‘Andor’ Episodes 1, 2 and three Recap: Rebel Dawn of a Star Wars Hero

Star Wars sequence Andor got here to Disney Plus on Wednesday, with the primary three episodes touchdown collectively to provide us a feature-length opening. The sequence is ready 5 years earlier than spinoff film Rogue One, which happened instantly earlier than the occasions of unique Star Wars movie A New Hope.

It dives into the backstory of the darkly heroic Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who’ll go on to change into a hero of the Rebel Alliance because it faces down the totalitarian Empire. This is a very bleak period within the Star Wars universe, with insurgent forces scattered across the galaxy as Emperor Palpatine’s forces steadily crush strange individuals of their grip.

Let’s get to know Cassian and firm by recapping the main occasions of this opening trio of episodes — a threecap, if you’ll. Prepare to enter the Rebel Alliance of SPOILERS.

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Tears within the Rain

MORLANA ONE — On this cool-looking sci-fi dystopia of a planet, the sequence’ extraordinarily Blade Runner opening units up the emotional stakes, as Cassian tries to seek out his misplaced sister in a brothel. This reveals that he is from the planet Kenari, which we see in flashbacks by means of these first three episodes.

He would not have any luck discovering his sibling, however catches the eye of two company safety pressure goons (Corpos) who may as properly have “BULLY” labels caught on their foreheads. They attempt to shake down the fallacious man in Cassian, and he by chance kills one and shoots the opposite as he begs for his life.

Cassian Andor investigates a sci-fi brothel in Andor's opening.Cassian Andor investigates a sci-fi brothel in Andor's opening.

We meet Cassian as he searches for his sister, however a pair of surly safety goons wreck his quest.


Lucasfilm

It mirrors our first encounter with Cassian in Rogue One, the place he weapons down a insurgent informant as an alternative of letting him fall into the palms of the Empire. Our hero is not a part of the Rebel Alliance in Andor, so he kills these dudes to save lots of his personal pores and skin fairly than for the trigger.

This proves to be the present’s inciting incident, because it catches the eye of the one zealous Corpo officer and a insurgent recruiter.

Cassian’s nemesis

CORPORATE SECURITY HEADQUARTERS — That Corpo officer seems to be Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), who’s trying extraordinarily properly put collectively as he presents his report on the killings to his supervisor, Chief Hyne (Rupert Vansittart, whom you may acknowledge as Game of Thrones’ Lord Yohn Royce).

Hyne instantly acknowledges that the 2 useless Corpo boys had been dirtbags who obtained themselves killed. He reckons the incident must be swept neatly beneath the rug for all eternity, and gives a beautiful cowl story.

“I suspect they died rushing to aid someone in distress. Nothing too heroic, we don’t need a parade,” he says. “They died being helpful. Something sad but inspiring in a mundane sort of way.”

I’m mundanely impressed simply listening to it. Hyne is aware of that highlighting Corpo corruption will give the Empire a gap to step in and seize management of the Morlani system. Classic colonialism, in an period when Palpatine’s totalitarian regime is increasing.

Syril Karn gazes a hologram of Cassian Andor in AndorSyril Karn gazes a hologram of Cassian Andor in Andor

Syril Karn gazes on the man he is looking for.


Lucasfilm

The naive Syril would not take into account the larger image and is quietly disgusted on the chief’s willingness to look the opposite means. On the face of it, it is laborious to argue with him — two of his colleagues had been murdered. Soon empowered by Hyne’s absence, he gathers an enthusiastic however incompetent safety workforce to hunt Cassian down.

Welcome to Ferrix

FERRIX, MORLANI SYSTEM — The bulk of those first three episodes deal with the drudgery of life on this powerful industrial world, and the deliberate pacing reveals that Andor is refreshingly affected person with its universe constructing. Characters work strange jobs, and the extra enterprising ones have facet hustles (or a number of facet hustles, in our hero’s case).

Bix Caleen looks concerned as she climbs a ladder in AndorBix Caleen looks concerned as she climbs a ladder in Andor

Bix Caleen has a posh relationship with Cassian.


Lucasfilm

We’re additionally launched to a bunch of characters in Cassian’s orbit, and it is not all the time direct about who they’re. Let’s run by means of them so we are able to hold monitor:

  • Maarva Andor (Fiona Shaw) is Cassian’s adoptive mother. She and her late husband, Clem, saved him from Republic forces on Kenari just a few many years in the past, through the Clone Wars (as seen within the flashbacks). Maarva is not in the very best of well being, however her defiant response to the Corpo raid suggests a few of that previous fireplace continues to be burning.
  • B2EMO — AKA Bee-Two or Bee (Dave Chapman) — is Maarva and Cassian’s extraordinarily good droid. He’s a bit like a lovable previous canine; nonetheless charming, however perhaps not as dependable as he was. His boxy design is visually pleasant, his coloration jogs my memory of the house fits in 2001: A Space Odyssey and that hound is simply plain impolite for peeing on him.
  • Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) is Cassian’s loyal pal and former flame. She’s operating a busy storage, and acts as a fence to attach stolen items with patrons. One such purchaser occurs to be a recruiter for the revolt.
  • Timm Karlo (James McArdle) is Bix’s worker and present boyfriend, whose jealousy leads him to rat Cassian out to the safety forces and finally will get him killed. 

Big shoutout to the unnamed man who strikes the gong/hammers the anvil to get everybody on the town shifting. He’s credited because the Time Grappler (Neil Bell), and makes all the things 100% extra atmospheric.

Kassa from Kenari 

KENARI, THE PAST — “Suddenly the Rebellion is real for you. Some of us live it. I’ve been in this fight since I was 6 years old,” Cassian tells Jyn in Rogue One. “You’re not the only one who lost everything. Some of us just decided to do something about it.”

We study an enormous quantity about Cassian in these episodes, together with the childhood he alluded in Rogue One. Flashbacks reveal his childhood on Kenari within the time when the Galactic Republic ran issues fairly than the Empire.

Here, our hero goes by Kassa (performed by Antonio Viña) and resides as a part of a tribe alongside together with his sister, Kerri (Belle Swarc).

Maarva looks thoughtful as she sits next to a window in AndorMaarva looks thoughtful as she sits next to a window in Andor

We meet an aged Maarva within the current, and see her adventurous previous within the flashbacks.


Lucasfilm

I like that the Kenari flashbacks haven’t got subtitles, because it forces you to concentrate to characters’ physique language. It’s clear that Cassian was a little bit of a sneaky chancer whilst a child, entering into conditions the place he would not essentially belong — like becoming a member of the group of older youngsters to take a look at the ship that crashes.

After one of many youngsters is killed by a trigger-happy officer, Kassa checks out the vessel alone and finds everybody on board was killed by fuel (presumably launched when the ship sustained the harm that made it crash). It’s possible these individuals had been a part of a mining effort, most likely strip-mining Kenari’s assets.

He runs right into a younger Maarva and Clem Andor, together with Bee (again when the droid was shiny and new), who’ve seemingly boarded the downed ship in the hunt for salvage. Knowing the Republic is on the way in which and can kill Kassa in the event that they discover him on board, Maarva decides to take him with them. This is kinda kidnapping; I ponder if it was ever a supply of pressure between Maarva and Cassian?

The individuals on the ship have the emblem of the Confederacy of Independent Systems (aka the Separatists, led by Count Dooku) on their uniforms, suggesting that they had been transporting materials for the warfare in opposition to the Republic. In the current, we study that Kenari was “abandoned after an Imperial mining disaster. Abandoned and considered toxic — Imperial prohibition.” The Empire could have tried to mine the planet after the Clone Wars.

Rebel Dawn

FERRIX — “Insurrection, destruction of Imperial property, assault on Imperial soldier.” Cassian’s rap sheet hints at his anti-Imperial leanings, and his try and promote a stolen starpath unit (which seems so much like Darth Vader’s chest piece and comprises Imperial coordinates) places him on the radar of insurgent recruiter Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård).

Luthen Rael and Cassian Andor flee on a speeder in Andor.Luthen Rael and Cassian Andor flee on a speeder in Andor.

Luthen Rael convinces Cassian to flee to a rebellious new life.


Lucasfilm

The present turns extraordinarily intense and superior when their paths cross. Luthen is impressed with Cassian’s skill to make use of the Imperials’ conceitedness to slide proper by means of their defenses, and pushes the youthful man to affix the rebels. 

“These days will end, Cassian Andor. The way they laugh, the way they push through a crowd. The sound of that voice telling you to stop, to go, to move. Telling you to die,” he growls, oozing charisma with each syllable. “Don’t you want to fight these bastards for real?”

They flee the Corpo safety goons’ effort to trace Cassian down, which fits utterly off the rails when the individuals of Ferrix push again in opposition to their bullying — the banging on metallic is intimidating as heck.

The third episode’s closing moments see Cassian fleeing Ferrix with Luthen, whereas Syril seems shell-shocked that his zeal has ruined his profession, Bix mourn’s Timm’s dying and Maarva sits with Bee in her chilly house.


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Rogue thoughts, unanswered questions and Easter eggs

  • Where is Cassian’s sister? How and when did she get off Kenari?
  • Clem, Cassian’s adoptive father (Gary Beadle), was hanged by the Imperials, but why?
  • Composer Nicholas Britell (known for his work on Moonlight and Succession) gives this show an awesome synth sci-fi opening theme, especially as it bleeds into the Blade Runner aesthetics of the first scene. It changes slightly in each episode too. 
  • This show takes place “5 BBY,” which stands for “Before Battle of Yavin.” This is the climactic skirmish of A New Hope, where Luke Skywalker blew up the Empire’s first Death Star battle station, and a pivotal moment in the Star Wars universe. It’s when everyone realized that the Rebel Alliance wasn’t just foolin’ around.
  • For prequel context, Andor happens 14 years after the Empire seized control of the galaxy in Revenge of the Sith and four years after Obi-Wan Kenobi’s battle with Darth Vader in the Disney Plus series.
  • It’s unclear when the flashbacks take place — reference books say Cassian was 26 in Rogue One, so he’d be 21 in the present day part of the show. If he’s been fighting since he was 6, that’d place the flashbacks 15 years before that — the period when the Clone Wars were raging throughout the galaxy. Both Kassa and Cassian look older than those ages, I guess he’s lived a hard life.
  • If so, the intense mining operation on Kenari might be linked to the Republic desperately gathering raw materials to sustain the war effort. Thanks to William Devereux, host of the Star Wars-centric Ion Cannon podcast, for helping me organize my timeline thoughts.
  • Cassian’s jacket is extremely cool. Would it be too sci-fi to wear in real life? Maybe Columbia Sportswear or some other fashion brand will release one.
  • “No weapons. No comms. No credit. No nonsense.” The bouncer’s words are ones to live by.
  • Syril is the kind of a character we regularly see in Star Wars novels — a middle manager with an inflated sense of importance and low self-esteem who steadily goes off the deep end, making life hell for the heroes. Kyle Soller performs this role magnificently.
  • Add Timm to the list of boring Star Wars names along with Luke and Ben. At least the extra m gives it a bit of sci-fi flair.
  • This show alludes strongly to sexuality in Bix and Timm’s relationship, as well as the brothel in episode 1. The latter is a familiar sci-fi image, but Star Wars has traditionally been pretty sexless.
  • It’s really cool that Bee is showing his age through a data lag and acknowledging that lying requires more processing power. Classic Star Wars droids R2-D2 and C-3PO are in service for decades, but they’re clearly well cared for. Cassian and Maarva don’t have the money to do so with Bee.
  • Cassian’s papers say he’s from Fest, a snowy world you visit in the non-canon 1995 video game Dark Forces. In the current continuity, it’s only previously been mentioned in By Whatever Sun, a story written by EK Johnston and Ashley Eckstein in 2017 anthology From a Certain Point of View, and some reference books.
  • The one Corpo’s slow clap after Syril’s limp speech is glorious. Ouch.
  • You might be wondering why Cassian’s fellow Rogue One hero Jyn Erso doesn’t have a show. Between that movie and its prequel novels Catalyst and Rebel Rising, her life story has been pretty comprehensively told. Catalyst in particular will make you way more invested in Rogue One’s Erso family and Director Krennic.
  • The shipyard at the start makes me think of the start of 2019 video game Jedi: Fallen Order.
  • The dropships used by the Corpos look like converted Republic Gunships, as first seen in Attack of the Clones.
  • “Rule No. 1: Never carry anything you don’t control.” Luckily, we don’t all carry devices controlled by giant megacorporations in real life. That’d be ridiculous. 
  • Sergeant Linus Mosk (Alex Ferns) says the word “shit” when the Corpo operation starts to go sideways. It’s the first time we’ve heard that word in Star Wars, which normally uses its own selection of sci-fi swears (like “bantha poodoo”). This ain’t your daddy’s galaxy far, far away.
  • Cassian gazes into the sunlight as he leaves Kenari and Ferrix, in beautifully juxtaposed moments. In Rogue One, he opens his eyes as he and Jyn are engulfed in blinding light as their lives end.
  • I got the idea to use the datelines to set the scene from my CNET colleague Erin Carson’s excellent Rings of Power recaps. Imitation is the sincerest form of thievery, Erin, mwahaha.
  • This show will run for two seasons, with 12 episodes planned for both, and run directly into the events of Rogue One. Season 2 is reportedly scheduled to shoot in November.
  • I hope Maarva puts the heat on.

Come back for more Easter eggs and observations next Wednesday, Sept. 28, when episode 4 of Andor hits Disney Plus.



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