Can Andor Break Streak Of Mid-Tier Star Wars Shows?


Disney has had a rough time with the Star Wars license over the past few years, and it seems no effort of theirs is free from controversy. Though the films have each carried a nightmare of fan outcry and social media discourse, the small-screen outings have had their own unique issues.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has wrapped its first (and likely only) season to intensely mixed reactions worldwide. Some fans thought it was the perfect return to form for the franchise, others saw it as a cheap sloppy mess. The previous Disney+ Star Wars show was less controversial, but only in that opinions were generally more consistently negative. Can any show break this pattern?

Andor seems like a weird move for the Star Wars brand. The second-billed main character of a one-off entry in the cursed Star Wars Stories brand being upgraded to full series lead is reminiscent of Sony's Spider-Man efforts: grasping at any mildly recognizable character or performer to draw audiences in, without reaching for any of the names fans know and love.

There are so many Star Wars characters fans might be excited to see again or learn more about, yet the studio went with Cassian Andor.

There is HOPE

There's no doubt that Diego Luna's performance is certainly a highlight of Rogue One. He has a very sad backstory, good for tugging on audience heartstrings. He's a fine enough character in the limited role he plays in Rogue One, but leading a series seems a bit outside his capabilities — at least at first glance.

It's still probably the best TV show in the franchise, and it's unquestionably the one with the most devoted fanbase. That show succeeded for several reasons, but one of its greatest strengths was the incredible freshness it brought to the franchise.

By building the narrative around a wholly new cast of characters and only occasionally bringing in the franchise's central Light Side versus Dark Side storyline, it felt like a brand-new idea set in the familiar universe. The latter half of the second season started to reinsert those old elements, but the show stayed strong overall. The immediate follow-up, however, took absolutely none of the lessons from the first series.

Boba Fett and Obi-Wan are heavily steeped in franchise mythology, no matter how hard they try to tell their own stories. The latest series paradoxically fares better by leaning fully into the existing franchise. Rather than a fully new character or a huge name, Andor focuses on a smaller character that audiences might be excited to learn more about. By centering its narrative on the life of a familiar face, Disney gets their recognizable character addiction out of the way. But at the same time, by picking a character with so much room to grow, they leave themselves plenty of new elements to explore.

Disney is notoriously risk-averse, even if the franchise could rake in billions on the name alone. Andor may or may not be a bold new direction, but it could also be the best fans could hope for from this franchise.

Andor at Disney +
Rune Wold

Author Rune Wold

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