Cassian Andor is in deep trouble – incarcerated for six years for practically no crime at all, he’s trapped in a nightmarishly dystopian Imperial prison. Meanwhile, Syril Karn just can’t seem to catch a break – his attempts at clearing his name have attracted the attention of a familiar face from the bureaucratic arm of the Empire.

First things first: Nicholas Britell’s score is perfectly twinned with the stunning retro-futuristic aesthetic that Andor has been constructed around. It’s one hell of an achievement and something that isn’t being commented upon enough; this is one beautiful looking and sounding Star Wars show – perhaps the best the franchise has ever been from an audiovisual perspective, outside of the original trilogy.

Perhaps that’s going without much fanfare because of how good Andor is in general though; it’s tense, dramatic and incredibly well acted – we even get to meet a character played by Andy Serkis, who I didn’t expect to pop up (especially as he has already been fairly prominent in Star Wars, if a little wasted, as Supreme Leader Snoke in the sequel trilogy).

I’m so thankful that the size, scope and possibilities presented by the Star Wars universe are finally being capitalised on properly – and in such a mature way too. For far too long, the franchise has relied upon fan-pleasing moments, references and cameos – even Rogue One succumbed to this very awkwardly, but there’s nothing of the sort here.

That’s not to say that characters who previously appeared haven’t had their time to shine or have popped up again in Andor; just that their appearance has been treated as more than a way for fans to get a nostalgia hit from their presence alone.

It’s almost criminal how few people are watching Andor, given just how good it is. It’s genuinely the best that Star Wars has been in a very long time. Though I enjoyed The Mandalorian, as one example – and it definitely had its moments – it never reached the heights that Andor has effortlessly sustained from the beginning. This feels like a Star Wars show for way more than the fans alone; in fact, it may well be the first Star Wars show specifically not to care one bit about fan reaction – and it’s all the better for it.

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