The first reviews for in for Andor, the latest Star Wars series for Disney+. Set five years before the events of Rogue One, Diego Luna reprises his role as Cassian Andor as the show explores the rise of the Rebel Alliance in the shadows of the Galactic Empire that’s grown over-confident in its decadence.
Under the direction of Tony Gilroy, the prequel series is being roundly praised for taking a more nuanced and adult approach to the Star Wars universe. (Sorry, Baby Yoda.) Where The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi traded in fan service, Andor is being described a slow-burn espionage thriller that’s not afraid to meander as it builds an epic tale of the Empire’s inevitable downfall.
You can see what critics are saying about Andor below:
Mike Ryan, Uproxx:
Whereas other Star Wars properties can feel like a story made in a committee (the word offender being The Rise of Skywalker, a truly terrible movie), Andor feels like one person’s vision of what a Star Wars series based on Cassian Andor should be. This is an incredibly focused series.
Kelly Lawler, USA Today:
There are times when adults want to sit down and watch a mature show made just for them, outside the realm of family-friendly and without any toy tie-ins. Fans of “Star Wars” rarely get such an opportunity, but it makes sense that the most serious, grownup series from the sci-fi franchise so far would be Disney+’s “Andor,” a prequel about Diego Luna’s character from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
Charles Pulliam-Moore, The Verge:
It’s rare for Star Wars projects to end up feeling like stronger, more interesting stories for hewing close to the tentpole movies that came before them. But that’s very much the case with Andor, Disney Plus’ new prequel series that keenly understands and expands upon everything that made Rogue One such a standout part of the franchise.
Caroline Framke, Variety:
Where “The Mandalorian,” “Boba Fett,” and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” wove their biggest reveals into the larger fabric of the Lucasfilm universe, “Andor” doesn’t rush toward those moments that might make fans gasp out of pure recognition. Instead, it does something more surprising still: it tells the story of people who have nothing to do with Solos, Skywalkers or Palpatines, but whose lives matter nonetheless.
Daniel Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter:
It may be the first Star Wars project that critics have ever needed to refer to as “slow” and definitely the first that needs to come with the warning: “The first two episodes will probably bore younger viewers to tears.” But at the same time I appreciated its efforts to create a wholly grounded and mostly ground-level piece of storytelling in this world.
Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine:
The cast surrounding Luna is solid. [Fiona] Shaw with every look/exchange conveys the depth of Maarva and Cass’ top-secret bond, Arjona is a delight as the spirited Bix, O’Reilly clearly reveled in the chance to explore what makes Mon Mothma tick, and [Stellan] Skarsgård gets a variety of notes to play as the enigmatic Luthen.
Maggie Lovitt, Collider:
The first four episodes of Andor present a story that is unlike any Star Wars series that has come before it. It opts to approach its protagonist from a distance, giving its story the chance to organically evolve as the world at large starts to come into focus. While series like The Mandalorian chose to go in guns blazing, Andor leans into the uneasiness of a slow-burning story thread that is unraveling at both ends.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair:
Andor could almost exist on its own as an engrossing mystery untethered to any larger saga. Gilroy and Luna—along with actors like Stellan Skarsgård, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, and a beguilingly villainous Kyle Soller—make a strong case for their doleful thriller, temporarily shifting a massive connected universe away from the cozily nostalgic and toward the jolt of something a little bit new.
Andor premieres September 21 on Disney+.