Andor Early Buzz: Unlike Any Star Wars Story We've Seen Before — In A Great Way

A new "Star Wars" story is upon us. "Andor," which arrives on Disney+ on September 22, 2022, is set to reunite us with a familiar character to tell a whole new story — and needless to say, fans are waiting with bated breath to see just how this fresh tale is told.

Diego Luna returns to the "Star Wars" universe to reprise his role as Cassian Andor, taking place in the five years leading up to the 2016 movie "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story." Cassian may come from humble beginnings — he is just a common thief before he joins the resistance — but his purpose is now bigger and better than he thought possible. This is the story of how he becomes an integral part of a Rebel Alliance that is forming to oppose the tyrannical Galactic Empire.

This all begs the question: Is "Andor" a new "Star Wars" adventure worth getting involved in? The social media reactions to the series have hit the internet, and the early buzz seems to very resolutely say "yes!"

A grittier, grounded place

/Film reviewer Vanessa Armstrong had high praise for "Andor," which brings "Star Wars" into new, gritty territory that feels unlike anything the franchise had done before. The show "proves to the powers that be that there are rich stories to tell in the live-action 'Star Wars' universe that don't involve the Jedi or anyone with the last name Skywalker," she writes in her review.

But die-hard "Star Wars" fans will still find something to like in "Andor," she writes, adding:

The series is very much in the same galaxy as the films and shows before it. And while "Andor" might have a slower pace than fans expect, there are still action-packed moments that will have your heart rate tick up a notch or two.

But mostly, Vanessa is hopeful that "Andor" kicks open the door for new, bold storytelling in the "Star Wars" franchise. "Who knows what stories Lucasfilm could tell if they became less fearful of creating shows and movies that don't feel pressure to emulate what we've seen before," she writes.

A Star Wars series for the ages?

/Film's own Ryan Scott says that the first three episodes of the show "absolutely rule" and even went as far as to call the series the "best looking 'Star Wars' show of the bunch" — one that "actually works as a show." Additionally, he noted that after being disappointed by "Obi-Wan Kenobi" and "The Book of Boba Fett" — two shows he was way more interested in at first glance — "Andor" ended up working much better for him than the previous attempts by Lucasfilm.

Other critics and fans had much of the same to say about the series, calling it "gritty," "mature," "dark," and praising creator Tony Gilroy's vision as well as the performances of stars Diego Luna and Stellan Skarsgård.

The praise for "Andor" is almost unanimous, with critics and fans gushing over the memorable characters, the breathtaking production design and visuals, and the show's bold strides. While most everyone concedes that the show's pace is slow — pointing out that it takes at least three or four episodes before the show really hits its stride — it's the kind of slow burn that is intensely rewarding.

Comparisons to the show being more like a crime drama than a space opera are also intriguing — doubling down on the descriptions of "Andor" being the biggest departure from what fans expect of the "Star Wars" universe.

What you need to know about Andor

"Andor" was created by Tony Gilroy, who also executive produces and writes alongside his brother, Dan Gilroy (the screenwriter behind "Nightcrawler"), Stephen Schiff, and "House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon. Tony Gilroy previously worked on the script for "Rogue One" and also directed the reshoots, so he's already at home in this corner of the "Star Wars" galaxy. Luna, Kathleen Kennedy, Sanne Wohlenberg, and Michelle Rejwan will also executive produce.

Here's the official synopsis for "Andor," according to Disney+ Originals:

The "Andor" series will explore 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.

Alongside Luna, the show stars Stellan Skarsgård, Fiona Shaw, Adria Arjona, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O'Reilly. Additionally, Forest Whittaker reprises his role as Saw Gerrara.