Andor’s greatest strength wasn’t the absence of the Force

(L-R): Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in Lucasfilm's ANDOR, exclusively on Disney+. ©2022 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Even though the second season of Andor is still far, far away, many Star Wars fans are still raving about the first season, which ended almost a year ago. As they should — it’s one of the most unique Star Wars TV shows to land on Disney+ so far.

This might make you wonder: What is it about this show, exactly, that has earned it so much positive feedback since its 2022 premiere?

Many have pointed to the fact that, while the story does tie directly into the larger events of the Skywalker Saga, it’s far removed from most of the major characters from the films and other TV shows. There isn’t a constant flow of “cameo” appearances from well-known characters. Those who do show up — Saw Gerrera, for example — are directly embedded into the story; the plot would not progress without them.

But that’s not the only reason this series resonated with so many Star Wars fans — and, let’s be honest, viewers who don’t know much about Star Wars at all (happy to have you along for the ride!).

Andor is, first and foremost, a show about ordinary people who try to accomplish extraordinary things despite their misfortune. Whether it’s Cassian trying to get the money he needs for the chance of a better life, Dedra trying to climb the ranks despite the obstacles placed before her, or Mon Mothma trying to save the galaxy one risky deal at a time, all of these characters could be any of us.

It’s not just the lack of the Force or the absence of Jedi that makes the show powerful. It’s that it centers exclusively on people whose names may never last in anyone’s memory even as they try to better their surroundings.

Haven’t we all taken a step back, looked at our lives, and wondered if our efforts really mean anything at all? Does it even matter that we gave money to that fundraiser, helped that stranger, or called our senator? We’re no one special. Is anyone even going to remember we existed?

All the characters in Andor are trying to survive in one way or another, and in that survival they are trying to define, for themselves, the kind of mark they want to leave behind on the galaxy..

The world, our world, is not doing super great right now overall. Perhaps what viewers were desperate to see was a cast of characters also living in a time when things were dreary, uncertain, and dangerous. Those characters did everything they could to make the most of their circumstances, and because we all know the end of this story, we know their efforts did pay off. People did remember them. Their legacies outlived them.

That is the magic of Andor. Helping us believe that all the little things we do every day can and will add up to something much bigger than ourselves.

All episodes of Andor Season 1 are available to stream exclusively on Disney+.

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