I’d be open to hearing AI voice of Palpatine options, but I don’t know if a sentence or two is really what I would want for the scene, as I don’t want it to be a full reveal.
The imperial march and emperor music clue you in that something is off/different. Kylo is at his low point, but “wait, what’s this?”
The idea was the crackling followed by two simple words is a bread crumb that I think a strong force user could pick up, but so short for the audience it (hopefully) gives you a “wait, was that? No can’t be. Can it?”
It’s a reveal without a full confirmation, which is what I would want in a tease. Of course, seeing it the first time I’d know it was Palpatine, but I think if he just started delivering lines I’d be saying out loud, “Wait, where the heck did this come from? What is happening? Somehow, Palpatine returned?”
The two words is subtle and simple enough that I’d be genuinely curious if it was really Palpatine, or something channeling Palpatine, or some general Sith magic. It’d make me more curious, like in TFA when we hear Ewan McGregor say “these are the first steps.”
I don’t know if the scene actually works as intended, but that’s the idea at least! It’s hard to know how I would’ve reacted seeing it for the first time.
I would love to get a link a both version! I heard it was the best
Oh no, I missed this message! Well, better than than never (I hope), PM sent.
This is a most wonderful project!
Thank you! I’m not sure if you’re asking to see it, but PM sent.
Can’t wait to hear your full thoughts, Anchorhead, but I think I am in complete agreement. And this is from someone who hasn’t watched Clone Wars or Rebels, and many of the characters were complete unknowns to me.
The pacing is really what drew me in. It doesn’t rush to get to “the good stuff”, it plays out like, well, a story. In each scene I learn something about the characters, not just plot, but how they think. To me this is saying a lot considering what we get with much of the films/series today.
The No Palpatine version means no Palpatine references at all, essentially the last version made before The Rise of Skywalker was released (with only a few minor tweaks that are not Palpatine or Rey Palpatine related).
This is wild stuff! Great work all around. It’s nice to see a lot of activity here!
Everything Emre1601 said!
I would add for myself that I am one who didn’t really enjoy Rogue One. I liked the concept but found it a weird mix of gritty realism, fan-service, and underdeveloped characters.
I also admit that I never I wanted this kind of show from Star Wars. To me, the tone of the old trilogy was perfect and—-while I wish the story had been better planned—-I mostly enjoyed the soft-reboot sequel trilogy.
So Andor was not something I was looking for at all, and it blew me away. I didn’t realize they could make the grassroots of the rebellion so engaging. I couldn’t believe how thrilling it would be to see a character simply change their mind (“Never more than 12”, somehow my favorite moment of the show).
I loved watching Luthen and Mon Mothma delicately navigate their paths. Genevieve O’reilly was incredible, managing to convey such terror buried under a thin layer of composure.
Seeing how the imperial bureaucrats operate showed us how terrifying they can be, but also exposed their vulnerabilities.
And those lulls you mentioned just made the tension builds more intense and arc climaxes more satisfying.
Even watching Syril Karn battle with his mother gave me glimpses of what a “regular” life might be in this universe, while also knowing the mere fact this idealistic fascist is still in the show had me on edge, worried about what he will do or become.
Just loved the show!
Loved the season finale for all of the reasons mentioned and I don’t need to add to it.
But I came here to say, did anyone notice there was a post-credit scene? I almost shut it off but decided I wanted to listen to the music while I thought about the ending, and then suddenly…
So, I just watched episode 10 and I’m effing ecstatic about how good this is. It’s definitely the best Disney Star Wars show but in my opinion, it’s best Star Wars anything since at least Return of the Jedi, with the possible exception of the Thrawn trilogy.
I’m glad you said Return of the Jedi and not Empire Strikes Back! My brother often used ESB when saying “this is the best Star Wars since…” and I feel it’s a little unfair to ROTJ. It may be the most flawed of the original trilogy, but it also has some of the best and most important moments. Everything with Luke/Vader/Palpatine is perfect, and if that story arc didn’t land well, we might not have had any Star Wars afterward.
PM sent! (sorry for the delay)
This show is incredible, and seems to just keep building on top of itself. The latest episode feels like the first mid-arc episode that had a true ending.
Seeing Kino (Serkis) come around after facing up what they kind of suspected already (that none of them were getting out) was exhilarating. When he finally answered Andor’s question about the guards, I have to admit I was pumped.
I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said about the acting, production, and storytelling. Just love it all!
Wow that works much better with the classic map style. Agreed it’s not necessary but for this show it would totally fit.
Now that Season One has ended, I think Poppasketti can take a bow 😉
Why, thank you! So happy my late night list-making wasn’t in vain.
Overall thoughts about the season: I liked it. Didn’t love it, but the effort is there and I appreciate parts of every storyline. I’ll certainly tune in for season two and see what Sauron is up to with his new volcano.
I agree with this exactly. Some of the elements worked really well, and overall I’m excited for season 2. I really think they paid of Galadriel’s storyline as set up. Everything with Finrod and Gil-Galad’s warning really came to fruition in the end and was not simply flowery language. I may be in the minority, but I also liked the Harfoot/Gandalf/wizard storyline, as it provided something I never expected to see: the early development of a new being. It may not be canon, but I found it a compelling alternative to the wizards simply arriving on a boat. I also just found his fear and child-like nature with Nori to just be constantly heart-breaking, but that’s me I guess!
I think my issues mainly stem from the pacing. The passage of time felt very inconsistent, sometimes too fast and sometimes too slow. Lord of the Rings did a good job of cutting around enough, allowing time to pass in each storyline so things felt like they were flowing forward together. The battle episode, Udun, was great but I felt some of the Numenor parts of it should have come in the previous episode so that they had more time to travel offscreen and build up the anticipation of their arrival. I also would have liked to see more than one episode of Celebrimbor/Halbrand/Galadriel to draw out that suspense a little more.
I hope in the 2nd season they can really find their footing, but I do feel a lot of this is really well-rooted in the spirit of Tolkien despite the criticisms.
Was it this past episode that ended with the title card switching from the Southlands to spooky voice, MoRdOr!?!?! Totally cheesy. Felt like the volcano in the distance spoke for itself.
Man I have so many thoughts but so little time! But yes, the latest episode, #7, ended with this. It also had the Balrog reveal, which to me, was to me was terribly lame. I think these last 5 minutes is really was hurt the episode. I just couldn’t believe it, after what to me had been a show with a lot of grace and subtlety (for the most part). A quick fanedit fix for the Balrog might be to simply have the leaf burn up and then cut to black with a short growl of the Balrog. More of a tease than a full reveal.
Overall, I do think the calamitous 6th episode could have had more consequences, Arondir and/or Bronwyn could have died (would be interesting to see how Theo would respond), Miriel perhaps could have died as well. I just felt like too major of an event for every major character to make it through.
Anyway, overall, I’m still very much enjoying the show, and really hoping the finale sticks the landing so we have a good feeling and anticipation for season 2.
Completely agree, Peter Pan. Felt like some wasted opportunities, lost momentum.
At this point, I don’t at all think Halbrand is Sauron.
Eeeeeh I don’t know about that!
I have a list of clues:
Halbrand’s very first line is “The tides of fate are flowing. Yours may be flowing in, or out.” This is something Galadriel says to Frodo when she is tested by the ring in Fellowship. Basically, her deciding NOT to become Sauron.
30 seconds later, he says “Looks can be deceiving." Very suspicious opening statements by someone who is NOT Sauron the deceiver.
In contrast with the other “unwilling king”, Aragorn, Halbrand has a streak of cruelty, from pushing off his companions on the driftwood to get eaten by the worm to brutally beating up and breaking the bones of the Numenorians in the street fight (even after they were done with him and walking away).
When adrift at sea, Galadriel calls attention to his medallion, of which Halbrand mentions he “found it on a dead man”. I feel like this is the kind of line they put there to show him being funny or chummy, but really we need to consider that it might be the literal truth.
Halbrand’s speech about giving people a “means of mastering their fears so you can master them” feels like a good strategy for corrupting people. I don’t think a true King in Tolkien’s world would subscribe to this type of manipulation.
When Galadriel tells Halbrand about the mutiny of elves she says “they could not distinguish me from the evil I was fighting”. Half a second later, rack focus to Halbrand.
In the same scene, Halbrand says he’s sorry about her brother. It seems like an actual apology. I think what may be happening here is that Sauron may have sincerely tried to start over after the defeat of Morgoth, and since he has the ability to change appearance he intended to disappear in Numenor.
Halbrand is very good at making weapons. I remember from Lord of the Rings that “the hands of a king are the hands of a healer.” We see Aragorn try to heal Frodo with the kingsfoil after he’s stabbed on weathertop, and later he heals Eowyn after the battle. Again, in Tolkien’s world I don’t think a true king’s greatest skills would be smithing and manipulation. That sounds more like someone else.
Adar says he killed Sauron after having sacrificed so many orcs for his experiments. Halbrand seems to remember Adar, but not the other way around. Perhaps Halbrand was previously in another form.
Possibly the biggest clue yet, as Halbrand is walking out of the room, Adar asks “Who are you?” Cut to Halbrand from behind, who pauses slightly, doesn’t answer and then leaves. I feel like this moment wouldn’t exist if we are to take Halbrand’s identity at face value. So what identity would make for a satisfying reveal? My backup idea was the Witch-king, but I don’t think the Witch-king is someone that is revealed rather it is what someone becomes.
After the battle, when Halbrand is talking about the feeling he got fighting alongside Galadriel, he says he wishes he could “bind it to my very being.” That word bind reminds us of “one ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.” It’s just too suspicious to be coincidence.
I’m not a makeup expert but I feel like they’ve given Halbrand some heavy eye shadow in such a way that to me he almost looks like an evil-Aragorn. Just waiting for the goatee reveal.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I think if Halbrand is Sauron it would be the most compelling development for Galadriel’s character. It plays into her brothers words, “Sometimes we cannot know [which light to follow] until we have touched the darkness.”
Galadriel has been headstrong and determined all season. She’s also been stubborn and arrogant, and I think she’s in for a rude awakening. She basically dragged Halbrand back to Middle-Earth, gave him an army, and crowned him king, all because of a medallion that he “found on a dead man”. How crazy would it be if Gil-Galad was right that “the same wind that seeks to blow out a fire may also cause its spread”?
Returning to the idea of whether The Stranger could be Gandalf, I went down a rabbit hole from twitter to reddit to Tolkien’s Last Writings from The Peoples of Middle Earth. There’s a passage about Glorfindel and discusses his meeting Gandalf (posted below). This passage implies that Gandalf may have visited Middle-Earth earlier than is otherwise known, and even that he might have met “others deeper in Middle-earth.” This could suggest that Gandalf may have had early encounter with Hobbits/Harfoots. The big question, I suppose, is why no-one else would know about it, or at least not enough to “record” any of it in ME history. Could it be possible that Gandalf met the harfoots and had an inpact on this story large enough to justify all the screen-time, but in a way that the other peoples who recorded history wouldn’t know about it?
Also, if we got nothing else from this series but this scene, I might actually say it would have been worth it:
Whew. Great episode.
I’m a bit fearful about the stranger. Since episode 2 I’d felt he was Gandalf (or a wizard). This episode swings me back towards Sauron (how it seemed when he first landed).
My only hope comes from the song Poppy sings and that’s repeated in the end credits. It’s a variation on a poem Tolkien wrote, that Gandalf sends to Frodo. Gives me some hope.
Well said, Nev. Today’s the only day I couldn’t take a lunch break to watch so I can’t wait until the little one goes down for bedtime!