A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    So, now that the series is out..

    First thoughts...Finally, within seconds of the opening, we have a date and a new system. And then a few more and humans speaking a non standard language (for once)!

    It's Star Wars, but ....not. I remember reading somewhere it was going to be a story set in the star wars universe, and after watching the first episode, I'm intrigued (and no, I did not watch the trailer...Stopped watching those a ways back).

    Not a whole lot has happened yet, but a few things have been setup and I'm on to episode 2 to see if things move along...

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Watched the first three episodes.

    Overall—really, really excellent. Solid drama, good acting, some genuinely poignant scenes. The first three episodes form a self-contained story with several braided arcs, and how it’s structured is some of the best visual storytelling I’ve seen from a Star Wars property.

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    The first two episodes are generally low-key, taking their time to develop the setting and the mood before things escalate in the third. This is Star Wars right at the ground level, with aftermarket garages, two-bit operators and personal dramas. There are actual adult relationships here, and what seems to be the first red-light district for Star Wars proper.

    We also have a more detailed characterization of the villains than we usually see—from low-level slackers to overeager junior officers, and apart from the surface humor it’s unexpectedly humanizing. This is the first time I’ve ever felt sympathy for an Imperial officer, or at least Imperial-adjacent. His timid, hesitant speech to the landing team had me feeling hopelessly awkward right there with him, and the sergeant’s increasingly pained expression in the background was absolutely hilarious.

    Ship design rocks. Rael’s ride is an interesting merger of familiar elements, and the corvette with its set of landing pods feels like Brutalist design applied to support craft. The landing pods themselves are a little goofy, but they do recall the mini-shuttle from Rebels. And I’m pretty sure some of the shipyard cranes and machinery are based on designs from Fallen Order.

    Fiona Shaw steals the show, with a tremendous amount of character folded into her relatively brief screen time. There’s a full range of emotion explored in these first episodes, and it feels like real human emotion, rather than the rather cartoonish and superficial type more often on display in recent Star Wars media. These are people with lives freshly torn apart, and seeing it up close creates far greater personal empathy than some of the Empire’s grander sins.

    The one scene that was a bit much was the shootout in the abandoned industrial space, with the engine blocks swinging on chains and thumping down dramatically. It felt a little too contrived, as if a DM had come up with a special deathtrap room that the party absolutely had to get through. For those scenes I felt the junior officer’s shock and confusion far more than Cassian’s.

    Also, I found it a little distracting to have the frequent callbacks to the sequel trilogy, in terms of highly recognizable background aliens which were too obviously placed for some retro-continuity. This show does better when it gives us its own aliens, and I can only hope that we’ll have more of those in coming episodes.

    This is a very strong start to the series, and while we’ve seen strong starts that fizzle and sputter out, there is enough depth and sophistication here that I’m feeling confident the best is yet to come.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    I heard some people complaining there were barely any, if any at all, easter eggs or cameos from other properties.

    And that alone is what sold me on it. I'll probably watch the first episode tonight at dinner.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    ...humans speaking a non standard language….

    Spoiler: Language Puzzle
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    Do we know what language is standing in for native Kenari?

    Some phrases seem to be heavily accented Portuguese, since I heard his little sister saying she was hungry, and the band’s leader saying she saw two bodies at the crash. Not sure if this is a conlang or something else.
    Last edited by Palanan; 2022-09-21 at 04:40 PM.

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    Thumbs down Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Easily the best Star Wars since Mandalorian. I'm loving the fresh new take on the Star Wars universe, devoid of any noticeable amount of Filoni's touch.
    Cuthalion's art is the prettiest art of all the art. Like my avatar.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    While I've been a fan of Filoni's work on Star Wars, Andor does not suffer for his absence. I'm really like this so far. It seems extremely well done. (Better than Rings of Power, or House of the Dragon, for me.) Nailing the Star Wars feel of zeerust, space opera and more, while also being its own thing and hitting on all cylinders.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    I heard some people complaining there were barely any, if any at all, easter eggs or cameos from other properties.
    Wait -- are you telling me that the series does not, in fact, include a scene of Mary Poppins whipping Mr T's bare buttocks while drinking tea straight from Mrs Potts? I guess I'm out, then
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Wait -- are you telling me that the series does not, in fact, include a scene of Mary Poppins whipping Mr T's bare buttocks while drinking tea straight from Mrs Potts? I guess I'm out, then
    Mr. T is too wholesome to do such a scene.
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    Originally Posted by runeghost
    Better than Rings of Power, or House of the Dragon, for me.
    Absolutely. I watched the first three episodes of House of the Dragon, and found that after three hours I still didn’t care about any of the characters or what (little) was going on. And we won’t even talk about Rings of Whatever.

    But five minutes into this, I was intrigued and engaged; five more minutes I was fully drawn in. Completely new planets, completely new characters, no discernible fanservice and surprisingly human antagonists.

    Add to that a deeper and more sophisticated style of storytelling, far different from the rather basic approach in other recent Star Wars items. The more I think on it, the more impressed I become.

    I’m hoping that subsequent episodes will be closer to the one-hour mark apiece, or at least 45-50 minutes, just because I want to maximize my weekly immersion in this vision of Star Wars. So far it’s been time well spent.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Yeah, it's nice how the show acknowledges there are more than like, 5 planets in the entire universe.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Quote Originally Posted by JadedDM View Post
    Yeah, it's nice how the show acknowledges there are more than like, 5 planets in the entire universe.
    Every show except BoBF introduced new planets, most of them predominantly on new planets. And BoBF didn't because they were kind of already stuck with him on Tatooine to start with.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Generally enjoyed it and it does a good job of making the universe feel both real and big. Mostly. The whole 'we'll find one guy based on his potential planetary origin' was a bit silly. Still, they do a good job of selling it as only happening due to luck (bad, or good depends on the side).

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    I liked it. Not over the moon about it yet, but a solid foundation, and I'm looking forward to more. It's nice they feel they can slow things down and take their time establishing the setting here, the same basic setup of episodes 1-3 was about the first 5 minutes in Solo. But I'm hoping the lack of action up front doesn't cost them. The show certainly lost my kids' interest before episode 1 had finished.

    Spoiler: Some thoughts
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    Yes, Fiona Shaw was great, and the back story (well, actually the back story to the back story I guess) is actually one of the parts I'm really most excited to see more of.

    Speaking of, I might have to rewatch, but Fiona Shaw's character seemed to indicate the crashed ship was Republic, but it looked like the crew was wearing CIS patches. Did I miss something?

    Star Wars finally has its' Arnold Rimmer. I really liked that the villain so far is a bureaucratic putz who makes a much bigger deal of his teaspoon of power than he should. Not even a minor functionary of the Empire, but a minor functionary of the Empire's subcontractor. If there's something that feels truly unique about Andor it's the choice of adversary. And yet he still feels more competent than most of the First Order's officer corps.

    Yeah, the BBY5 thing at the beginning was odd. Why not just open with "Five Years before the Battle of Yavin"? It made more intuitive sense when used in the old WEG sourcebooks or on a timeline at the beginning of novels, but I actually got some confused texts from friends last night about that, so I don't think the meaning is as obvious as the producers might think.


    Crossing fingers this doesn't have the wild quality dips as the last couple of outings, but put me as optimistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Every show except BoBF introduced new planets, most of them predominantly on new planets. And BoBF didn't because they were kind of already stuck with him on Tatooine to start with.
    Even BoBF introduced at least two new locations, the Glavis Ringworld and Luke's Academy. However, I'm not really sure what difference it makes that Andor starts in a new location. It's nice, and I'm glad they did, but if the town was located on an established planet like Bracca how different would the show have really been?
    Last edited by Dire_Flumph; 2022-09-22 at 06:07 PM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Wait, Star Wars has ringworlds now? That's a level of mega-engineering I didn't think the setting has ever featured, even in the EU - some very big ships and space stations, but not like that.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Wait, Star Wars has ringworlds now? That's a level of mega-engineering I didn't think the setting has ever featured, even in the EU - some very big ships and space stations, but not like that.
    Yes, it's supposedly a city sized space station around a "small" star.

    Star Wars, where astrophysics goes for a nice lie down in the corner.

    Edit: If you want to be charitable, I'm assuming the "star" at the center is an artificial fusion reactor of some kind.
    Last edited by Dire_Flumph; 2022-09-22 at 06:28 PM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    I'm not sure what is worse, the idea that it's a city-sized space station around an artificial micro-star, or it's a full-sized ringworld around a normal star with one city surrounded by 3 million planets' worth of empty living space.


    EDIT: I did some napkin math, and if the area of New York City was turned into a cylinder 1 mile high, it would only need a ring 782 miles in diameter. That's roughly 1/3 the size of the moon.
    Last edited by The Glyphstone; 2022-09-22 at 06:44 PM.

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    Originally Posted by Dire_Flumph
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    Yeah, the BBY5 thing at the beginning was odd.

    …I don't think the meaning is as obvious as the producers might think.
    I understood it instantly, and it never occurred to me that someone might not pick up on that. But then I’ve been seeing that notation in Star Wars media for decades now. People less familiar with the material might be confused, although probably a minority of the viewership.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Wait, Star Wars has ringworlds now? That's a level of mega-engineering I didn't think the setting has ever featured, even in the EU - some very big ships and space stations, but not like that.
    It was in the best episode of Book of Boba Fett, which turned out to be an episode of The Mandalorian.

    I'm not actually kidding about that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dire_Flumph View Post
    Yes, it's supposedly a city sized space station around a "small" star.

    Star Wars, where astrophysics goes for a nice lie down in the corner.

    Edit: If you want to be charitable, I'm assuming the "star" at the center is an artificial fusion reactor of some kind.
    I choose to believe whoever wrote that (I suspect Filoni) didnt think about it and it'll eventually be retconned into "orbiting a small star" because jeez....
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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    I really enjoyed the show :)

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    I'm loving the fresh new take on the Star Wars universe, devoid of any noticeable amount of Filoni's touch.
    Compelling sales pitch.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

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    I'm ecstatic that they've not only brought in the ISB but that it looks to be a major faction in this series. The time they're going for is really going to make them pop, it's a fantastic choice.
    Cuthalion's art is the prettiest art of all the art. Like my avatar.

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    New episode, thoroughly excellent.


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    Engaging and increasingly tense storyline, nuanced portrayals, further humanization of Imperial officials—for better and for worse. There’s a complexity and depth here I don’t think we’ve seen in any other Star Wars property.

    Beautiful set design, each one perfectly appropriate for the characters involved. Mon Mothma’s residence was exceptional—and as for the lower levels, they’re really leaning into the Brutalist aspects of Star Wars design. It manages to be beautiful and hideous all at once.

    I wasn’t expecting Faye Marsay, but she only adds to an already impressive list of quality talent. Anton Lesser is perfect, and the petty backstabbing among career officers gives us a glimpse into how the Empire functions—or doesn’t, as the case so often may be.

    They’re also making some real-world parallels which we can’t discuss here, but which are spot-on, if just a touch heavy-handed. But a ground-level look at the Empire’s policies—forced relocation, mass housing in company towns, destruction of natural and cultural heritage—gives a deeper context for the growth of tiny rebel cells like the one we’re seeing here. The heist planning could have been lighthearted, like an episode of Firefly, but here it’s deadly serious and expertly conveyed. This isn’t slam-bang action for the sake of a few mindless explosions; this is what a ground-level revolution in the Star Wars galaxy should really look like.

    Superlative all around.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    I was very dubious about the show but it is turning out to be fairly decent - will have to see if they can continue that.

    Spoiler: Minor Element from the 4th Episode
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    The mention of the Rakata caught me by surprise - wonder if that is world building for some upcoming show (or film), a Revan show/film might be interesting (or bad) as might a show about the initial foundation of the Republic/Jedi/Sith etc.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    I was very dubious about the show but it is turning out to be fairly decent
    I think this is the big refrain from the masses. It has no reason to be as good as it is. I was completely apathetic to it when they announced it but I'm pretty damned invested in it at this point.
    Cuthalion's art is the prettiest art of all the art. Like my avatar.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    As someone who hasnt watched any Disney SW material except the sequel trilogy and Rogue One, that's also my external reaction. They picked the blandest, most boring member of the Rogue One crew besides the heroine, made a show about his backstory, and it's apparently top-notch storytelling?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    As someone who hasnt watched any Disney SW material except the sequel trilogy and Rogue One, that's also my external reaction. They picked the blandest, most boring member of the Rogue One crew besides the heroine, made a show about his backstory, and it's apparently top-notch storytelling?
    Personal opinion - the guy himself is still fairly bland and boring, but the world building is what is making it good.

    Essentially it is looking at some elements of Star Wars which could be considered somewhat overlooked (at least in film or show) and expanding on it in a decent manner - namely how does the Empire actually function as a government.

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    Originally Posted by The Glyphstone
    They picked the blandest, most boring member of the Rogue One crew besides the heroine, made a show about his backstory, and it's apparently top-notch storytelling?
    Yes. And no.

    The show isn’t just about Andor’s backstory, but about a number of players during that period—some of whom we already know, others who are completely new. It’s developing into an ensemble with multiple storylines, all braided together with a sophisticated touch.

    The visuals are superb in themselves—even sets which are only seen for a few seconds have been carefully designed to fit a particular aesthetic. The core Star Wars look is here, but expanded and ramified, as well as some new elements which work perfectly in scene.

    Acting ranges from good to outstanding, often in an understated sort of way. Characters are presented with considerable emotional depth; these aren’t just archetypes of heroes and villains, but real people with hard complexities. The storyline is taking its time, but this episode spun up some tension by the end, and I’m really looking forward to where it goes from here.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    I'm surprised no one has brought up what I think is the show's defining characteristic - it's a John LeCarre-style espionage story, the first one set in the SWU. The slow build up, the melancholy mood and dreary tone to most of the visuals, mystery as to what's really happening and why, a protagonist already seeped in deception and betrayal and he hasn't even become an official spy yet.

    In another forum I described it as "Star Wars for people who think Alec Guinness's best role was George Smiley".

    I've really enjoyed it, looking forward to seeing #4.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: Andor BBY5

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    As someone who hasnt watched any Disney SW material except the sequel trilogy and Rogue One, that's also my external reaction. They picked the blandest, most boring member of the Rogue One crew besides the heroine, made a show about his backstory, and it's apparently top-notch storytelling?
    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Personal opinion - the guy himself is still fairly bland and boring, but the world building is what is making it good.

    Essentially it is looking at some elements of Star Wars which could be considered somewhat overlooked (at least in film or show) and expanding on it in a decent manner - namely how does the Empire actually function as a government.
    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Yes. And no.

    The show isn’t just about Andor’s backstory, but about a number of players during that period—some of whom we already know, others who are completely new. It’s developing into an ensemble with multiple storylines, all braided together with a sophisticated touch.

    The visuals are superb in themselves—even sets which are only seen for a few seconds have been carefully designed to fit a particular aesthetic. The core Star Wars look is here, but expanded and ramified, as well as some new elements which work perfectly in scene.

    Acting ranges from good to outstanding, often in an understated sort of way. Characters are presented with considerable emotional depth; these aren’t just archetypes of heroes and villains, but real people with hard complexities. The storyline is taking its time, but this episode spun up some tension by the end, and I’m really looking forward to where it goes from here.
    Glyphstone, everything they said is right, but also an aspect of it that I'm loving is how low-key everything is. One thing I hate in cinematic universes is constant escalation of the threat level. There's a danger to the city, there's a danger to the world, there's a danger to the universe, the same thing with just a bigger and bigger scope kind of bores me. And Andor is avoiding that really well. Its low stakes, but it's important to the people involved, and that's all that really needs to be the case. There's no Death Star or reborn Emperor. If they fail then not much in the galaxy changes, they'll just be dead. The stakes are very personal, and I tend to get invested in that much more readily than expansive, epic, galactic threats. It's a very grounded story for the SW universe, which is something I've wanted for a long time. The Mandalorian did a good job delivering that and Andor goes even further in that direction.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancrilis View Post
    Spoiler: Minor Element from the 4th Episode
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    The mention of the Rakata caught me by surprise - wonder if that is world building for some upcoming show (or film), a Revan show/film might be interesting (or bad) as might a show about the initial foundation of the Republic/Jedi/Sith etc.
    Spoiler
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    I think it's most likely just that the writer was a KotOR fan, that's how a lot of old EU material keeps slipping in. I wouldn't read into it more than that, focus seems more on the few centuries earlier High Republic. There's just the KotOR remake, but that looks to be in purgatory for the time being.


    Not much else to add. Quality still remains solid, no real knocks against it. I'm becoming more impressed at the level of confidence in the story and characters by the filmmakers, there really hasn't been the sort of extraneous action scene for it's own sake you expect in a show like this.

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