Category Archives: Star Wars

‘Andor’ Season 1 Review: The Shot in The Arm Star Wars Needed

Star Wars returns after a series of back to back dissapointments in The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi, with their latest series Andor, a prequel to arguably the best Star Wars film under Disney, Rogue One. With Andor the franchise delivers a Star Wars like never before, one with a grey area, one where the Rebellion isn’t only the light side and the Empire isn’t only the Dark Side. They are both complex real forces with real people involved. The Rebellion is working against an Empire from freedom, so naturally hard decisions and actions are needed to be taken. It’s not as simple as being the good guy, they need people in the morally grey area to succeed, people who are willing to kill. People who are willing to do anything for this rebellion. Andor delivers the first Star Wars project which feels adult, where people make the necessary decisions for success, and at the same time are limited by their beliefs and mental strength.

Andor explores a new perspective from the  Star Wars galaxy, focusing on Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. The series brings forward the tale of the burgeoning rebellion against the Empire and how people and planets became involved. It’s an era filled with danger, deception and intrigue where Cassian will embark on the path that is destined to turn him into a rebel hero.

(L-R): Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) and Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Prequel?

Yes, you heard that right a PREQUEL. The term “prequel” holds a great place in the heart of every Star Wars fan, a word that inspires years of trauma to even the slightest mention. The Star Wars prequels are. without a doubt the most well known prequels to date. They have been hated by old fans of the franchise for decades, while they are the definition of ‘Star Wars’ to younger fans. Even if you didn’t hate the prequels, you’ve experienced years of hate for them from others, especially if you loved them. I really appreciate the prequels, with Episode 3 “Revenge of the Sith” tied as my favorite Star Wars film with Episode 5 “Empire Strikes Back”. Even with all this hatred and trauma associated with prequels and Star Wars, there was one Star Wars project that was able to bring fans of the prequels and fans of the original trilogy together. This was 2016’s Rogue One, a project where the War of the Empire VS The Rebellion, actually felt like a war. One of the stand out characters from the film was Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, a skilled spy and assassin, working for The Rebellion. His character is summarized by this quote from Rogue One:

Everything I did, I did for the Rebellion. And every time I walked away from something I wanted to forget, I told myself it was for a cause I believed in. A cause that was worth it. Without that, we’re lost. Everything we’ve done would have been for nothing. I couldn’t face myself if I gave up now.

Andor vows to accompany Jyn Erso to Scarif in Rogue One

Rogue One was the film that first introduced that gray area to Star Wars and was universally loved, due to its great line-up of real complex characters. So to return to that side of Star Wars, always sounded like a treat to me. It always surprised me why people questioned why the Andor series was being made. Every project is made for the same reason, to make money. But what was truly interesting about Andor, was that another season was already green-lit during production for Season 1, and the season has already begun filming. So clearly this was more than just acash grab, especially with Andor not being a mainstrem character. It shows great confidence in a script, in an actor and in a show-runner to have a series for a second/third tier character in a universe of iconic characters to be green-lit for more seasons, even before the first 1 is done being made. Andor magnificently delivers on those expectations and more, the format it presents should be studied by Disney to note for future Marvel and Star Wars series on Disney Plus. The short 6 episode format has damaged each series that used it and has proven that it will not work. To keep fans excited, these big franchises need these shows which focus on characters, without cameos and easter eggs, that don’t rely on VFX, and present a story which is universal, relatable.

(L-R): Kravas (Lee Boardman), Verlo (Stephen Wight), hostess (Margaret Clunie), bartender (Caroline Green) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in a scene from Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

ALSO READ: SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW REVIEW

A new chapter for Star Wars and Disney Plus

Andor delivers a new stepping stone for Star Wars and for the rest of Disney Plus. This is by far the greatest thing to come out of Disney Plus to date. It is a show which isn’t afraid to tread in to darker territories, it is a show which is beautiful to watch, it is a show which makes you feel for every character, where no character is purely evil and neither purely good. Andor is a show with complexity, with drama, where the characters aren’t perfect, where they cause problems for themselves due to their own imperfections. It explores their mentality and deeply explores the lives of refugees and in contrast with big organizations and countries. It almost feels too good to be true for a Disney+ show. A smaller story about a common thief from a misrepresented minority, in the Star Wars universe, who is forced to go on the run, rethink his life and reimagine himself as a force for the Rebels.

(L-R): Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), Maarva (Fiona Shaw) and B2EMO in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

The Empire vs The Rebel Alliance

You will not only feel for Cassian and The Rebellion, but you’ll also find yourself rooting for The Empire. The show makes Cassian’s motivations feel as valid as the motivations of his counterparts in The Empire, with wonderful characters like Kyle Soller’s Syril Karn. Soller delivers a brilliant perfomance as Syril Karn which makes you both feel for him and agree with him, even though he is going out of his way to take out our hero. So the real villain in the series isn’t really, at least in the first 4 episodes The Empire, but rather Cassian’s own imperfections, it is through his own decisions that he gets himself into the eye of The Empire. The show’s focus isn’t Empire VS Rebellion, it is a comparison of the motivations and decisions made by individuals in both groups and how that defined The Rebellion. It reminds you that these characters are real people in their universe and have their own hopes, dreams and lives.

Another thing that differentiates Andor from anything Star Wras or Disney Plus is its reliance on story and heart to capture its audience rather than to use the aid of easter eggs and cameos, which have only served to ruin previous Star Wars shows on Disney+. The world of Andor seems lived in, every character we meet feels like they have their own interesting life that they live in the universe. It doesn’t make you feel dry and unfulfilled. You can accertain each character’s impact on Cassian’s life and future impact they may have. But it doesn’t only make feel interested in that aspect of those characters, it also makes you feel compelled to learn about their lives and how they handle their problems.

(L-R): Eedy Karn (Kathryn Hunter) and Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) in Lucasfilm’s ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Just What Star Wars Needed

In a time where Star Wars seems to be directionless, with 2 big failures and no theatrical project in sight, comes Andor. Arguably the best of Star Wars we’ve seen in decades. Andor is the shot in the arm the Star Wars franchise needed. From its first few minutes it just feels like a different kind of show, with a much darker tone, to any other Disney+ series. The struggle and the stakes are a lot more adult and feel a lot more real. It feels more like Blade Runner than Star Wars at times, but still gets back to its roots and delivers magnificent performances and compelling storylines. I have watched the first 4 episodes in and it is already the best of Disney+ for me. The difference in quality is so vivid. The character’s journey and stakes are what keep you interested. No reliance on cameos, fan-service or action. More thrill and stakes are provided just through brilliant writing. Content like Andor is what is going to keep Star Wars alive and Disney Plus alive, things which are different and divert from what we expect to provide character studys in these massive franchises is what can be the trump card to keeping fans interested.

STAR WARS IS BACK!!!

Andor Starts Streaming on Disney+ tomorrow with a 3-episode premiere.

Ewan McGregor channels Alec Guinness’s for Obi-Wan series.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the next Star Wars series scheduled to be hitting Disney Plus in just two weeks. The series has been the most anticipated Star Wars series among fans for some time since it marks the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen after 17 years. The series is set 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as an evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Channeling Alec Guinness

When interviewed by AP Entertainment Ewan McGregor has stated he finds that he “Always has Alec Guinness on his mind” when he’s preparing for a scene or when about to do a take, he has also revealed that he occasionally asks for one more shot so he can do an “Alec Guinness-sy take” as he wants Obi-Wan to feel more like Guinness’s original portrayal of the character.

British actors Anthony Daniels, Alec Guinness and American Mark Hamill on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope written, directed and produced by Georges Lucas. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

McGregor revealed that he has a sound file from Alec from the original film that he has saved that he can replay when he is in the dressing room when playing Obi-Wan and he can study him, Ewan then claims he was never lucky enough to meet him, Ewan then claims that Alec is “one of Britain’s most amazing actors of all time and how its a privilege to play him as a younger man”.

Ewan then in the interview explains his closer to Alec’s first portrayal of the character as when Alec first played Obi-Wan he was 63 to which Ewan then explained that he is now 51 so now he is getting closer in age and claims that in the situation that McGregor’s Obi-Wan is closer to Alecs’s Obi-Wan where they are both living in solitude on Tatooine.

When re-watching the you can see how passionate he is about the character just by how he speaks about the character, even taking time to stop talking and not to reveal too much when explaining talking about how his Obi-Wan is similar to the situation of Alec’s Obi-Wan.

Preparation for The Series

The series released a final trailer last week which gave us a new look at Kenobi’s return and a first live-action look at The Inquisitors who audiences were first introduced to in the animated Star Wars: Rebels. So it may be helpful to catch up on the series before Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres. It may also be helpful to watch The Clone Wars animated series which gives a lot more depth to the relationship between Anakin and Kenobi. We may even revisit some sequences from the series in live-action since Hayden Christensen is also returning. Watch the full trailer for the show below.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Starts Streaming Exclusively on Disney Plus May 27 with a Two episode Premiere.

Also Read: Hayden Christensen Tease Kenobi-Vader Confrontation

Hayden Christensen Teases ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Fight Sequences and Anakin’s Struggle

Obi-Wan Kenobi is the next Star Wars series scheduled to be hitting Disney Plus in just two weeks. The series has been the most anticipated Star Wars series among fans for some time since it marks the return of Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen after 17 years. The series is set 10 years after the dramatic events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat: the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as an evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his eopie in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Arriving May 27, Obi-Wan Kenobi its first 2 episodes together on Disney+ on 27 May. Currently the series is having it’s press tour where during an interview Hayden Christensen spoke about the fight sequences in the series.

Prequel-Inspired Fight Sequences

Hayden Christensen recently spoke with Empire Magazine and gave details about the amazing sequences in the series:

“We’re more in line with the prequels than we are with how the fights are in the original trilogy. These characters have aged, but not that much yet.”

Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen) in Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

This is exciting to hear as it shows us that the series will be dealing with the direct problem sleft at the end of Revenge of the Sith.

Anakin’s Struggles

“He’s always going to be struggling with the loss of Padmé. He’s got Anakin buried deep down inside. There always has to be that element of Anakin there, because he does eventually find redemption in the end – through the love of his son, no less. So there has to be that bit of him in there for Luke to be able to access. There’s a lot going on.”

This is great to hear since it shows that we will get to see a side of Vader who is deeply conflicted and is learning the ways of the Sith at the same time

Final Confrontation

With both Christensen and McGregor returning it is inevitable that we see a confrontation between Darth Vader and his old master Kenobi. The first concept art for the series gave us glimpses of this confrontation, now new promo art has given us an even better look.

This confrontation promises to be an emotion one, most likely left for the end of the series. However, with the posters and promo art teasing the fight so much it may appear even earlier in the series. The series will follow Kenobi as he looks over Anakin’s son Luke and is in hiding being a Jedi from the Empire.

Fifth Brother (Sung Kang, center) and Stormtroopers in a scene from Lucasfilm’s OBI-WAN KENOBI, exclusively on Disney+. © 2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.

Preparation for The Series

The series released a final trailer last week which gave us a new look at Kenobi’s return and a first live-action look at The Inquisitors who audiences were first introduced to in the animated Star Wars: Rebels. So it may be helpful to catch up on the series before Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres. It may also be helpful to watch The Clone Wars animated series which gives a lot more depth to the relationship between Anakin and Kenobi. We may even revisit some sequences from the series in live-action since Hayden Christensen is also returning. Watch the full trailer for the show below.

Also Read our Season 1 Review for Moon Knight.

Back To The Future star Christopher Lloyd joins the cast of The Mandalorian Season 3

The Mandalorian, produced by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, launched in November 2019 as Disney+’s flagship show, solely responsible for the bulk of the streamer’s initial subscribers. Season two ran in late 2020, with the first spinoff, The Book of Boba Fett, debuting Dec. 28. The Mandalorian stars Pedro Pascal as a Mandalorian bounty hunter by the name of Din Djarin who becomes attached to a baby, the same species as Master Yoda. Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito will also return in the series.

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd has joined the cast of The Mandalorian Season 3, which is set to premiere around December 2022 and January 2023. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The iconic Back To The Future actor was on the call sheet for the series, which is currently filming in Southern California.

The Hollywood Reporter also states that details of the role itself are still unknown, but it is a guest-starring role.

The Mandalorian has already brought in actors of the highest caliber into the universe including Giancarlo Esposito, Pedro Pascal, Mark Hamill, and Carl Weathers. So, Christopher Lloyd is a worthy addition to the show’s cast and is sure to get fans excited.

Who could Christopher Lloyd portray? Since it is only a guest role, he could be playing absolutely anyone in the series. However, we have heard from trusted sources that there will be 100s of Mandalorians involved in the show. So, Christopher Lloyd could be playing a Mandalorian but, it would be extremely unlikely that an actor as iconic as Christoper Lloyd would have his face covered. Therefore, I believe that he may be playing a wise old Jedi or another original character.

Christopher Lloyd is infamous for his iconic role as ‘Doc Brown’ in the Back To The Future franchise. On the cosmic side, he has also played ‘Commander Kruger’ in the Star Trek Franchise. These franchises are universally loved and fans will no doubt be ecstatic about the casting. There has already been great excitement on Social Media in regards to the casting.

The Mandalorian, produced by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, first premiered on the 12th of November, 2019 as Disney+’s first flagship Series, solely responsible for the bulk of the streamer’s initial subscribers stars, Pedro Pascal as the Mandalorian bounty hunter by the name of Din Djarin who becomes attached to a baby, the same species as Master Yoda. Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito will also be returning in the third season of the series.

The Mandalorian Season 3 is slated to begin streaming Exclusively on Disney Plus by the end of the year