Star Wars: Andor - 1.03 - Reckoning

ctg

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Cassian's desparation to avoid the corpo arrest drives him into hands of a mysterious man
IMDB score: 8.7 Runtime: 43 minutes (-8 on intro and credits).
 

ctg

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I agree with the score mostly, except my own score this episode is a straight 8 of 10. The reason is the beginning, which continues straight on from the end of the final as young Cassian gets trapped in the ship by already elder adopt mum.

The scene is acted well as you can feel the young Cas being totally bewildered by the alien machine, the invaders. The irony with the yellow skinned crash landers is that they were somewhat associated with the Imperium, maybe even being part of the original rebel elements. However, it is delightful that you don't see any imperial war elements in this story.

You expect them to be there, and they are referred in the story, but instead of getting them we got the lesser, but far more interesting corpo's acting the Imperial Code and Practices.

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The Buyer at Ferrix Terminal. Although most of these people in the shot are human, the Ferrix capitol has an interesting bunch of aliens, in equally low positions, even though you can see the corporate influence in the mega-structures. They are no scientists, and no corpo security officers. No real hirarchy but everyone knows what the blue armour means when they come in the sight.

As a real intriguing aspect they ring the bells, all things in the tune of the drummer in the tower, to signal the danger inside otherwise fairly pacific society. It is also notifed that when they stop ringing, that the corpos should worry...

In itself, that is such a rebellious element that you can't but root for Mr Andor, the Buyer and the rest of the citizens. And the most intriguing thing in this pacifist, scavenger society is that even though they on daily basis deal with the wrecked war machines, they don't salvaged weaponry.

It is almost as if they have a code on that subject. So unlike in the other SW products, the warfare and fighting isn't really part of them, even though all of them rebel against the blue coats. And therefore, the Imperium.

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The buyer or the real spy. To me, the whole beginning with his introduction spoke a high praise to LeCarr and his novels that many opens similar way, very slowly before the hook set in. You can sense that he's not first time doing the business as even in this picture, he's carrying multiple disguises and his gaze is always darting around like a hawk.

But it's the gadgets, the connections and how he handle the business as he approaches the offsite warehouse at the back of the city that speaks about his professionalism, before he opens his mouth to Cassian and reveals that he's the real player. A mystery man.

In the episode, he's named as Luthen, but is that he's real name? I suspect not.

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The Raider and 4 assault craft, that looks like they're advanced version of the Clone War era style craft. They showed swift execution in the drop and splitting their parties to cover the whole Ferrex capital, which from the PoV feels so tiny, even though the scenes depict it as a very large urban settlement.

Why they didn't follow the hoverbike at the end with their assault craft? I don't know.

I hated that they straight marched to Marva's place and trashed it, as if it meant really nothing and the old lady was not worth of their time and manners. It was such intimation that it winded up the whole town to ring the warning bells, after B2 cocked up hiding the comm-kit.

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The setup and the trap. The whole scene in the engine warehouse is the best material. The Buyer meets Andor, but he really isn't interested in the gear, but rather the man who got the item. The Imperial Nav Kit is a secondary item as Cassius is the item number 1 in the list. For the corpos as well. They had no idea about the deal. All they wanted was the murderer.

Thing that surprised me was the accuracy in the shootout. The corpo guards were much better at shooting than your average stormie and that put up the tension. Ten-fold, because you see those bolts cutting the chains and causing all the havoc with the engines literally smashing the room, while the town got upset with the bluecoats and their barbaric methods.

I thought that they were over oppressive towards the local population. Almost as if that the local lives meant nothing and there was nothing to it when they wasted the informer, the fixers jealous boyfriend and left her to stare at the corpse. It felt like an apartheid scene, but at the same time all the happens in this and in the following chase through the capital speaks about the matured darkness, and showing the audience the grittiness without sprinkling the Disney magic dust over it.

Overall, this is mature SF. And it is a spy story that might not end so well for Mr Andor. More over it is a well thought spy story, and it shows the craftwork and how the business runs in fiction, on a suppressed timescale.
 
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sule

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This is certainly the best of the "premiere" episodes. It's easy to see why they released the first three episodes together, rather than dropping one at a time like they had been doing. A lot of action, some good character moments, a lot of instantly memorable lines (specifically Maarva's "That's what a reckoning sounds like" speech). The flashback to the ship is interesting, as we get to see the adopted father whose fate is mentioned by Luthen, as well as a "younger" Maarva and B2EMO. I hope later episodes reckon with her taking him against his will.

The Corpos clearly didn't want to kill Timm (the one who fired the shot is sent away from the front lines by his superior), but their brutality with the search of Maarva's place and chaining up Biz were a bit over the top if they didn't want an insurrection. I loved the reactions of Mosk and Karn after the explosion; it really humanized them, made them more than your typical flat villain. Really interested to see where Karn goes after this.

Not really invested in Timm and Biz. He was clearly just there to bring the cops to Ferrix, now his death will be a fridge for Biz. Would rather have seen him live and drive more complex interactions between the two now that they have to live with what's been done. Now it appears she's just going to mourn him without reckoning with his actions.

Timeline seems a little shot. The main story is 5 BBY, and it's unclear what Cassian's age is. The flashbacks are pre-Imperial, since the scavengers mention Republic officers and a Republic ship. However, there are earlier references to an Imperial mining disaster by the Corpos and Kassa looks out over what is clearly the abandoned remains of a mining operation. I wonder if the Republic mentions were re-dubbed when someone pointed out the Empire had risen only about fourteen years prior and therefore wasn't around then - but this would be a lot clearer if we knew Kassa/Andor's ages in either setting.

Next week we're going back to one episode a week (because the people who run Disney+ don't know the difference between a streaming service and broadcast television), so I might just wait until the rest of the season releases to binge all of it together. The first three episodes meshed nicely, and I'm not sure any of the upcoming episodes will buck the trend of each being less than enough - they're too short for me to bother tuning in week after week, I'd rather wait it out and eat the full course later.
 

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Next week we're going back to one episode a week (because the people who run Disney+ don't know the difference between a streaming service and broadcast television), so I might just wait until the rest of the season releases to binge all of it together. The first three episodes meshed nicely, and I'm not sure any of the upcoming episodes will buck the trend of each being less than enough - they're too short for me to bother tuning in week after week, I'd rather wait it out and eat the full course later.
I think you might see more of the week to week stuff instead of less. Streaming services have noted that when something big drops there's a group who will subscribe for a month and then drop out until the next big drop. Whereas those who opt in to see a big drop tend to hang around at least until the last of what they came to see has dropped.

----

I agree that this was by far the best of the opening three episodes.
 

Mon0Zer0

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So. Very much enjoyed it. Some tense scenes, emotional moments - so far it's a clean sheet.

It still doesn't feel like Star Wars though - it has a British sensibility - from the junk yard vibe to the brit actors to the underlying sense of decay - it could almost be a Blake's 7 reboot.
 

ctg

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it has a British sensibility - from the junk yard vibe to the brit actors to the underlying sense of decay
Did it bother you that most of the people in Ferrix had British or Irish accents? Or that even the Corpos spoke Oxford English?

The thing that surprised me was the LaCarr style slow burn to the explosion of dire action. It was a big plus in my books and it translated as intrigue for the future episodes. I also noticed that the creator, wrote and directed a lot of this stuff. So well done for him.
 

Mon0Zer0

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Did it bother you that most of the people in Ferrix had British or Irish accents? Or that even the Corpos spoke Oxford English?

It didn't bother me. I mean, in the original trilogy a lot of the Empire had British accents so it was kind of fitting.
 
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ctg

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Based onRogue One: A Star Wars Story, we know that Cassian has “been in this fight since [he] was six years old,” and expanded universe novels and tie-ins have established that he was a member of an insurrectionist cell backed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems (the official name of the Separatists) as a child. By indicating the existence of Separatists and the Republic in these flashbacks, Andor confirms that Cassian left his home planet during the Clone Wars.
Even though his insurrectionist cell was backed by Separatists and he fought in the Outer Rim against the Republic, it’s not clear as of yet whether he ever pledged full allegiance to the Separatist cause. Given that he eventually joins the Rebellion against the Empire, what we know so far about his character, and that he was a literal child at the time, it seems like he wasn’t so much into the politics of the fight as much as he was interested in standing up for the people forgotten by both the Republic and Separatists.
 

ctg

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Along with returning Rogue One characters Cassian, Republic senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), and Clone Wars veteran Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), Andor introduces a new cast of characters that includes Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona), Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), Maarva (Fiona Shaw), droid B2EMO (Dave Chapman), and Imperials Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) and Dedra Meero (Denise Gough).

"I always start with too many characters and wind up whittling them down. This time I don't have to," showrunner and series creator Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote Rogue One and directed its reshoots, told NME. "We have 25-30 characters that [are central to the plot] and we have 190 speaking parts in the show."

The grimy and gritty spy thriller takes place all across the Star Wars galaxy — from the far reaches of the Outer Rim to the heart of the Republic on Coruscant — with allies and enemies alike weaving in and out of a narrative taking a deep dive into these five formative years of Cassian's life.

"We're going to start with one thriller by having the Cassian Andor story go all the way through this. But as he impacts other people all around him, and as other people get involved, we spread out and go wide with the story," Gilroy explained in a press brief. "We're carrying a lot of characters, and as they spin out, they all have their own thrillers. I'm really pleased with the fact we could keep so much combustion, and so much kinetic tension, and so much adrenaline in all of our subplots."
 

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The story makes much more sense now. Thanks @ctg. I hadn't seen that trailer before.
 
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REBerg

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These opening Andor episodes have a gritty sense of reality I found lacking in Obi-Wan Kenobi.
This is where the Star Wars movie prequels should have begun. When the history lesson is over, I'll have to rewatch Rogue One.
 

Rodders

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So now starships have lightsabers?

Looks good though.
 

Parson

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I found an interesting review of these first three episodes on Tor.com. To summarize: This review finds a lot to like about the opening to the series.

Andor 1-3 Review
 

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