https://pjmedia.com/culture/chris-queen/2022/11/23/andor-is-definitely-worth-your-time-even-if-youre-not-a-star-wars-fan-n1648198

I’ve been a Star Wars fan since childhood. I have an affinity for George Lucas’ original trilogy, although I have to admit that I loathed the prequels and have a love-hate relationship with Disney’s third trilogy.

One of the brightest spots of the Disney-Star Wars partnership was 2016’s Rogue One. That brilliant film told the story of Jyn Erso, the fugitive daughter of a scientist that the Empire has forced to build the Death Star. Erso teams up with Rebel Alliance intelligence officer Cassian Andor to steal the plans that set the Star Wars plot in motion.

This year, Disney+ broadcast a television streaming series that gave Andor’s backstory. Andor debuted September 21, with Disney+ premiering the first three episodes. Disney is running the first two episodes on ABC on November 23, on FX on November 24, and on Freeform on November 25. These episodes will also stream on Hulu through December 7.

It’s easy to think of running these episodes on other platforms as a ploy to get more people to subscribe to Disney+, but trust me: Andor is worth it, even if you’re not a fan of the Star Wars universe.

Andor is only sci-fi on its surface (trust me: I’m not a sci-fi fan outside of Star Wars). Sure, there are spaceships and alien creatures, and the presence of the Empire looms over everything. But the show has elements of war movies, cloak-and-dagger thrillers, and prison-break films, and the machinations of how to fund a nascent movement to topple the power structure are intriguing. There’s also a moving family subplot and another plot involving a disgraced low-level security worker bee who mounts a Javert-style quest to bring Andor down.

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Some people have shied away from Disney programming for the company’s stated commitment to wokeness. One of the actresses on the show gave conservatives reason to be cautious. Irish actress Fiona Shaw, who plays Andor’s adoptive mother, told Empire that the show is “a great, scurrilous [take] on the Trumpian world” and that “[In the show] the Empire is taking over, and it feels like the same thing is happening in reality, too.”

Maybe that’s the intent of the creators and writers, but the crazy thing about Shaw’s observation is that the Galactic Empire’s actions throughout the series far more resemble the authoritarian left than they do anything even the most rabid left-winger could drum up against the right. In fact, one earnest young rebel on the show pens a manifesto that makes him sound like a right-leaning libertarian.

There’s precious little else on the show to trigger outrage. There are two female characters who may or may not be in a relationship with each other, but the whole situation is subtle and vague. And — best of all — there’s plenty of weaponry to hack off the anti-gun crowd.

Honestly, my only caveat for anyone who watches the first two episodes is that those episodes are rather slow, and the show’s real action kicks off with the third episode, which you’d need a Disney+ subscription to watch. But it’s so worth it. I encourage you to give Andor a try, even if you have to subscribe to Disney+ for a month or two to watch the whole thing. You won’t regret it.

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