Andor: Episodes 1-4 Spoiler Review

The path for Andor to make it to streaming was a complicated one, there were times after it was announced that I thought it would get canceled or paused. I am very happy that Andor is out, and that a second season is already being filmed. The first-four episodes of Andor have been the best four episode introduction to a Star Wars series so far. Diego Luna (Cassian Andor) played Andor in Rogue One, and he left a mark as a character who was doing what he thought was right even if what he had to do was taking a toll on him. Cassian was a spy, and that meant he had to do anything to preserve the sanctity of his mission, and his introduction proved as he was forced to kill an informant before he could fall into the hands of The Empire. The series Andor starts before our main character has joined the rebellion, and the first three episodes tease that Andor has a personal mission of trying to find his sister. In those flashbacks we see a rebellion ship crash land on a planet (Kenari) and Cassian goes with some of his people to explore the wreckage. Cassian was taken by a couple of scavengers who were stealing parts from the crashed ship, Andor is the name of his adoptive mother Maarva (played by Fiona Shaw) who was one of the scavengers. I think the flashbacks we saw in the first three episodes will continue until we learn Cassian's full story. The look, the story, and the acting in the first three episodes has been great, and for some reason it reminds me of Solo: A Star Wars Story. 

Andor is apparently set five years before the events of Rogue One, and the two-season story will cover the five-year gap. The first two episodes are a slow burn that ends with the more action-packed episode three, which now makes sense why they would have released the first three episodes at once. The four episodes had a cinematic feel to it, and sometimes I wish Disney would do an alternate cut where the episodes that streamed together would be made into one movie. The quality of the episodes suggest that Andor is going to be a show made for a slightly older audience than The Mandalorian was. There were almost no jokes, there was an air of tension, and a lot of people died. The showrunner is Tony Gilroy, and he was brought onto Rogue One to do some rewrites, then reshoot and then editing; so, to me Rogue One is Gilroy's film. I think the lure to get someone like Tony Gilroy on board was the exploration of the political and espionage side of Star Wars during this time period. What made Rogue One so good was the film did not tone anything down to make it child friendly, the tone was more serious, the ending was possibly the darkest ending in Star Wars (all of our heroes die), and it featured an intense final hour. Andor feels like it is capturing the magic of Rogue One, and I don't care if there are no easter eggs in the series especially since the story is the best thing I have seen since The Last Jedi. 


The series begins on Morlana One where Cassian walks into a bar/brothel and he asks for a girl from Kenari. Cassian gets into a heated exchange with a couple of security guards, and his request for a girl from Kenari is answered with the girl leaving several months ago. Cassian leaves, and while walking he is accosted by the two security guards, they attempt to shake him down, but Cassian fights and kills one of the guards by accident. The other guard begs, and says he won't say anything, but Cassian knows better, and he shoots the guard dead. Cassian flies off Morlana One and goes back home to Ferrix. On Ferrix we see a small droid called B2EMO (think WALL-E) who wakes a sleeping Cassian which leads to another scene. On another planet (Kenari) we see the locals watch as a freighter comes into the skies with the tail on fire, and we hear the explosions as the ship crashes. Cassian asks B2EMO to lie to anyone about where he is and where he was. Cassian goes to see Brasso at work, and he asks Brasso to say they were hanging out together the night before. 

On Morlana One at the Corporate Security HQ we meet Syril Karn, who is investigating the murder of the two security officers killed by Andor. The chief pushes Inspector Karn to label the dead officers as heroes, rather than drunk lout who picked a fight with the wrong person. Andor goes to see Bix Caleen who has an acquaintance who she sells stuff to, and Cassian wants her to arrange a meeting so Cassian can sell an Empire NS-9 Starpath unit. Cassian wants to sell the unit so he can use the funds to relocate himself after the officers he killed. Bix's boyfriend Timm interrupts their meeting. We go back to Kenari, and the village is preparing a raiding party to investigate the downed starship. A young boy joins the party, which is made entirely of children though the boy appears to be the youngest one. Karn refuses to drop the investigation, and he has someone identify the mystery ship that landed on Morlana One. Bix connects with her contact and arranges the meeting with Cassian, but she is followed by Timm who is jealous of the secrets she keeps with Cassian. Karn knows he is looking for a Kenari male residing on Ferrix, and he pushes his team to locate the Kenari male on Ferrix. The raiding party sets out, and the young boy (we learn is called Kassa) says goodbye to his later and leaves as the episode ends.

Episode two opens back on Kenari as the children make their way through the jungle to the starship, and Kassa looks over a giant pit that was once a mine. Timm sees the message about the Security Team looking for a Kenari male residing on Ferrix. Cassian goes home to see his mother (Maarva), and she has B2EMO replay the security message sent out looking for the Kenari male. Bix meets with Cassian and tells him the buyer is coming in the morning to meet Andor. Timm contacts Pre-Mor Security about the Kenari male on Ferrix, and he reports Cassian to them. Timm's tip leads them to a picture of Cassian, which they get confirmation from the hostess at the brothel. Inspector Karn arranges a security force to go to Ferrix to apprehend Cassian. Back on Kenari the raiding party finds the starship, and they cautiously approach the ship. The buyer (played by Stellan Skarsgard) is arriving on Ferrix, but he lands on an isolated part of the planet and walks to a small town. On Kenari as the kids approach the ship, they find it surrounded by the dead bodies of the crew, but there is a survivor who shoots one of the kids in the back. The kids shoot darts at the survivor until he falls, but the child he shot is dead and the kids carry her away from the ship. On Ferrix we learn some history about Kenari, it is an abandoned Imperial mining operation that had a catastrophic accident. The buyer and Cassian merge on the meeting location as the episode ends.

Episode three starts with Kassa boarding the downed starship alone after the other member of the raiding party left with the fallen member of the group. Kassa is exploring the ship, he is both amazed and horrified at what he sees. Cassian goes to meet his foster brother to let him know that he might be leaving soon. The buyer has arrived at the Ferrix terminal, and Bix tells the buyer that Cassian is being hunted by Pre-Mor Security. On Kenari we see that Maarva and B2EMO are also onboard the ship with a man named Clem Andor, and they are they to scavenge whatever they can. Clem and Maarva come upon Kassa who is destroying the ship, and B2EMO informs them that a Republic frigate is approaching. Maarva and Clem knock out Kassa, Maarva refuses to leave Kassa behind for the Republic and she takes him with them. Karn and his men arrive at Maarva's house looking for Cassian, and they learn Cassian's location when he contacts B2EMO while they are at the house. The buyer and Cassian meet in an abandoned factory, and as Karn and his men start to converge on the factory the local residents of Ferrix begin to harass them. Bix learns that the security force is on Ferrix, and that they were at Maarva's looking for Cassian. Bix tries to go to Cassian to warn him and the buyer, but Timm stops her revealing that he called the security force. 

The buyer wants to know how Cassian acquired the Starpath unit, and Cassian says all he did was pretend to belong that they never noticed that a thief could steal from them. The buyer says that he knows all about Cassian, he knows that Cassian's father (Clem) was hung in the town square by the Imperials. The buyer wants to recruit Cassian, he wants Cassian to leave with him and help take the fight to the Empire. The locals begin signaling that the security force is approach which lets Cassian know danger is coming. The buyer admits that he knew it was a risk meeting Cassian, but he did so anyways to keep Cassian from getting caught. The buyer planted explosives at the door in case, and he detonates them. The security force is inside the factory shooting at Cassian and the buyer, Cassian tires to make it to the Starpath unit, but he is shot in the arm before he can get it. Cassian and the buyer escape the factory just in time. Timm tries to help Bix who was captured by the security force, but he is shot and killed. Bix is left behind as the security force needed to rush to get Cassian and the buyer. The security team surrounds the centre of the town believing they have the buyer and Cassian trapped. 

Cassian sneaks up on Karn who is alone, and he takes Karn's weapon, but he lets him live which is something buyer warns against. Cassian and the buyer use a diversion to escape, they set a speeder loose armed with explosives that they detonated while they left on a speeder bike going the other way. Karn looks on as he sees a bunch of him gravely hurt in the explosion as Cassian and the buyer escape. On Kenari we see that Maarva, and Clem took Kassa with them when they left Kenari, Kassa wakes up and watches as they leave Kenari as the episode ends.

The fourth episode begins with Cassian and the buyer entering hyperspeed, and Cassian looks after his injured his arm. The buyer tells Cassian they are heading for Aldhani, but Cassian is not convinced he wants to fight. The buyer says that the Starpath was less important than getting Cassian, he wants Cassian on a mission to the payroll of an Imperial sector. At the Imperial Security Bureau, we meet the boss Partagaz, and two officers in Dedra and Blevin. Blevin is assigned to investigate what happened on Ferrix, but Dedra is interested when she learns a Starpath unit was recovered there. The buyer introduces Cassian to the mission leader Vel who begrudgingly accepts Cassian to her team. The buyer gives Cassian a kyber crystal as a down payment for his services on the mission, but he says he wants the crystal back when the mission is done. Vel is angry since her team has been working for five months on this mission, and that now she has a mercenary working on the team. Cassian uses a fake name with Vel and the team (he uses Clem) because Cassian is now a wanted criminal. Blevin meets with Karn about the failed mission on Ferrix, and he tells them that their failure has ensured that the Empire has taken full control of security on Morlana. 

Vel stresses to Cassian that he cannot tell her team that he is a mercenary, Vel also tells him that they are taking on a garrison to steal the payroll. Dedra is looking into the Ferrix mission trying to find where the Starpath unit which they say is the one missing from Steergard. The buyer is landing on Coruscant, and he reveals a secret compartment on the ship, and he cleans himself up and puts on jewelry, a wig and a fancy outfit. Vel's team spots her arriving and notices that she brought someone with her. Vel introduces Cassian to the team which consists of Skeen, Nemik, Cinta and Taramyn. The team is not happy about a newcomer joining the group so close to the mission. Karn now free of employment heads home and is greeted by a slap and a hug from his mother who ushers him inside. Cintra looks after Cassian's blaster wound while Vel tries to remove the doubt by other members of the team. Senator Mon Mothma meets the buy (whom she calls Luthen) at his gallery where he sells artifacts with historical significance. Mon Mothma has a new driver who accompanies her inside, but he gets distracted by Luthen's co-worker Kleya. Mon Mothma and Luthen escape to have a private conversation about money. Mon Mothma has been helping Luthen acquire funding for his work against the Empire. 

Back at the camp on Aldhani a speederbike arrives carrying another member of the team Lieutenant Gorn who is an Imperial but is helping the team with the mission. Mon Mothma returns home and has a fight with her husband (Perrin) about him inviting guests who are her opposition in the senate. Vel explains the mission detail to Cassian who says the mission is a suicide run as tie fighters will catch up to them long before they can escape. There is a meteor show that will occur during the mission that will allow to escape with the payroll while avoiding the tie fighters. Dedra confronts Blevin about denying her access to the full Ferrix report, and they take the matter to Partagaz who sides with Blevin on the issue. Dedra believes that a rebellion is forming under their noses, but it does not change anything. The episode closes with Cassian being told read up on the specs of the ship he will fly, a map of the garrison and some Aldhani phrases before the morning.


The first four episode are phenomenal, and I think this might be my favourite Disney Plus series (including the MCU) that I have seen so far. The Mandalorian has some amazing episodes, but the weaker episodes are a slog to watch, but the first four episodes of Andor are all equally great with episode four being the best of the bunch. I know that episode three generally has a higher score, but for me episode four was where the show started giving me what was I looking for. The action scenes in episode three were very exciting, but the character stuff in episode four is what mattered most to me when I cam to writing about the episodes. Stellan Skarsgard is fantastic Luthen Rael which is a fascinating character who has become one of the most interesting characters in Star Wars to me. The scene where Luthen arrives at Coruscant we watch his transformation from Rebel leader to Empire loving merchant was awesome. Andor is spending a lot of time dealing with the shadows of the world at this time, and I love it. I went back and watched some of the better episodes of The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett to see how Andor stacks, and it for me is the superior show. One of the issues I had with The Mandalorian, and Boba Fett is that the series' lacked pace, and so far, Andor is telling a story that feels thrilling. 

One of the best moments of the first four episodes was seeing Luthen's transformation from rebel hero to Coruscant elite. I am just so enamored with the spy stuff in this series, it is a side of Star Wars that we have only seen in the books. Andor is so refreshing because it is telling a more mature story that is not encumbered by having jokes and cute characters. There is nothing wrong with the side of Star Wars that caters to a younger audience, but it is about time that we got something that's target audience is adults. It feels that what was great about Rogue One was a lot of what Tony Gilroy brought when he was brought in. The first three episodes were the setup for the series as we met Cassian, Luthen, and possibly a villain in Syril Karn. I am not sure how many of Cassian's allies on Ferrix will appear again, but they too are also interesting in Bix and Maarva. The stuff on Ferrix feels like things might head back there at some point, but we know Cassian will be associated with the rebellion. We learned about Cassian's history as a child of Kenari, but his troubles began when he went looking for his sister. While we are likely done with the flashbacks on Kenari, there is a strong chance that we some of Kassa's upbringing with Maarva. 

I am going to give episodes one and two a 7/10 as I felt they were well made, but when compared to episodes three and four they were less interesting. I think episode three is an 8/10 as it delivered some great action, and it had some dramatic moments that gave Cassian even more depth than I expected. I know some people will think episode four was less interesting than episode three, but I am going to give episode four a 9/10. While episode four lacked the action of episode three it made think that Luthen is an incredibly cool new character in Star Wars. The mission on Aldhani sounds very interesting, and I am excited to see how it will play out as it does seem dangerous and there is a lot of tension with the team pulling the heist off. The group on Aldhani is very tense, and their reaction to a new member of the team was harsh, and it proves just how stressed they are about the heist. We know that Cassian will be okay, but the group might not make it out alive. On Coruscant we meet Mon Mothma, and we see the pressure she is under to help the rebellion while also appearing as Empire friendly. Mothma seems like someone who is starting to crack, her husband seems complicit in what the Empire is doing while Mothma is trying to help those affected. There is a sense of danger for both Luthen, and Mothma on Coruscant as the Empire tightens the noose. Andor is off to a great start and knowing there is a final second season already being planned has me sure I am going to continue to be compelled to watch.

Thank you for reading my spoiler review of the first four episodes of Andor, please let me know if you are liking the show as much as I am.

0/Post a Comment/Comments