Tuesday, December 13, 2022

How Andor deepens the entire Star Wars universe

Andor is a prequel to Rogue One and may be the best Star Wars property ever, standing on the shoulders of giants. Andor's complex and detailed worldbuilding unpacks both the Empire and the Rebellion, giving the viewer a new and expanded perspective on both. 

The Emperor Has No Clothes (TEHNC) is a podcast devoted to unpacking the lies we believe and the truths we can't see. We frequently cover the transformational aspects of popular media and the ways it can evolve societal consciousness at scale.

Andor is the first Star Wars show we'd consider a masterpiece. Andor creator Tony Gilroy famously "saved" Rogue One, and here Gilroy had nearly complete creative freedom to bring to life the preceding 5-year arc of rebel fighter Cassian Andor, and the physical, mental and spiritual journey that brought him to the events of Rogue One. Andor's first season has just ended and we decided now was the time to bring back the dormant TEHNC (The Emperor Has No Clothes) Podcast for a discussion on an angle we haven't seen anyone else cover: that Andor's deep-dive into the grinding bureaucracy of the fascist Empire, as well as its compassionate close depiction of the seeds of the rebellion, not only illuminates both of those Star Wars domains but actually deepens all other Star Wars works, past and present. In other words, the "referential density" of our new knowledge about the inner workings of these domains means when we watch other Star Wars works (like the original Star Wars film) we will have a whole new sensory understanding we didn't have the first time around. 

Needless to say, you should NOT watch this discussion if you haven't already seen Andor and Rogue One. Rogue One is the story of how the rebellion got hold of the plans for the Death Star, and it ends literally at the moment Star Wars (Episode 4, technically) begins. It has emerged as one of the best-loved Star Wars films, probably because it deepens our grounded understanding of what it means to sacrifice for a higher cause. Andor is a prequel to Rogue One and it greatly expands the terrain of Rogue One, showing us the lived experience of being inside two adversarial fields, that of the Empire and that of the Rebellion. It's a deliberately-paced, complex and masterful work packed with memorable characters and tremendous specificity. We can't recommend it highly enough.

Find us on Twitter: Jonathan: @MagicPeaceLove Mark: @MarkAllanKaplan