The Star Wars series Endor narrates the prequel to the movie Rogue One: Diego Luna plays an uprooted crook who joins the rebellion against the Empire.
Dictatorships tend to alienate the masses through random atrocities. In fact, it can be observed currently in Iran: Religious police officers allegedly killed 22-year-old Mayha Amini there because her headscarf did not fit – and despite all the risks, people are standing on the barricades.
Fictional literature offers many examples of such despotism. Notable among them is the evil “Empire” that rules the universe of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” in the crucial stage and harasss creatures of all kinds. Disney+’s “Andor” now tells how trapped people can become revolutionaries.
The only way out: the rebellion
Mexican actor Diego Luna as petite crook Cassian Andor is on a mining planet for no reason in sight of two Imperial police officers searching for a victim. The situation escalates, and Andor returns to his home planet, Pherix, where an Imperial search team soon tries to track him down. His only way out: Lothen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), a client of his stolen goods, turns out to be the mutiny’s companion and helps him escape.
The fact that Andor became a rebel is part of the premise of this series: Luna actually played the role in the last feature film “Rogue One” (2016). In it, his character is part of a group that steals the planned Death Star plans from the Empire – making the Rebel’s victory in the first “Star Wars” movie from 1977 possible in the first place.
The hero seems a bit shaky at first
In Andor, a later rebel is a man uprooted who kidnapped Kinari from planet Earth as a child and somehow manages to cross over. He owes money to just about everyone in the Ferryx, and he always has shady excuses ready and cheats his way up by having a meager presence more badly than right.
It’s not always easy for Diego Luna to embody this in the three episodes available so far: he seems a bit shaky at first and doesn’t develop the charismatic trickster charisma that Harrison Ford so brilliantly played as space smuggler Han Solo. Luna gains status as he approaches his mission and meets Luna Rael. Stellan Skarsgard (“Nymphomaniac”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”) personifies him with his own power of persuasion.
Closer to the original feel than other series
Showrunner Tony Gilroy won an Academy Award for Director and Screenplay for his legal film Michael Clayton (2007). He co-wrote the book for Rogue One with Chris Weitz. So he knows his way in the “Star Wars” universe and is closer to the original feeling in many ways, for example, the “Mandalorian” and “Boba Fett” series. This is of course due to the special thrill of the Age of Empire, to new extraterrestrial locations, spaceships and supporting characters such as the cute but bizarre B-2EMO robot, nicknamed “Bee”.
Andor’s adoptive mother Marfa taught Cassian how to steal but also gave him a sense of security, which Fiona Shaw (“Harry Potter”) sensibly conveys. Adria Arjona excels at resilience as Pecs, a distinguished black market mechanic, falls into an affair. And Kyle Soller, with his stiff spine, exemplifies the petty-eyed Empire fanatic who is more loyal to the line than his boss.
The imperial outfit looks more absurd than usual
The uniform of the evil henchmen in “Star Wars” has always been based on the fashionable perversions of the Soviet era, in Andor is more ridiculous than usual: red-crested service hats alone really catch the eye when it comes to bad, tasting things.
Imperial adherents compensate for the lack of perspective with an excessive posture and rigidity – and thus provoke even more civil disobedience. Some remind us of images from Russia, another real dictatorship of the present, which brings anti-war protesters together and threatens to force people to vote in mock referendums. “Star Wars” hasn’t been that modern for a long time.