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Recommended age 12-18
42 minutes
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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.

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 Skarsg�rd'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.

By Eshaan M., 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.

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 Skarsg�rd) 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. 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.

Andor is the latest Star Wars story set between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One -- it's fast-paced, gritty and compelling. Yet even with its fast pace, it feels like it's slowly building to a greater conflict over the course of the season.

Andor takes place after the fall of the Jedi, but before the events of the original trilogy. The show follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), long before he'll become a hero of the humble rebellion and sacrifice himself to procure the plans to the Death Star. In this series, both the heroic rebels and villainous empire are at very different places from where will eventually see them. Andor, after an encounter with some imperial soldiers that goes wrong, needs to get off-world and fast. After saying his goodbyes, he meets a man (Stellan Skarsgard) who invites him to fight the empire head on. Andor accepts, and he's thrust into a whole new way of living with secrets, danger and espionage.

Andor focuses its lens away from lightsaber duels and feuds between galactic royalty and onto the beginnings of a rebellion and how one guy plays a small part in the building of that grander rebellion. Diego Luna is good as the title character. He takes a relatively small character in Rogue One and makes him feel worthy of his own show. Andor's a little more naive and curious here, captivated by the minutiae of where and to whom his journey to rebellion takes him, but there's that same chip-on-his-shoulder cynicism that we saw in Rogue One. Andor doesn't seem as accessible to younger audiences as the other Star Wars stories and is probably best watched with the family--even with its share of comedic droids and puppet-like creatures, it's no theme park ride. There is less pure wonder imbued in it, but in Andor's case, it's a feature, not a drawback. Andor's a different kind of Star Wars story, largely set on the ground, about what people do when they find themselves under the thumb of oppressors and they don't have a lightsaber on hand.

I wouldn't say Andor has a lesson, per se, as much as it's about what Star Wars has always been about from the perspective of the rebels: Fight for what you believe in like you've got nothing else to fight for.

I give Andor 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend if for ages 12 to 18, for some violence and intense action. Andor's first three episodes release on Disney+ on September 21, 2022.

By Benjamin P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 17

Andor is the latest action-packed sci-fi series in the Star Wars franchise. This twelve-episode series will entertain old and new Star Wars fans alike, as it did me.

Andor reveals the origin story behind Captain Cassian Andor (Diego Luna). It tells the story of the key events that molded Cassian into who he is, including the struggles from his childhood as well as the people who change his life leading up to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

This series is a prequel to the Star Wars movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so it's unnecessary to watch anything else in the franchise in order to understand what's happening. Unlike the other films in the Star Wars series, it doesn't jump right into a world we know or connect it to other films or series in this franchise, which gives it more freedom to explore this part of the universe. That being said, Andor has a complex plot that seems confusing and slow at first, but picks up excitement as the episodes continue. I viewed the first four episodes (out of twelve to be released), so I only got a small taste of this. The production value of this series lives up to the high standards of a Lucasfilm production as the sets and costumes transport you into the iconic galaxy from a long time ago, far, far away. I enjoyed how the audience gets to see a whole new part of the galaxy that we are unfamiliar with and know little about. However, I feel like the characters and the script fall a bit short. I don't feel as much of a connection with the main character as I would want to keep me engaged. My favorite performance comes from the new character, B2EMO (Dave Chapman). B2EMO is a quirky droid with a unique personality that is sure to become a fan favorite.

The messages of Andor are to stand up against injustice and protect what you care for. Be aware that this series has 0depictions of violence and death.

I give Andor 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. This series launches on Disney+ September 21, 2022.

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14

see youth comments
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.
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