This will not be a full review of any individual episode of Walt Disney's great 'Star Wars' experiment Andor. I understand that everyone is clamoring to know what the scuttlebutt is on the show. While I've watched the first three episodes and have formulated a few thoughts on them (that I'll share in just a moment) I'm not entirely certain I want to review them independently. Taken as a whole, the three installments kinda/sorta blend together into a mini-movie within the greater galaxy far, far away; and I'm just not convinced that there's much value in breaking them apart for dissection and discussion. But because I keep getting asked, I thought I'd pony up a few random thoughts on the show.
First off, I'll say that I believe Disney+ plus did the right thing in releasing these three episodes together because -- as I said -- they really flow like they're one longer story. Separately, I honestly found them a bit clunky in areas that probably could've been cleaned up with a tighter edit, but it's kinda/sorta clear they're not so much trying to draw in the same kid-centric audience that The Mandalorian and The Book Of Boba Fett have drawn. Yes, it's a more mature storyline, and there are some among us who'd say "more mature" is a polite way of saying "slower."
Second, if I had been subject to viewing these three episodes individually instead of the way they were released (as a unit), then I'm not so sure I'd even hang on with the show. Episodes One and Two are exceedingly underwhelming for a lot of reasons, most of which ties to the fact that I just don't find Diego Luna's character all that interesting on his own. Rogue One -- his big screen introduction to the Star Wars universe -- had (simply) a kick-ass ensemble, of which he was the least interesting character in my humble opinion. Staking out his own territory with this show is a curious choice, one that may or may not pay off the way the Mouse House intended.
Third, yes, yes, yes. This really isn't targeted at children any longer ... which is an odd switch because -- if I remember correctly -- wasn't I told over and over again that the reason I didn't like The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise Of Skywalker was because I'm old and "Star Wars is meant for kids"? It seems to me I heard that on more than a single occasion, and it may very well have even come from JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy at some point. Now here we are developing a politically-charged series for adults in the same universe, so what are they gonna say when adults don't like it this time?
Fourth: taking three episodes to, authentically, develop a story is a stretch for a series but not so much for an engaging movie. Andor is going to have to dramatically tighten up the reins and show audiences a direction worth going in pretty quickly. Unlike kids, adults have a tendency to turn it off or (gasp!) change the channel if something isn't moving along all that quickly; so crafting something meant to corner the market on what any advertiser will tell you isn't a worthwhile demographic is not a great business model. More likely, Kennedy and her minions are hoping for awards with Andor, so we'll have to see if they win any.
Lastly: does Andor's backstory really have to be all that complex? Go back and look at the original Star Wars movie, and you might get the grasp of how excellent and concise character introductions can be accomplished visually and textually in short snippets, one building upon the next. In this regard, Andor feels more like a personality info-dump at times -- here's who he knew early in his career, here's what he experienced early in his career, here's his personal motivation at this point in his life ... That's an awful lot to digest, and -- think what you will -- I'm not all that convinced adults are looking for this many layers in a Star Wars property.
If you want to do Battlestar Galactica yet again, then why not just go off and do that?
Of course, I'm not saying that's the trajectory Andor is on, but I'm also not digging its desire to give me a seven-course meal when I'm just looking for fries and a burger. Episode Three -- the best so far -- damn near could've been retooled to work almost entirely on its own (sans the first two), and I might've had more fun with it. Still, it's early -- and this is not a full review -- so I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's finally going somewhere with the next chapter.