The series explores a new perspective from the Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Perhaps the best Star Wars spin-off series so far, Andor’s superb script, visuals and performances will grip you throughout its duration. The force is indeed strong with this dark, grounded show, which comfortably departs from the Star Wars formula in significant ways.” Heather S. adds, “The theme of the show is to fight for what you believe in. In the early days of the Rebellion, there weren’t many fighters for the cause, and it was a risky gamble to join up against the Empire. Cassian takes the risk to fight against oppression and to take a stand.” See their complete reviews below.

Andor By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

(L-R): Kravas (Lee Boardman), Verlo (Stephen Wight), hostess (Margaret Clunie), bartender (Caroline Green) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in a scene from Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Perhaps the best Star Wars spin-off series so far, Andor’s superb script, visuals and performances will grip you throughout its duration. The force is indeed strong with this dark, grounded show, which comfortably departs from the Star Wars formula in significant ways.

A gritty, layered prequel to the highly popular (and also prequel) movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Andor follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) on a five-year journey as he grows from a revolution-averse, shifty, cynical con man to a selfless, Empire-defying rebel against the Galactic Empire. When confronted with enemy after enemy, Andor continually proves himself to be the perfect sort of spy, revolutionary and killer.

(L-R): B2EMO and Maarva (Fiona Shaw) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Thank you, Tony Gilroy, for creating this series. It’s simply incredible. Driven by mood, Andor seems more like a crime drama or a Ridley Scott sci-fi film than a true Star Wars film. Though the first two episodes are a bit slow and offer pretty low-stakes, with lots and lots of exposition, Luna pushes the series, one of his best performances yet, to excellence. Episode three, especially, is WOW. His power to add nuance to what starts as a one-dimensional personality — surly dude disillusioned with his surroundings — is remarkable. We’re lucky he reprised his role. Adding a tiny note here, I love how Luna keeps his native Mexican accent in all his portrayals of Cassian Andor. It adds something to the role! The plot of Andor is simple enough, and this allows for both the trademark character development and world-building of the Star Wars universe and also the slow reveal of the Rebel Alliance forming. Stellan Skarsgård’s portrayal of Luthen Rael is subtle without being dry, and he helps elevate the show and make it even more riveting. The production quality, much like the acting, is off the charts; every scene is engineered to be utterly stunning. Half the time the feeling of dread is offset by, “oh my goodness, look at the sky.” All of this — the new tone, new feel, new style — might be too different for some, but the utter novelty is to be appreciated. Finally, the beautiful score by Nicholas Britell adds so much to the retro-futurism of Andor and makes the performances pop even more.

Andor promotes fighting for good causes, allowing yourself to be taken by passion, and leading others for the greater good. Beyond these lessons, it’s also a master class (tonally, visually, sonically) for filmmakers playing in the sandbox. There are some sexual undertones in the first episode and violent scenes.

I give Andor 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Andor releases on Disney+ September 21, 2022.

Andor By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Andor, a prequel to Rogue One, is the latest Star Wars-inspired series to debut to much enthusiasm from expectant fans. Despite some exciting cameos, though, the series lacks the boldness of its predecessors.

(L-R): Kravas (Lee Boardman), Verlo (Stephen Wight), hostess (Margaret Clunie), Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and bartender (Caroline Green) in a scene from Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Andor follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), before he was known as Captain of the Rebellion. When he murders two officers and has an arrest warrant on his head, he meets Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård) who offers Cassian the opportunity of a lifetime: to join the early formations of the Rebellion against the Empire. Viewers will recognize the character of Cassian from Rogue One. In the film, he’s witty, smart and callous. In his own series, however, he’s described as being a playboy and smooth talker, though in many ways he doesn’t really live up to that description; it’s rare that we see him engaging or displaying these qualities.

(L-R): Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The series has some strong points. The CGI is extremely realistic, transporting viewers to never-before-seen planets. The fight scenes keep you on your toes, always waiting for the next blaster battle. In the past several years, Disney has produced outstanding and mind-blowing Star Wars shows like Obi Wan Kenobi and The Mandalorian. Both series have deep connections to the Star Wars universe and set the bar high for upcoming Star Wars projects. Audiences can decide if Andor meets the expectations set up by those series or not.

The theme of the show is to fight for what you believe in. In the early days of the Rebellion, there weren’t many fighters for the cause, and it was a risky gamble to join up against the Empire. Cassian takes the risk to fight against oppression and to take a stand.

I give Andor 3 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It begins streaming on Disney+ September 21, 2022.

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