meh, too contrived. And too little too late by that point in the slog. 

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