Andor – The DVDfever Review – Disney+ – Diego Luna – Star Wars Rogue One spin-off

Andor Andor sounds like you’re being offered two different options: and / or… but then when it comes to the recent five Star Wars films, I’ll just take Rogue One and… then forget the rest.

So, it’s a good thing that this series is a spin-off from that movie.

It’s based around Cassian Andor (Diego LunaElysium), who’s originally from Kenari, a planet abandoned after an imperial mining disaster, and in what sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, a man walks into a bar… but in this case, Cassian is looking for a particular woman – Bix (Adria ArjonaSweet Girl) – who’s important to him. However, after an altercation with guards Kravas (Lee Boardman – yep, him from Corrie and narrating Pick TV’s endless repeats of Road Wars at the weekend) and Verlo (Stephen Wight), events lead to him heading off in a hurry.

However, at Morlana One’s Corporate Security Headquarters, once they get wind of this, Syril Karn (Kyle SollerYou Me and the Apocalypse) and his underling, Sgt. Linus Mosk (Alex Ferns – yes, Trevor Morgan from Eastenders, as well as The Batman… no, he wasn’t Trevor Morgan in that), are in hot pursuit… well, lukewarm, since the pair do come across rather like the Keystone Cops.

Seemingly, Cassian’s only friend, of sorts, is the droid, B2EMO (Dave ChapmanLast Train To Christmas), initially nearly savaged by some dog-like creatures, and is a bit sarcastic to Cassian. The tech in this series looks a bit rough and ready, but then this is the prequel to Rogue One, which was a direct prequel to the first-released Star Wars movie, so I like that aspect of it.

Similar in a way to Han Solo, Cassian is rather a renegade character, always doing things his way only, and getting on everyone’s nerves. In this case, he needs to sell something special with mechanic Bix’s help – an untraceable NS-9 Starpath unit, in order to track the Imperial fleet. In time during the opening three-parter on day one, Luthen Rael (Stellan SkarsgårdDune Part One) will enter the chat, also with an interest in this item. Yes, Stellan is playing Stellan as usual, but he’s always good value.

Without saying too much so as to avoid spoilers, the story rather jumps around a bit as it tries to set the scene, even showing Cassian as a child, and we learn how he came to be under the wing of Maarva (Fiona ShawAmmonite), who shows up before too long.

There’s an awful lot of globe-trotting as you get in any Star Wars entry, but these first three episodes could do with being more action-packed, as it rather took a while to get going. And given that you’ll be waiting a week further for episode 4 I’ll say even less, only to add that if you’re not sure about whether to stick with this after the first 3, then No.4 does improve things, furthering the story a bit more than the initial episodes would suggest. So, do stick around for that.

There are 12 episodes in total so far, with a second season greenlit already it appears. However, whether I stay in this galaxy, in a tale set a long, long time ago… the jury’s out on that.

As for Karn and Mosk, their actions seem to be a hell of a lot of effort, in trying to deal with Cassian, given his earlier actions, but you’ll see how that pans out for them.

As an aside, I wonder (if recasting was going to happen) if Diego Luna would make a better Joel Miller in HBO’s The Last Of Us series than Pedro Pascal, who doesn’t look a bean like Joel?

Andor begins on Wednesday September 21st on Disney+ with three episodes on day one, and then each of the remaining 12 episodes are released weekly after that.

Andor – Official Trailer – Disney+

Series Directors: Benjamin Caron, Toby Haynes, Susanna White
Producers: Kate Hazell, Kathleen Kennedy, David Meanti
Creator: Tony Gilroy
Writers: Tony Gilroy, Dan Gilroy, Beau Willimon, Stephen Schiff
Based on Star Wars by George Lucas
Music: Nicholas Britell

Cassian Andor: Diego Luna
Luthen Rael: Stellan Skarsgård
Mon Mothma: Genevieve O’Reilly
Bix Caleen: Adria Arjona
Vel Sartha: Faye Marsay
Karis Nemik: Alex Lawther
Arvel Skeen: Ebon Moss-Bachrach
Taramyn Barcona: Gershwyn Eustache Jr
Cinta Kaz: Varada Sethu
Syril Karn: Kyle Soller
Sgt. Linus Mosk: Alex Ferns
Dedra Meero: Denise Gough
Major Partagaz: Anton Lesser
Lt. Supervisor Blevin: Ben Bailey Smith
Supervisor Lonni Jung: Robert Emms
Supervisor Lagret: Michael Jenn
Supervisor Grandi: Lucy Russell
Chief Hyne: Rupert Vansittart
Attendant Heert: Jacob James Beswick
Eedy Karn: Kathryn Hunter
Neighbour: Apple Brook
Kloris: Lee Ross
Kleya Marki: Elizabeth Dulau
Lt Gorn: Sule Rimi
Perrin Fertha: Alistair Mackenzie
Timm Karlo: James McArdle
Maarva Andor: Fiona Shaw
Nurchi: Raymond Anum
Brasso: Joplin Sibtain
Wilmon: Muhannad Bhaier
Xanwan: Zubin Varla
Granik: Kiran Shah
Willi: Ron Cook
Kravas: Lee Boardman
Verlo: Stephen Wight
Hostess: Margaret Clunie
Gani: Latesha Wilson
B2EMO: Dave Chapman
Kerri: Belle Swarc
Time Grappler: Neil Bell
Salman Paak: Abhin Galeya