Star Wars: Andor - 1.12 - Rix Road

ctg

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Targeted by numerous interest, the fugitive Cassian returns home to Ferrix, a tinderbox that is experiencing a spark of rebellion.
IMDB score: 9.6 Runtime: 57 minutes (minus the usual)
 

ctg

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I started this episode by listening to the Imperial March. We all know it's getting real in Andor and I mean that in the dark way. The Emperor's Galactic Imperium has been a place of wonder and fear for many over the decades. It has shown true despotism in the realm of fantasy without ever releasing full-blown anarchy in the mix, even though during the times of war, anarchy shows its ugly face when the feelings get heated up.

In the original trilogy, the rebellion has already happened, but the audience has to get into it through Luke's hero action, and not in the way how it has happened in the Andor. In this series, the rebellion is the consequence of evidence that the audience has seen, while some of it has been dark for a lot of characters like it's in the real life.

So, it's thrilling that Star Wars has finally dropped its balls and shown the larger audience, not just the animated watchers and nerds of how ugly Palpatine's rein is for its people. The real reasons for why the rebellion happened, before Luke finished it. And the revelations of how ruthless the Imperium has been for its people draw parallel to our own real history.

Of things on how they happened and what sparked the rebellion, because we also know that some people accept living under the autocratic leadership, being totally happy to be part of the pyramid that revolves around one man ideas.

Let's see how Cassius accepts the reality when he finally returns home...

*note, I had to use the saurus to get right the autocrat word, as it's one of those that don't translate very well between English and Finnish. In my native tongue, I'm more liberated to speak about autocrats than I'm in English, where the rules dictate how the sentences form.

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Oh it's a good one when the first image that blasts into your screen is component making. Just seeing that made me to giggle and grow horns on my head, because I could guess what's coming in Maarva, the rebel granny's funeral, and I bet she would have totally approved it. No questions about it, after her Prix Road comments and the Imperium hanging her partner. In public view.

Dictators have done that. It's the terror element that they use to rule their subjects, the fear of one's rule against the many. And when the many cannot take it any more, these sorts of things starts to sprout as the anarchy spouts flames all over the place.

The Imperium had arrived with its machines to the Ferrix and it's governor Lt Meero is far more efficient than the previous one. Her first port of call was to see Bix, knowing that she'd failed to produce valid intel. Torture can only go so far.

Her second, a walk in capital city under disguise with the not so obvious Imperial spy, whose uniform is not absolutely imperial, making him to stick out in the crowd like a red coat in the deer hunting trip. Why does the Imperium believe that particular kit works?

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Isn't that the same geezer who told the former Deputy Inspector Karn that Andor might be coming to the funeral? Luckily the people had their minds set for Cassius and him being part of the Ferrix's population than being an outsider like the Imperium people.

All for the cause, and the resistance picked up everything, because everything that the Imperium does on open. They do it to terrorize people. It's their code. Their practice. The Law.

Maarva's partner, Cassius, the grandma and the bot are all part of the texture of Ferrix.

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Mon Mothma and the Imperium hubby.

"I thought you'd have left without me," hubby said as he raised the glass on his lips.

"It crossed my mind," Mon answered. Why didn't you sister? What keeps her in that unhappy union, where the hubby gets all the perks, and she gets to pay the bill? In her shoes, shagging the chauffeur and then going around with the rest of the staff should be the first thing, but instead she's still so reserved, so cuffed into the marriage that you can only see the hubby at the end getting stabbed.

"You're gambling again," Mon said as soon as they were in the move.

"What? Nonsense," hubby chuckled. And he took another sip from the stolen drink.

"In here. In Coruscant," Mon put out her claim.

"It's a lie," hubby argued.

While the driver was listening into the Imperial Hubby's attempt to save his life, I'd have in Mon's shoes told him to open the passenger door and tip him over. Palpatine would have most certainly approved that action than getting into the stabbing action, because it's coming.

"Where would I get the money?" hubby asked.

"That's what scared me the most," Mon Mothma answered.

"Someone's lying to you," hubby tried.

"On that, we can agree." :ROFLMAO:

Oh Imperial Hubby, you are so effed. :LOL:

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For being a natural spy, Andor doesn't seem to learn that people adapt to the security situation. I get that he has raided Bix's backyard far too many times to get custom to the idea that nothing changes. But everything has changed when the Imperium arrived. Including the ownership of the Bix store.

Pegla was holding onto it as long as "they could sell it." No questions about getting her out from that torture chamber. Gearing up his anger Andor listened Nemik's manifesto.

"There will be times when the struggle seems impossible. I know this already. Alone, unsure, dwarfed by the scale of the enemy. Remember this. Freedom is a pure idea. It occurs spontaneously and without instruction.

Random acts of insurrection are occurring constantly throughout the galaxy. There are whole armies, battalions that have no idea that they've already enlisted in the cause. Remember that the frontier of the Rebellion is everywhere. And even the smallest act of insurrection pushes our lines forward.

And remember this. The Imperial need for control is so desperate because it's so unnatural. Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks, it leaks. Authority is brittle. Oppression is the mask of fear. Remember that. And know this, they will come when all these skirmishes and battles, the moments of defiance, will have flooded the banks of the Empire's authority, and then there will be one too many. One single thing to break the siege."

When Brasso met him, he delivered another manifesto from Bix. Then it was game on. Even former deputy inspector and the sarge turned up for the show.

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The witch and her adjutants. All looking so mighty in that tiny balcony. The Imperium has presence everywhere in the street view. So putting down snipers to cover an important occasion would have been completely within the protocol and not even Lt Meero's responsibility. But that's also the Imperium problem for them being autocratic machinery.

It's also part of their sickness, as the Emperor was pleased on a singular hit in the rebel forces by rebelling the Spellhaus raid. They weren't interested in Mon's financial problems or Meero's capture operation, at all. As long as the Emperor is happy.

That reminds of orcs and their leader. In the real life.

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Fondor, the Buyer and a custom hoverbike. This is what money gets you. State of the art. All fitting the role as a spymaster in far futuristic times. Some could call Lucien as the M and Cassius as Mr Bond. Except, in this time, M has all the goodies.

He was pleased to see the occupation, the setup and everything going for Andor's capture. Almost as if he'd planned for it. But he's idea was killing, not turning him into part of Lucien's machine.

What surprised him was the festivities starting early. And not in the Imperial schedule. Yet, he had balls to move to the hotel as a final stop cap as a steel band leading the sisters and Maarva started rolling through the town.

He also had no idea that Andor was planning for a rescue operation, and were in close proximity to his lookout point by the hotel. Lt Meero cocked up Andor's capture, allowing him to move unopposed into the hotel as Maarva delivered her final message. Setting be in light, by sparking the flames of the rebellion.

Then it was the usual business. No funeral goes without a bit of fighting. This time it was riot. In proper British fashion, with kettlers against the people on the street. Not sh*ts were given until the bomb were in the air. Landing directly on top of Imperial Munitions.

Viva La Revolucion!

In the chaos, the Imperial Spy got snuffed by Lucius people. The counterspy girl. Lt Meero dropped on floor, and the trooper kicked out from the bell tower by the ringer, while Andor and Bix successfully escape the capture op.

Cassius delivered Bix to B2Emo and told the sisters to get her out. He even gave them instructions on how to fly out, before he returned back into the chaos to hunt the spymaster.

So why Lucien didn't kill the natural spy when they met?

-
10/10
 

ctg

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If we can reorder the plot points of Andor, and arrive at similar emotional epiphanies, regardless of causes and effects, then suddenly we have to search for the one plot point that does matter and can’t be arbitrarily moved.

For Andor, that thing is probably the prison storyline. That’s the thing that keeps him away from his mother and it’s the only thing that delays all the other characters from coming to the same place in the end. None of the other storylines were allowed to really move forward at any kind of reasonable pace while Cassian was in prison. Think about it: At least one-third of the show was focused on Imperial operatives looking for a person they’d already locked up on accident.

In other words, there’s something contrived about the finale of Andor that works slightly against the naturalism the series so often strives for. Paradoxically, by not connecting more dots in this finale, by not making more callbacks to the way in which the show began (where’s Andor’s sister!!), the loosey-goosey plotting only makes the show seem less realistic, instead of more. Bringing Andor and Luthen back together makes clear that heroic journeys aren’t always straight lines, and that’s good. But I’m not sure Andor needed 12 episodes to make this point.

We know Andor season 2 will be different. The ending promises us that. It can be argued that Andor season 1 succeeds mostly by playing against our desire for a more straightforward adventure flare. That tension is what defines the series, and that’s mostly to its credit. It’s not trying to be a crowd-pleaser. And yet, there’s a fine line between making a narrative decision because it’s not what we expect and making that same decision because it makes sense. What remains to be seen in season 2 is if the show can pull off a bigger trick: Andor has successfully proven what kind of show it isn’t. But it’s still not clear if we know what kind of show it is.
 

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In the original trilogy, the rebellion has already happened, but the audience has to get into it through Luke's hero action, and not in the way how it has happened in the Andor. In this series, the rebellion is the consequence of evidence that the audience has seen, while some of it has been dark for a lot of characters like it's in the real life.
In most, if not all of the Star Wars depictions, the Empire has been a big background boogeyman, an oppressive abstraction. This series shows it to be what it really is -- a cumbersome bureaucracy -- capable of responding with overwhelming force to each minor insurrection, but incapable of handling organized widespread resistance.
I could guess what's coming in Maarva, the rebel granny's funeral, and I bet she would have totally approved it.

Maarva's partner, Cassius, the grandma and the bot are all part of the texture of Ferrix.
I know now why Maarva's death was so low-key. Her big moment was to come post-mortem.
What a great way to go -- a fiery speech inspiring a rebellious riot. Revolution aside, the Daughters of Ferrix really know how to give one of their own a meaningful sendoff.
I loved how the New Orleans-style parade band shifted from somber to festive. I wondered how much the funeral presentation had been altered by advanced knowledge of what holographic Maarva would say.
 
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ctg

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I wondered how much the funeral presentation had been altered by advanced knowledge of what holographic Maarva would say.
It kind of surprise me of how late Maarva's announcement came, as we now know that the first death star is completed in just few years. Not really much of us a chance to build up a rebel force, and once again, and just like in the Rebels, they are a major underdog.

To be honest, it bothers me that Mon Mothma and Luthien are waking up to the ruthlessness of the Imperium very late in the game. Maybe that's why they are always caught with their trousers around angles. The Rebels have at least a couple of years head start to this. But for them, for a long time, it was a question of where the rebellion forces are because they felt as if they were alone in the fight. So, when they finally got a connection, their op was described as a "cell" type of operation. Like all the others.
 

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Not the only one who is puzzled by the end scene.
Totally missed that entirely. Can't see what the fuss is about though.

For me, the last episode was an 8/10. I have to admit to feeling rather short-changed by the abject lack of depiction for the Saw Gerrera raid on teh power station, or whatever it was. It was clearly a massive instigating factor in bringing a key character into the narrative, and an important decision to send 30 men to their deaths knowing that those deaths were required to keep safe the identity of the double agent inside the empire. So why not show it? Was it a starfighter raid? Even 1 minute or 30 seconds of a CGI shoot-up / space battle would have sufficed. Instead, all we get is the empire celebrating in front of a tactical screen with lots of red blotches on it.

Overall, a good series, miles better than Kenobi. But I still missed the ambience of Star Wars in this show. I understand them wanting to go with something different, but I hadn't realised just how much a pivotal part of the franchise's appeal was the sound; take the superlative game, Jedi: Fallen Order. That captures beautifully the mysterious and playful sounds of the SW universe with a wonderful soundtrack. A SW product without a lush, fantasy, orchestral score is that much poorer for it, IMO. And I felt this knocked at least half a mark off Andor as a whole.

Does anyone else agree?
 
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Parson

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I have to admit to being disappointed in the ending of season 1. Instead of an ending we got a place holder. Almost nothing was settled and all the major threads are still hanging. I was expecting a bang up ending, and what we got was a riot.

*I find I'm missing the Jedi. Why isn't there even a hint of the Force in this story? For a story which is supposed to be set near to the time of the completion of the Death Star, you'd at least expect some mention of Vader, and was it that long ago that the clone wars were fought? Wouldn't that have made some impression on the collective conscious?

All in all, I give this episode 3 of 5 stars. I wanted much more action. A space battle would have made for an epic ending (I know that wasn't called for given the state of the rebellion, but still!). I give Season One of Andor a weak 4 stars. It had some good moments but it just did not grip me. I can't say I've made an emotional connection with any of the characters. Probably the worn out robot, B2EMO, is the most interesting character in the show. And he's not been part of the series enough to really get attached to.
 

ctg

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I have to admit to feeling rather short-changed by the abject lack of depiction for the Saw Gerrera raid on teh power station,
Not Saw, Kreeger, the other guy Luthen had in his pocket. You don't have to feel for them. I never have, because I don't like Saw either. He's a bit of crazy one and that's not good.
So why not show it? Was it a starfighter raid? Even 1 minute or 30 seconds of a CGI shoot-up / space battle would have sufficed. Instead, all we get is the empire celebrating in front of a tactical screen with lots of red blotches on it.
To be honest, 1 or 2 minutes on the Spellhaus raid would have been nice, but we haven't even see Kreeger alive. Just heard about him. So giving the audience that display would have been awesome and not necessary.
 

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Not Saw, Kreeger, the other guy Luthen had in his pocket. You don't have to feel for them. I never have, because I don't like Saw either. He's a bit of crazy one and that's not good.

To be honest, 1 or 2 minutes on the Spellhaus raid would have been nice, but we haven't even see Kreeger alive. Just heard about him. So giving the audience that display would have been awesome and not necessary.
Wow, totally missed that there was another guy called Kreeger. I guess that explains why they didn't show it.
 
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Wow, totally missed that there was another guy called Kreeger. I guess that explains why they didn't show it.
From previous episode,

Saw was geared up to go to Spellhaus raid, when Luthien was forced to deliver the news about the Imperial ambush. He wanted to tell Kreegyr that the job was effed, but the Buyer denied it for not wanting to lose one of his big players. To wage a war, you have to get dirty and for a grey it's fine that some of it get muddled.

Saw asked, "How do you know I won't tell him?"

"I don't," Luthien admitted. "I don't know what you'll do. It's far from ideal for either one of us."

Finally figuring it out, Saw gasped, "You're willing to burn him."

"You're the random factor," Luthien admitted.

"It's thirty men," Saw shouted, to which Luthien added, "Plus Kreegyr."

"So, you know his doomed," Saw said. "Which means you're either ISB or you have someone inside that you are protecting."

"Or I'm just a very good listener," Luthien suggested.
That's the dialogue.
 

ctg

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How did you feel about the music?
It was fine, and I really didn't want to hear full orchestra. It has its places and like I said in my post, I started the episode by listening into the Imperial March, because it's so iconic piece. It can set the mood, but I don't think it was needed, because the whole thing worked without it.
 

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Thank you Tony Gilroy.

The veteran screenplay writer and filmmaker did what some of us always knew was possible, but plausible? That was an entirely different proposition. Regardless, in doing so, he made the best Star Wars product since the original trilogy and I would dare to say possibly ever.

That product is the show Andor.

A good and somewhat rare review from the writers of the warzone.
 

Parson

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Wow! That was the most positive review I've ever read that was also carefully thought out. I can't say I disagree with much of what he said. The acting was excellent, the sets were magnificent. The story was very believable. All true. But for me it missed the the excitement, the thrill, the wonder, of the best of movies. I found them all in the original Star Wars, and to a lesser degree The Empire Strikes Back. After that not much and this one which technically may be, as the author says, the best one ever. It lacks that magical feeling of being part of something wonderful and life changing.
 
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Parson

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Interesting take. Once again we have a critic who really loves ANDOR and who hits a lot of true themes. Good writing, Good sound track, Interesting characters, Good dialogue. ---- And then tells us: "This is easily the least watched Star Wars." "Please, give this a chance or Disney will have learned nothing at all." ---- To me this speaks of the true issue. There are a few people, let's say 10 percent. Who look for real quality in their "movies" and they want things like the above. But most people go to movies because they want pure escapism. They don't want to ferret out the motives of the villain. They don't want to see the fatal flaws in the heroes. They want a struggle between good and evil, where good wins, but evil continues to lurk for the next go round. And if it comes with some really cool stuff like light sabers, speeders, and dragons and things like that, all the better.
 
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paeng

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Something like half of the content is either unnecessary or crammed in such that development is lacking, with problems in transition and some character development. Overall, it's a good effort, around 7 out of 10.
 
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