This is the review for the third episode of Andor, the latest Star Wars TV series that arrives on Disney Plus this week. The first three episodes of Andor really come together as one whole thanks to this third episode. Episode three gives us a series of great action sequences and also a foreboding sense of atmosphere that will surely give the rest of the show the propulsion it needs to carry this story to the end of its two-season run. Director Toby Haynes really pulls it off by giving us a first quarter that could have been trimmed out here and there, but that nevertheless keeps being quite good.
Stellan Skarsgard’s character is all the show needed to transform into something greater than what it has shown in the first two episodes. Did this climax need two episodes where the story progressed basically nothing? No, it didn’t need them. What happens here in episode three seems enough to serve Cassian’s character as a jumping point for the rest of the series. Episode 2 really feels like it could have been cut and nothing would have changed. We can only hope that the next episodes are more like this one and less like Episode 2.
From here on out, the series will be released with just one episode every week. The next episodes need to feel like something meaningful is happening every time, or people will soon lose patience and could possibly leave the series behind. We’ll keep covering the show, of course, but we can only hope that Tony Gilroy and his team of filmmakers had this release strategy in mind when it came to writing and shooting the episodes. Pacing can really kill the momentum of a story, and what could have been great could end up being remembered as terrible.
Either way, episode three is the best episode of this first batch, and it is all thanks to the arrival of Luthen, a character that is more than meets the eye. His name says it all, as it reminds us of the historical figure of Luther, who once stood against the Church and led a separatist movement that ended up being the protestant church we know today. Is Luthen the one who will ignite the flame of rebellion everywhere? We have to wait and see, but he certainly thinks that he can ignite that flame in Andor, a character who, for the moment, doesn’t believe in anything. Not yet.
The episode really pushes all the actors’ acting buttons, and the performances are great. Diego Luna keeps being the dashing and always interesting Cassian Andor, and he gets to flex his acting muscles in this episode. Skarsgard is fascinating as well, his voice resounds every time he speaks, making you feel like you need to listen attentively, or you will miss something important. Adria Arjona also makes an impression by transforming her character into something more intriguing. What happens to her here will surely have repercussions in the future.
Kyle Soller keeps being the highlight of the show. In the previous episodes, he was shown as this image of the perfect imperial officer; committed to the cause, ready to go to battle and crush the insect who dare commit crimes while under Imperial rule. How dare they? Well, Syril receives a waking-up call during this episode. He is not brave, he doesn’t understand what is happening, and he is not ready to fight a war. The way the character falls apart at the end of the episodes is great. We have to wait and see if he can rebuild himself later in the season.
Cassian’s flashback also comes to a resolution, and it serves as a pretty cute reflection of what is happening in the present time. However, the thematic development of him leaving his home planets for the first time seems a bit fuzzy and unclear. The flashback only serves to explain how Cassion got to be with Maarva and why he is looking for her sister. But because Cassian is a non-character in this flashback, the resonance feels a bit empty. If maybe Kid Cassian had been given a personality, then it would have been better, as it would have made his transformation into who he is now in the present.
The episode also feels like a big step up in terms of visuals. There is a very entertaining and visually interesting action sequence in the middle of the episode involving chains that really takes the cake. Also, many of the ships and the environments feel more detailed and more alive. The show is really trying to make each scenario as expansive as possible because it wants us to feel like we are closer to the people. The Rebellion’s entire existence is on the shoulders of the people and their will to live in freedom.
Andor Episode 3 serves as a good closure for this first part of the series. The pace between all three episodes could have been better. And Episode 2 still feels like filler, but if the rest of the series manages to be just like these episodes, then Andor could end up being one of the surprises of the year.