Andor may feel like a long time coming, in part because the Star Wars film the events of the Disney+ series leads into (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) was released half a dozen years ago, but also because the show was originally supposed to premiere in August. After getting its launch date pushed back to Sept. 21 (when it will drop the first three episodes of its first season), critics who had the opportunity to watch footage early for coverage consideration had to sit on their opinions longer than expected. And for those who are Star Wars fans, that likely proved hard. But now, they are finally able to share short sentiments of opinion on social media before the full review embargo lifts, and the force is strong with this show.
However, although critics are sharing that they enjoyed the first four episodes of the series that were screened for review ahead of launch, many of them couldn't help but point out that the series is a bit different than the epic space fantasy stories that came before it in the same universe.
Fangirlish's Lissete Lanuza Sáenz tweeted that the show both feels like Star Wars, but also "something completely different." And for her, that was a good thing. She continued, "It's rare for such a well-known franchise to manage something that feels brand new, but I think this show pulls it off."
#Andor feels like #StarWars in the best ways, and like something completely different in the best ways, too. It's rare for such a well-known franchise to manage something that feels brand new, but I think this show pulls it off.— Lissete Lanuza Sáenz ✨ (@lizziethat) September 16, 2022
Fandango's Erik Davis' early reaction followed a similar sentiment, calling out that Andor is "more simple" and has a "ground-level approach" from other such Star Wars universe-set series before it, as The Mandalorian. Since the show deals with the forming of the rebellion, he noted that it "plays like a crime drama more than a space opera."
I've watched 4 episodes of #Andor & I'm loving its more simple ground-level approach. It's different from the other shows, less humor. Plays like a crime drama more than a space opera. I dug how it highlights low-level Empire leaders as it reveals a rebel alliance slowly forming pic.twitter.com/SNsBIDrhbq— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) September 16, 2022
Some viewers may automatically think Davis' comparison to "crime drama" is synonymous with calling the show prestige television, but for those who need a little bit more convincing, freelancer Josh Weiss called Andor "probably the most mature and nuanced Star Wars project made so far," while Decider's Alex Zalben took his review a bit further, saying, "Tonally, visually, sonically, if I didn't know Andor was a Star Wars show, I would have thought it was a completely new, adult sci-fi drama."
I’ve seen the first 4 episodes of #Andor and it’s probably the most mature and nuanced @starwars project made so far. Smartly written, beautifully shot & confidently acted, it oozes retro-futurism of the late ‘70s and rocks a wonderfully experimental score from @NicholasBritell. pic.twitter.com/uHj3qrV0Vi— Josh Weiss (@JoshuaHWeiss) September 16, 2022
Tonally, visually, sonically, if I didn't know #Andor was a Star Wars show, I would have thought it was a completely new, adult sci-fi drama. That's a good thing (maybe a great thing) that pays off on the promise of allowing other creators to play in the sandbox. Promising start. pic.twitter.com/9iocYIxf69— Alex Zalben (@azalben) September 16, 2022
Overall, critics responded extremely well to everything from the writing to the cinematography and the score. See below for more early reactions.
#Andor is a bold experiment. It's the first slow-burn #StarWars drama, and it definitely takes a few episodes to get going, but when it does it's very rewarding. It's incredibly subtle and tonally different from anything that's come before in this franchise, including #RogueOne. pic.twitter.com/Cub5VSnBvp— LaughingPlace.com (@laughing_place) September 16, 2022
I've seen 4 episodes of #Andor and it's very different from the rest of modern Star Wars, for better & worse.— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) September 16, 2022
The first 2 episodes didn't grab me: Too matter of fact, too low stakes. But 3-4 paid them off incredibly well. Now, I'm all in, but it takes time to sink in its hooks. pic.twitter.com/TxrB243kmN
Just saw the first 3 eps of #Andor and it’s even better than I expected. It is the most cinematic Star Wars show yet. Diego Luna is stellar! Love the darker and gritty vibe of the show. Lucasfilm/Disney isn’t pulling any punches with this one. #StarWars— Wendy Lee Szany (@WendyLeeSzany) September 16, 2022
Andor is everything I wanted! Stunning visuals, epic action sequences, high stakes feel, & a version of Cassian that fans aren't familiar with yet. Diego Luna crushes his return as one of the best Star Wars characters. Plus a new droid to fall in love with. Give me MORE!#Andor pic.twitter.com/J7XsAN0hoB— Tessa Smith - Mama's Geeky (@MamasGeeky) September 16, 2022
Another thing I love about #Andor is the score, composed by Nicholas Britell. It truly stands out as part of the Star Wars legacy scores, which first started with Michael Giacchino and his score for Rogue One pic.twitter.com/AbM8UO2HB6— Meredith Loftus (@MeredithLoftus) September 16, 2022
The scenes with all the mean (but very clean) Empire people are such a delight too, all sniping as they try to climb the ladder of a horrible (but very clean) regime. Look how annoyed Denise Gough is, like everyone is too unkempt for her. Magnificent. #Andor pic.twitter.com/NeMIsa96FK— Sean Keane (@SpectacularSean) September 16, 2022
All in all, I expected to like #Andor , and I did. I might even say I expected to love it, and I did. I'm not sure I expected to connect with it emotionally as much, though, and that might be the show's biggest win.— Lissete Lanuza Sáenz ✨ (@lizziethat) September 16, 2022
I also truly enjoyed every second of Adria Arjona on my screen. She's the rare kind of actress who can flip a switch between kick-ass and vulnerable effortlessly, and #Andor is better thanks to her presence— Lissete Lanuza Sáenz ✨ (@lizziethat) September 16, 2022
Have seen the first 4 episodes of #andor and LOVE them. I’m so tired of watching the same #starwars characters and locations and ‘Andor’ is none of that. No Jedi. No lightsabers. No Tatooine. Tony Gilroy is leading what might end up as my favorite ‘Star Wars’ series. pic.twitter.com/wfubmYoBkP— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) September 16, 2022
#Andor blew away my expectations. It’s extremely cinematic, ambitious, unafraid to take risks. It keeps the characters at the forefront with a slower pace. It’s easy to inhabit their mindsets. The final moments of episode three had me in tears. Just in awe.— Braddington (@bradwhipple) September 16, 2022
i’ve been a star wars fan for many, many years, but this is the first time in a long time i’ve felt truly pulled back into that world. i’m optimistic about what’s coming. #Andor— Lauren Puckett-Pope (@laurpuckett) September 16, 2022
what i’ve seen so far of #Andor is excellent. lush, intimate and mature. more inspired and intentional than other recent star wars projects, while still deeply immersed in the established lucas universe. it helps that diego luna’s impossible not to love.— Lauren Puckett-Pope (@laurpuckett) September 16, 2022
#Andor is SENSATIONAL! A PERFECT #StarWars story and the best since #RogueOne. A riveting character drama that chronicles the ignition of a revolution. Gilroy takes the anger & frustration of our current political climate & channels it into a fierce spy thriller. GIVE ME MORE! pic.twitter.com/6SXprGn9Cb— Griffin Schiller (@griffschiller) September 16, 2022
#Andor is NOT what I expected. It's a mix of STAR WARS UNDERWORLD and LORD OF THE FLIES, an odd pairing that works. Diego Luna, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw and Stellan Skarsgård give standout performances. It's action-packed, yet a slow burn and I can't wait to see how it ends. pic.twitter.com/SVqfnhnfvq— BSL @ #TIFF22 (@bigscreenleaks) September 16, 2022