The Andor ‘Problem’ (And How To Solve It)

I don’t subscribe to Disney+ though I do have a Hullu subscription (both are owned by The Walt Disney Company) and for a limited time they made available two episodes of Andor, which I watched.

I can’t say that I enjoyed it, mainly because whatever it was, it wasn’t Star Wars.

Star Wars movies are fantasy with a thin veneer of science fiction. They’re all about ‘space magic’ – a tendency I think Lucas actually began to recognize, which may have been the point of the introduction of midi-chlorians in The Phantom Menace – as opposed to anything approaching science.

And for awhile that was fine, till people began to recognize it for what it was, which I think happened for the most part on an unconscious level, and they began to tune out – it certainly didn’t help that Marvel Studios was providing alternatives they didn’t consistently have prior – though Andor isn’t the first time the producers of Star Wars films have attempted to interject something approaching reality into the long-running series.

By my reckoning the first attempt was 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, less for the paucity of space magic than an attempt to deal with characters that were somewhat more grounded.

I suspect it was an effort to reconcile this tension which resulted in the supposedly extensive reshoots the film received.

Andor doubles down on this tendency, in that while it doesn’t address the more magical aspects of Star Wars – such as fighter craft capable of going light speed. If every ship can go that fast, it cheapens the currency, so to speak, never mind defeating the purpose of capital ships. Or why Stormtroopers wore armor that not only wasn’t capable of deflecting laser bolts but rocks and sticks as well – in that while the space magic hasn’t gone, it’s minimized in place of a gritty, more uniquely human feel.

And besides, Star Wars belongs on the big screen – and considering Lucasfilm cost $4 billion to purchase – the only way to make it worth the price is to get it back into theaters.

And the most convenient way to do that is using Disney+ to ‘reboot’ what Star Wars means to most people so expectations can be recalibrated and managed, which depending upon how you look at things makes Andor less a problem than an opportunity.

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