'Andor' Review: Learning to Fly
The series maintains its momentum, even as it heads to new locations and brings in new characters.
After a third episode that deepened one of the central mysteries of the show and also added motivation for Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), the fourth episode presents a new mission, expands to new landscapes, and introduces multiple new perspectives, including some I haven't seen before in a Star Wars screen property.
Directed by Susanna White, a British TV director and premium cable veteran, and written by Dan Gilroy, a screenwriter and director who is also creator Tony Gilroy's brother, the fourth episode maintains the tone and attitude established in the first three episodes, while adding a dollop of additional juice in its new characters, as Cassian accepts a mercenary assignment from Luthen Reel (Stellan Skarsgård) and falls under the direction of a new leader who brooks no nonsense.
Meanwhile, we also see the fallout from what happened to Syril (Kyle Soller), the Imperial officer who was incensed by the murders that were committed in the first episode, ignored his superior officer's order to let them go, and whose quest for vengeance was foiled in the third episode. Now demoted, his righteous anger has not yet been mollified, and he must decide what he's going to do about it.
Simultaneously, we also see another aspect of the Imperial Empire through the eyes of Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), an Imperial officer who suspects that the events in the third episode are more widespread, and more troubling to the Empire, than anyone else believes, including her fellow officers and her superiors.
After Luthen Reel sends Cassian off on his mission, he returns to his place as a shop owner catering to the wealthy and elite, including Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly), a key character who previously appeared in other Star Wars films, including Rogue One. Her role will no doubt be developed further.
What's so entertaining about the series so far is that it introduces all the characters in a way that is easy to follow for the non-Star Wars fanatic, such as myself. (I have to look up a lot of stuff on Wikipedia, so thanks, Wikipedia!) The show feels relevant to the 21st century, while also developing a propulsive narrative flow that continues to keep me eager to see what comes next. [Disney Plus]