Disney+ has wisely made a decision to launch the 12-episode prequel to “Rogue 1, ” starring Diego Luna as the spy Cassian Andor, with individuals three episodes, providing a somewhat better feeling of the series’ construction than the plodding very first installment. It takes till the fourth, however , for this origin story’s story to come into focus, and by then, “Andor” has already become a bit of a snore.
Created by veteran screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who have received screenplay credit for “Rogue One” and played a role in the reshoots , “Andor” proudly wears upon its sleeve the fact that it’s not another “Star Wars” series designed to wow fans along with cameos (although there will be some of those) or sell plush playthings. Gilroy seems keen on telling a terse spy yarn using a caper component — think “The Guns of Navarone, ” only with spaceships, droids and the periodic alien.
Following a less-trodden route, though, doesn’t reason moving at the pace of a wounded Bantha, bogged down by flashbacks to the protagonist’s childhood. Nor do these early shows do enough to distinguish the shifting toss of supporting characters, a group that doesn’t trigger much more than not caring.
Andor’s eventual fate has already been known, so the drive of the show entails fleshing out just how he made the leap from hating the Empire, and its particular arrogance, to doing the fight against this.
Stellan Skarsgård plays a central part in that regard, at least in the earlier going, and Genevieve O’Reilly makes a good appearance as Friday Mothma, reprising the particular role she performed in “Rogue One particular, ” although may expect to see the girl right away.
As for the Empire, the business is less in regards to the Sith in this incarnation than frontline soldiers, a group characterized by bureaucratic infighting and more than a little middle-managerial inefficiencies. While that delivers an inherent message about totalitarian says, like the good men, few of the bad guys create much of an impression.
The vastness of the “Star Wars” galaxy and the numerous time frames it occupies create a painting that can accommodate all sorts of stories, perhaps more readily than the Disney brethren at Marvel given the particular interconnected nature of its universe. This obviously isn’t “The Mandalorian” or “Obi-Wan Kenobi, ” with all those times designed to make hardcore fans swoon, and in theory, that’s great.
The issue is there’s little initially to foster a lot enthusiasm about “Andor, ” which mostly feels like an intriguing test of how plus where Lucasfilm can push those parameters and bend the mold — in this instance, by producing exactly what amounts to an anti-“Star Wars” “Star Wars” series. Unlike the particular rousing action in “Rogue One, inch the series will not deliver the level of excitement required to sustain this kind of extended detour because it methodically sets up the storyplot.
Charitably, the experiment represents an act of creative independence that merits praise only for trying it. Less charitably, “Andor” feels like a series afflicted by a touch of its own imperial selfishness.
“Andor” premieres using its first three episodes September 21 upon Disney+.