On top of the finally competent execution and fiery writing, I just love how overtly political it is.
It goes so much further in its anti-fascist narrative than Star Wars ever has - placing responsibility for oppression not just on diabolical evildoers, but everyday corporate motivation - an upper class, the policing that protects their interests, the systemic abuse, and even the complacency/banality of those employed by said institutions.
The bad guys are all finally white guys again, and there’s no sympathy for a tragic antagonist here. The corpo we follow is a lawful, pathetic stick-in-the-mud with too much faith in the systems everyone else rightfully has palpable disgust/distrust for. A working class community gambles their freedom for one of their own. It’s not even calling out corruption, it’s reckoning with a capitalistic system working as it should (in spite of the corruption), and still being the oppressor. It’s angry and rebellious and has something to say I love that.
After years of having people complain black people in SW is political, this is actually political Star Wars and it rules
Dude settle down, if you want to go out and kill white people do it somewhere else
Not what I meant, don’t worry! 😃
I’ve just always felt like the archetypal posh White Man that was the OT’s imperial officers was a great, if subtle, bit of worldbuilding and symbolism. There’s something about the poise and pomp in which they carried themselves that contrasted well with the dominantly American-coded rebels. The implicit commentary of it all even made it into the old EU, with those Imperial human-superiority elements.
That commentary has been lost a bit in recent SW stuff. Reva in OBK, Terisa in Squadrons, Rae Sloane, etc. I get the inclusion angle or whatever in modern media, but it always felt a bit off to me to include those minorities in the ostensible fascism analogue. Cool characters in their own right, but meaningless to the thematic fiber of the original films.
Andor goes all-in on the original analogues. Just even on a purely aesthetic level, it works far better for the anti-oppression narrative than sympathizing with or girlboss-ing a fascist. And that’s not to say it’s without humanity either. Cyril may be kind of joyless and meek, but he’s not lawfully wrong and he’s trying to make something work within the system. There are echoes of Piett there, Ozzel in Chief Hyne, etc. It’s not meaningless politicism, it really has something to say about what motivates and fosters support of Power. Really good stuff