Back before the days of the Internet, scribes and critics didn’t really have to worry about so much daily (or routine) interaction with their readership. A controversial opinion – when properly couched with both the distance from the general public as well as the reality that opposing forces were vastly less likely to meet – was just that … a controversial opinion. It was rarely met with choruses to boycott an outlet or cries for authors to be censored into oblivion. Back then, people honestly had better things to do with their time; yet, today, every Tom, Dick, Harry, Marcia, Jan, or Cindy has a blog, a vlog, a Facebook group, or the wide, wide Twittersphere with which to put out a call to arms. That can be unnerving to some, but those who know me best will tell you that my propensity to ‘give a damn’ flamed out decades ago.
In fact, I’ve rarely ever given that a second thought … and this is because I write to express my own opinion, not to influence others about what’s good, what’s bad, what’s exceptional, or what’s hot garbage. I like what I like – I try to express my fondness for the things I discover (or vice versa) – and I let the chips fall however they may. I figure if I have to crash and burn, then I should be forever free to do it all of my own accord … so take that, Internet haters.
All of this brings me to “Announcement,” the seventh episode in the Disney+ Star Wars series Andor … which, quite frankly, is a bit boring.
I know, I know, I know. I’m not allowed to say that because somehow my opinion magically and mystically invades your safe space, making it a big no-no. Well, buckle up, buttercup, because that latest 50-minute experience was a bit of a slog … necessarily. Big things came down in the installment right before, so – from a narrative standpoint – it was now time for audiences to catch their breath, for the characters in the galaxy far far away to come to grips with these latest developments, and for changes to occur that would set up the next part of the action.
But as a character … I still don’t trust Cassian Andor.
I know, I know, I know. How can I say that? He’s a critical darling! Well, that may be the case, but as I’ve said before I found him the least interesting character in all of Rogue One – his introduction to this cinematic universe – but he was salvaged in the small way of giving him an identifiable arc, one that showed he could stand for something when the chips were down. At this juncture in Andor, he clearly doesn’t. To make matters worse, he makes some of the dumbest choices imaginable – i.e. returning home, daring capture or incarceration, walking about freely on a beach resort planet (Space Malibu?) teeming with Imperial operatives.
Come the end of “Announcement,” I turned to my wife and asked, “Just how stupid can one supposed cunning criminal be?”
The fact that he’s survived this long without being either jailed or killed has almost officially defied logic – look for the impending press release from Kathleen Kennedy’s office or thereabouts. Not only is he uninteresting and untrustworthy, he’s now categorically stupid.
This is the best the rebels can hope for?
Naturally, I do hope that the evolution of him from ‘doddering scamp’ to ‘hero of the Alliance’ is worth the wait.
At this point, I think it’s fair for me to conclude that – as a stand-alone property – I just don’t find Andor all that interesting. This isn’t to say that it hasn’t had some nice moments or maybe even a good performance or two. If I were that intrigued by Cassian himself, then I might feel more invested in the show (at this point, which is all I’m referencing, folks); but given the fact that this storyline is intended to be part and parcel of a broader universe I’m not all that impressed.