Ever since Star Wars made its debut in 1977, there has always been a formula the franchise followed for most of its projects. This year, though, seems to be an absolute exception with Andor and how it changed the game. Unlike most of the films, series, and animated projects, this spinoff revolving around Cassian Andor’s beginnings deals with a different, and for some, better side of this universe. As a result, Star Wars is made a lot better because of this gem on Disney Plus. Here are four reasons to back up that claim.

4 major reasons why Star Wars is better because of Andor

Andor, Star Wars, Entertainment

4. A breath of fresh air

For decades, Star Wars revolved mostly around the Jedi and Sith’s battle to gain supremacy in the universe. While this resulted in a lot of epic moments throughout those years, it has come to a point where the whole plot device has run its course amongst fans. This is where Andor comes in.

Before the series premiered on Disney Plus this year, Star Wars was enjoying a resurgence of sorts, thanks to The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. The thing is, these projects heavily relied on nostalgia to make their stories work, more or less. Andor, on the other hand, deals with real-life topics that have never been touched upon this heavily in any Star Wars film or series before.

Thanks to this neglect of nostalgia and building up the show on something else, Andor delivers a fresh new take on the franchise. As a result, people who were previously tired of Star Wars are now seeing this universe in a different light and are now believing that new and better stories can be told.

3. Andor tackles themes prevalent in the world today

Again, Star Wars mostly deals with the never-ending battle between the forces of good and evil. Throughout the decades, fans have seen this in the Skywalker Saga and how the Sith continuously tries to wrest control of the Galaxy from the Light Side of the Force. But while that may have been the case all this time, there has been neglect of certain issues that reverberate more in today’s world.

In some ways, Andor sheds a light on those issues throughout its 12-episode run on Disney Plus. Before, fans will only have the Skywalkers’ constant battle against the Sith’s temptation of power and control. Now, people are seeing how the Empire and Rebellion truly were during the time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Themes of oppression, an inadequate justice system, poverty, and tyranny, among others, have been consistently on display in Andor season 1. Not only that but the effects of these themes on common folk are also shown to great effect in a Star War series, of all places. That alone is something that elevates the franchise as a whole.

2. The cast is phenomenal

In the entire history of Star Wars, there have been a lot of hits and misses when casting individuals to star in the franchise’s films and series. On one hand, you’ve got winners in Harrison Ford, Ewan McGregor, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill, among others. Meanwhile, some would argue that casting the likes of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, or Adam Driver didn’t really pan out that well. With Andor, though, the cast wonderfully shows everyone what it can do and how it can elevate the entire franchise through its collective talent.

Take Luthen Rael, as masterfully played by Stellan Skarsgård, for example. His layered performance of the old rebel, along with an impressive display of range and emotions, are things that aren’t common in Star Wars. Add in Diego Luna’ s Cassian Andor, Fiona Shaw’s Maarva Andor, Genevieve O’Reilly’s Mon Mothma, Kyle Soller’s Syril Karn, and Denise Gough’s Dedra Meero, and you’ve got a bunch of characters that have shown more character than in any Star Wars project before.

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Of course, these individuals are just the tip of the iceberg as every other portrayal in Andor season 1 is believable and brings something new to the table. If upcoming Star Wars projects boast this level of talent, the franchise will certainly find a new lease of life for years to come.

1. A grounded and mature take on Star Wars

It has been such a long time since Star Wars first aired in theaters. During that period, all people saw from the franchise’s numerous films and projects was the bigger take on things. Sure, you have all the grand space battles and majestic lightsaber duels to save the galaxy and everything in between that. But in all of those things, the things that people relate to more were somehow lost in the mix. In this aspect, Andor excels in every way.

During its 12-episode run, Andor successfully achieves a grounded and mature take on Star Wars. While Rogue One was somehow the first to use this approach, Andor expands on these themes and delivers a satisfying result in the end. This can be clearly seen in how the Empire is portrayed as more than just Sith lords or immense battle stations. Those who caught Andor season 1 on Disney Plus, will remember that the Empire’s evil is seen in the people wearing uniforms and oppressing those who aren’t in them. Likewise, those who stand against the Empire are also portrayed in shades of gray, much like how Luthen Rael and Senator Mon Mothma are seen in the series.

Needless to say, Andor is the most grounded and mature Star Wars project out there right now. For this reason alone, the series manages to elevate the franchise to new heights and show everyone what can be done with it if there’s the courage to steer away from its usual formula. Take the other reasons with it and you’ve got one of the best entries into the Star Wars lore in recent memory.