This is the review for the second episode of Andor, the latest Star Wars show to arrive on Disney Plus. Andor keeps promising a story that should feel more serious and darker than any other to date, and it seems that with this second episode, the show keeps delivering on that promise. It is really nice to see Star Wars taking itself seriously for once. The Disney brand has really turned the franchise into a more family-friendly property than ever before. It makes sense, family properties sell tons of toys and merchandise, but it is pleasant to see that the property can deliver something different.
As the press junkets for the show keep going out, it is truly impressive to see that most members of the cast are fans of Rogue One. That film really is something special among the recent Star Wars efforts. It took its premise seriously and delivered in almost every single aspect; action, emotion, themes, and even a good dose of fan service to make audiences cheer. So far, Andor doesn’t really have any sort of fan service, which is fine, but it doesn’t really deliver in any of the other aspects either.
It seems like Andor is going to be a big slow burn. Knowing that season two is basically already in production must mean that the Disney executives like what they saw, and that is their advantage. They have seen most, if not all, the episodes, while audiences will have to see one episode per week. Episode 2 just confirms that Gilroy and his teams of filmmakers are making one big movie that has been cut into several episodes, instead of approaching each episode separately and trying to make them as good as they can be.
These first two episodes share almost zero plot progression, which is very strange. The episodes really feel like they could have been a single one. Maybe this is the reason they are being released together on the same day. Disney and many other streaming services are using this strategy of several episodes being released as a series premiere, but with Andor it feels like this was the only way to premier the series. I imagine that releasing these first two episodes one week apart from each other would have been a terrible mistake.
If Disney Plus had released these first two episodes separately, it is my guess that many members of the audience wouldn’t have reached the third episode. This story feels stretched out to the maximum. Episode three should really change gears and start developing the story or take things in a different direction. It is not that the show is bad, but it could be so much better. Andor seasons 1 and 2 will run for 12 episodes each. If these two episodes are any indication of what is coming in the future, we could say that maybe the show should have been 12 episodes in total.
Again, everything could change in the future, and let’s hope that is the case. Tony Gilroy can be a fantastic writer, but something tells me someone should have done some edits to these scripts. Thankfully, the acting is great, and the characters are beginning to be drawn quite a bit more. Cassian remains the same, but the character of Bix is taking shape into someone that is more interesting. A character that has a deep conflict of interest between the life she wants and the one she needs.
However, it is Syril, the character that keeps standing out from the rest. In the previous episode, he was introduced as a very strict member of the Imperial police. He looked confident and ready to go to war. In this second episode, things have changed quite a bit, and now Syril feels doubtful and fearful. It seems that this mission he is on is his first time going into the actual field, instead of overseeing everything from his officer’s desk. It is a great bit of characterization and makes Syril the best character so far.
Stellan Skarsgard’s character is also getting introduced in this episode. However, he barely talks, and we don’t even know his name. It seems like his story will come crashing down with Andor’s very soon. It is something to keep our eyes on. Another interesting bit is the flashback to Cassian’s childhood back on his home planet of Kenari. The flashback sees Cassian as a kid in what it seems to be his first contact with the Empire. A moment that will certainly define his life and that also molds him into serving the creation of the Rebellion.
Episode 2 of Andor keeps things the same and barely advances the plot or the characters. Maybe Episode 3 will round up these three episodes into a nice package, but so far it seems like Andor is taking way more time to tell its story than it should.