After helping Andor escape the clutches of the Pre-Mor Authority, Luthen Rael makes him a tempting, if dangerous offer – though Andor doesn’t exactly receive a warm welcome where he ends up. Meanwhile, the hapless Syril Karn pays the price for letting the two men slip through his fingers – and a member of the Imperial Security Bureau begins to look deeper into the situation that Karn was ultimately held responsible for.

After the action of episode 3, episode 4 returns to a more layered and complex look at a universe on the brink of all out war. The focus on the bureaucratic side of the Empire and the politics that both the Imperials and nascent Rebellion must deal with, from a personal as well as larger points of view, is genuinely riveting, despite the more measured pace.

It’s remarkable that Andor manages to do this with so little in the way of callbacks, references or awkwardly shoehorned in fan service; it’s a fantastic, mature and compelling drama that uses the Star Wars universe in a way that hasn’t been done before. Sure, there have been times where Star Wars has aspired to be serious crime drama or spy thriller, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t ever quite managed to.

Andor makes it look easy.

It’s a phenomenal series so far; the performances – from an eclectic and fantastic cast of actors – are universally excellent, it’s beautifully and naturalistically shot (a few CGI shots are jarring, perhaps due to how good all of the practical scenes and settings look) and the soundtrack – by Nicholas Britell – is stunning.

I’ve seen a few stalwart Star Wars fans on social media complaining about how alienated they feel by the pace, subject matter and tone of Andor. However, for me these differences only serve to make it far more interesting.

It’s deepening the lore of the entire saga in a way that doesn’t feel cheap, awkward or unearned, which is a trick that can be very difficult to pull off – as numerous sequel movies and shows set in the Star Wars universe have shown.

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