There is a general state of anxiety around the health of franchises, especially those that seemed like immovable dinosaurs like Star Wars or Marvel. The first one already ended up burned out on the big screen, but later it found an opportunity to revitalize itself via streaming with series like ‘The Mandalorian’. Finally, it gives the feeling that you are too have exhausted the patience of the spectatorswith the third season of this star series signing disappointing numbers.
Needless to talk about Marvel. Except for exceptional cases, the perception is of an indiscriminate factory of series that functioned as extended versions of their films, and they are the main ones pointed out to comment on the drop in quality and lack of interest in the new phases of their universe. What was meant to be an opportunity to expand and establish plot elements and characters so that it doesn’t need to be done through the movies is over. damaging interest in these.
Finding my own way
Perhaps the problem is starting from that base. That the series have to serve a supreme plan and that the fan has to be constantly hooked if he doesn’t want to get lost. And with such a high production rate, following them is exhausting, leaving a huge feeling that you have a pile of homework to fulfill. And nothing kills the entertaining ability of something more than feeling like you’re there out of obligation, just so you don’t feel lost on the next project.
Although they are sold as isolated character projects, they feel like one more chapter in a larger story. Going back to Star Wars, the premiere of ‘The Book of Boba Fett’ has done a very disservice as an appendix to ‘The Mandalorian’, especially having to be viewing it mandatory if you want to understand what happens from season 2 to 3 of the main series. It has never felt like a work in itself, and much the same has weighed down ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, whose reverence for one of the saga’s most important characters has put all kinds of corsets that could be counted of the.
Ironically, in this long production process to obtain content, they found the best solution to fatigue. It was, unfortunately, in its least watched series and the one that generated the least expectation, but it presented not only the best of the galactic universe in the field of series, but also easily enters between The best thing Lucasfilms has done since the original trilogy. Yes, that series is ‘Andor’.
Is it paradoxical to think that the best antidote for fatigue with franchises is in one of the series that aroused less interest? Completely. The character wasn’t exactly revered, apart from the fact that ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, the movie it came from, has quite a few fans (although they probably like things other than the main characters). But Tony Gilroy took advantage of that in the best way to make a series that really feels different.
Initially hired to fix the disastrous production of ‘Rogue One’, Gilroy was offered the opportunity to have his own plot within the Lucasfilms universe, preparing a prequel with a well-marked final destination (we already know how the main character ends). However, she manages to detach it from excessive connections with the main saga beyond what is essential. And this includes both characters and tone.
Gilroy is one of the main architects of the Bourne saga and also directed the essential ‘Michael Clayton’, thrillers with a markedly political nature with characters suffocated within the four walls imposed by a more powerful system. That spirit is breathed in ‘Andor’, accentuating the revolutionary message that the films of the saga already hadmaking the presence of the empire or Senator Mon Mothma not feel like regulatory winks but rather establish the pillars of the proposal.
However, the true heart of the series lies in how it reaches out to the common people, those on the margins of the central conflict of the films. Something that reflected quite well ‘The Mandalorian’ in its beginnings but what it was giving up so that its branches were intertwined with those of the Skywalker saga. Here the working class, the ordinary rebels, the political prisoners and even the minor officials who work for evil have their opportunity to be protagonists and have development.
‘Andor’: the true price of the revolution
And not because there are big plans for them in the future Star Wars, since Gilroy and his team have established from the beginning that this series is going to be two seasons and it is over. These characters are brought to the forefront because there is an opportunity to tell an exciting story with those characters who live on the fringes of the galaxy far, far away. Placing the series at “street” level allows it to further the franchise’s message of rebellion, exploring that feeling of radicalization in an oppressed society which returns to ‘Andor’ almost a series on the origins of the IRA (there are scenes directly inspired by this movement).
The realistic and crude tone helps to make credible the desire to explore the less friendly aspects of a revolution, showing the extremes that sometimes have to be resorted to in order to advance. ‘Andor’ marvelously explores the bowels of the rebellion and the empire, using a solid structure where every three episodes a new story arc is elaborated that shows us another different side of this world while still advancing the main plot. This structure makes it possible to better observe the characters in their situation, and they are shown to be full of life and complexity through actions (even the most everyday ones) and decisions they must make.
These decisions taken from the script, added to the exquisite setting to recreate both the dirt of the streets and the most sterile and suffocating facilities of the empire, show a care from the production that is not appreciated in other series for Disney+. The use of effects is well measured, not abusing technologies such as volume and not skimping on the value provided by the built sets, constantly leaving the sensation of a series with clear ideas about what it is and what it can contribute (not only to the saga of Star Wars, although it does manage to magnify them without it being its main objective).
And best of all: it is not demanding. You don’t need to watch 3 or 4 movies and/or previous series to understand what is happening in the series, nor will you need to watch it to understand the 3 or 4 movies and/or series that are coming. You could even see it without having seen anything from Star Wars and it could even hook you. ‘Andor’ forms its own microcosm within a larger universe, offering an adult proposal that feels different for real, but not completely distanced from the main thing. If other shows were allowed that freedom to simply exist on their own, viewers would probably be less overwhelmed by what’s to come.
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