Am I the Only Person Who Didn’t Care For Andor?
As a caveat, I’ve never been into the Star Wars universe. Saw the first one in 1977 and I think that’s it. I enjoyed it but I was 17, about to go to West Point. My life got blurry after that. I saw bits and pieces of the various follow-on movies, but none really grabbed me.
It’s entertainment that doesn’t make you think. Mind candy. Then there were prequels and sequels and who knows what. The first one is now what, number 4?
Everyone has been raving about this new series, a prequel to a prequel movie(??), Andor, so I tried it. I gave up around episode 5.
Why, you ask? Okay, you didn’t. But anyway:
First, the antagonist is a cold-blooded murderer in Episode 1. I guess we’re just supposed to be black and white about bad guys and good guys but he shoots an unarmed person begging for his life so he can escape. What do you call it? One man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist.
And his acting range is from scowling to more scowling. And walking around in the mud with lots of extras in the background and a grim looking industrial background. Like Louisiana around the oil industry?
Second, the plot moves so SLOWLY. He’s looking for his sister. Why now? What’s he been doing all these years? He needs to run and hide because he, oh no, killed two people, while looking for his sister. One accidentally and one in cold blood. I guess he did that to hide his identity. BTW — they don’t have any version of CCTV on that walkway to where the ships land. Or anywhere? And it doesn’t matter anyway because they figure out who he is quickly anyway. So that was a needless death. But it’s okay to kill bad guys which is anyone working for the Empire, even on contract?
The dichotomy between the supposedly advanced interstellar civilization that interacts with aliens and the clunkiness of the technology is jarring to me. If those guns are firing plasma, whatever kind of bolts at the speed of light, how can we see them? Ever see a bullet in flight?
They always miss, btw. It appears to be a staple of Star Wars that no bad guy can hit a good guy. I noticed one bad guy with a long scope on his blaster, but he never looks through the scope when firing. And the rebels have the interstellar version of the AK-47??? Seriously? We’ve got remote fired .50 caliber machine guns on vehicles that aim better than these people.
I didn’t get all the stuff falling in the warehouse fight scene other than it looked cool. There was no rhyme or reason to it. I can see CGI people having fun and hooting and hollering as they did it, but??? And really, those bad guys don’t know how to fast rope in on the target but have to land far away and hoof it in through a hostile population while splitting into thirds (they never studied Custer and his escapade at Little Big Horn apparently).
And why did the one element of the assault force suddenly grab the key female character running by them and ignore all the others running around and then stop their mission to stand around her? I suppose so they could shoot the poor sucker, aka her new boyfriend, who out of jealousy called in Andor’s location? Yep. He had to die so they did that. But it made absolutely no sense action-wise.
We get flashbacks to the hero’s childhood. Where he and the others watch a ship burn in. One that somehow, when they get to the crash site, is remarkably intact with a survivor. Guess none of the writers ever saw what happens when even a chopper gets shot down.
Then there is the trope of a bad guy, the security guy who is determined to track down the killer. He’s so one-dimensional, he even ends up going home to mama and getting slapped on the face. They put out a casting call for spoiled, bratty adult and he turned up. Also, stupid, since he doesn’t follow the orders he’s left with.
We don’t find out until around Episode 4 or 5 that it’s about — of all things — a payroll robbery. Say what? Even the Marine Corps does direct deposit these days. You mean an empire with faster than light travel and flying cars needs to haul around a payroll?????? Where’s Butch and Sundance? At least get it on the way back. Or something. Okay, Firefly did a payroll robbery but at least they’re doing a Western set in Space as concept, so it works. And they have fun doing it. This series is so damn grim. No humor. Empire bad. Rebels good. Okay.
Then as they talk about the plan it requires our hero to fly a spacecraft into, you guessed it, a small, narrow tunnel. Hmm. I’ve not seen much Star Wars, but really. Is that all you’ve got?
I just felt a lack of imagination in character development and plot. I know they’re restricted by the canon, but still???
And I didn’t watch the last episodes so I’m sure it all paid off and all the plot points looped and I’m an idiot.
And I do shortcuts in my science fiction. My time patrol agents travel through time in a sentence — they were here and now and then they’re there and then. Sort of. Except I use the technique of these time portals being opened by the enemy who know something we don’t. I’m fine with looking past the plot problems any analysis will yield if we delve deep enough into any story. But you have to engage the viewer and this protagonist had nothing that engaged me. Nor did the arguing rebels. Nor the corporate type Empire people in their spotless white uniforms. The backstory was a yawn.
Overall, the glaring inconsistencies kept stopping me from enjoying the story, which was mostly a bunch of people arguing with each other. About empire bad, rebels good, which is what its all based on.
This is personal preference and I’m obviously out of the loop. I don’t view Star Wars as science fiction. It’s more fantasy and that’s fine. For example, The Peripheral blows me away. Tight plotting, lots of plot loops with intriguing characters based on premises that you have to really think about. You want a pilot episode that will spin your mind? Watch the pilot of Westworld reboot (Peripheral is by the creators of the Westworld reboot BTW). So much is packed in there in terms of idea, plot and character. Yes, it went a bit off the tracks in later seasons but the start was great. And, yes, I liked the ending of the reboot of Battlestar.
So, yeah. I’m just not a Star Wars guy. What can I say? Sorry. Shoot at me with your blaster.