Andor: Review Episode 3

Sep 21, 2022

Three Episodes in and this writer has realized that this show is Star Wars for adults. 


This Tony Gilroy helmed show Andor is balls to the wall Star Wars for adults. 


There's no sappy love story. 


There's no Force.


No memes about Sand.


The fan service is so Star Wars lite. 


Andor, three episodes in is a gritty, dark, desperate conglomeration of dangerous souls. 


Remember in The Last Jedi, the message about being the 'spark'?


The Andor show itself is the spark. 


I'm expecting Cassian Andor to burn everything to the ground. 

andor episode 3 review


While The Mandalorian is the flagship for modern Star Wars post the dreadful ending to the saga films, Andor is slipping in as the Star Wars we may have wanted all along. 

"Don't you wanna fight these bastards for real?"
So says the still unnamed Luthen Rael to Andors. As we all suspected from Episode 2, this new character is indeed the gateway for Andors to join / help form / shape the Rebellion. 

luthen rael andor starwars

If the Rebellion even has a name yet. 


This episode was basically a manhunt by the Big Bad Corporation for Cassian Andor, murderer. 


It was tightly scripted (thanks Tony Gilroy), had some emotional high points and was very true to the Star Wars spirit of our heroes* (* not yet proven as heroes) escaping despite the odds. 


This show thus far has not really been a Star Wars show. It's been a story of people that have been slowly oppressed by the insidious actions of the Empire and The Big Evil Companies. With no Jedi, Sith or Gungans, the story is laser sharp focused on the human aspect of the space opera that is Star Wars. 


We cannot wait to see how this show plays out, these first three episodes are something special and are a soft burn to something surely epic and worthy of the Star Wars name.


Trivia:

First Star Wars media to use the swear word "shit".

 

Andors Episode 2 Review

As is the trend, many shows are dropping with a couple of episodes as part of the debut. Andor's slowburner first episode is immediately followed up with Episode 2. 


This second episode begins to slowly unpeel the layers of the complicated onion that is Cassian Andor.


In doing so, showrunner Tony Gilroy's masterly crafted world beings to open up, revealing elements of Star Wars that we know and love. 

andor episode 2 review

This episode features, more grime, more dirt. Moar wheeling and dealing. 


Andor is starting to face the consequences of killing a man who was on his knees. The Big Bad Corporation wants him found to avenge the death of their worker bee!


How noble of the Big Bad Corporation. 


Jealousy and betrayal swirls around Andor, are his friends his friends? Who loves who the most?


Will Cassian ever find his sister?


Who knows as this show is so damn tight lipped about what's actually happening all we know is a net is slowly falling around Cassian. 


An Imperial net.


On the flip side of that, remember the peeling onions?


We're introduced to an unnamed Luthen Rael, who is a contact Andor appears to have been seeking an audience with. This writer suspects this man may be a gateway into the broader Star Wars realm for Andor and the viewer.   


Again, no blatant fan service is in play and nothing much of real note occurs...

Trivia

  • I think Robot B's voice at this point maybe is that of Alan Tyduk who was K2SO in Rogue One. If I'm right, there's gonna be a great story how that voice swap occurs.
  • Bantha model spotted in Andor's room?
  • The dead man half falling out of the downed spaceship in the Karimar flash pack is posed in a similar manner to that Luke Skywalker found himself in the ice cave on Hoth. We may be reaching on that one...

Andors Episode 1 Review

 Andor: Episode One Review 

Will the prequel to Star Wars' greatest prequel film match Rogue One's brilliance?


Episode One of Andor suggests that it will. 


This prequel show features Captain Andor and his adventures with Mon Mothma (yes, THAT Mon Mothma as they rebel against the Galactic Empire in the years prior to A New Hope.

andor starwars show review episode one
“They’re so proud of themselves. So fat and satisfied.” 

So sums up Andor and his worldview of the oppressive regime.  


Cassian Andors is again played by Diego Luna and Genieve Reilly (who surely cannot believe her luck that her cut scene in Revenge of the Sith has eventually led to this series role) plays Mon Mothma. We even get an extended cameo from Saw Guerra - throw in Jyn Erso and that's practically the whole gang back together!


Writer and executive producer of  Andor Tony Gilroy led the re-writes and the now infamous re-shoots for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Lucasfilm clearly felt he was a safe pair of hands to oversee this project. Gilory scripted the films in the Jason Bourne film and notably directed The Bourne Legacy so is no stranger to big gigs.


Episode one begins with Andors on planet Morlana One searching for a female in a brothel. 


I know, classic Star Wars right?


The scene is atmospheric with rain, bright likes and all-round dinginess - a straight out of the Bladerunner film playbook. Andor is revealed to be the same cold-blooded murderer as he was in the opening scene of Rogue One. 


He does a bit of Tom Cruise running and we leave the planet.

andors series review

We then met a red robot whom I'm gonna call Wall-e and we have a bit of a Pixar moment as Wall-e drives through a bit of rubbish, has a chat with Andor, and thus begins the episode properly.  


The show has a colour tone that reminds me of the first Alien film, there's some real grit on display. The sets are grimy and the moustaches inspiring. George Lucas would be quite happy with this vibe surely. 


Andor has something to trade and he runs around sorting that out. British viewers might view him as a version of Lovejoy, running around wheeling and dealing.


Speaking of the British, there's a million of them cast in this show. 


I know, classic Star Wars right?


This first episode is a slow burner, gradually setting the markers for what is to maybe come. Normal people's lives being ordinary and difficult. Hard workers making a crust for a living. There is dispair in the air,e everyone is just trying to survive. 


One man is clearly with a mission that is yet to be revealed. 


Nothing else match happens. 


There is no fan service. No Jedi. No Stormtroopers. No Skywalkers. 


It's gonna be a brilliant ride. 


Trivia about Episode one of Andor

  • I suspect the suits the Kenari tribe wear may be precursors for the uniforms the Rebels eventually end up wearing.
  • Kassa (the child) clearly becomes Cassian (the murderous fellow).


'Andor' Show: Reviews - Facts - Trivia

Sep 19, 2022

andor show official poster www.starwars.com


Cassian  'Andor' Show Facts and Trivia & Reviews


Following the success of Rogue One, Andor was the third Star Wars show to be produced and released by Lucasfilm after The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi

Diego Luna returns as the title character Cassian Andor. 

This show is a 'reward' for Tony Gilroy after his success in restructuring the ending of Rogue One to make it a truly awesome movie.

cassian andor show facts and trivia

Reviews of the Star Wars Andors show Season One

Andor Episode 4 Review
Andor Episode 5 Review
Andor Episode 6 Review
Andor Episode 7 Review
Andor Episode 8 Review
Andor Episode 9 Review
Andor Episode 10 Review
Andor Episode 11 Review
Andor Episode 12 Review


Trivia about Andors

  • Genevieve O’Reilly plays Mon Mothma. She originally played the character in Revenge of the Sith but her scenes were cut. She returned for Rogue One and the success of that means she really gets to flesh out the role in Andor.
  • Forest Whittaker returns to play Saw Gerrera for a second time, his first being Rogue One. 


Quotes from the Andors show

“Everything I did, I did for the Rebellion.” 


Andor, a tense nail-biting spy thriller created by Tony Gilroy, is set to arrive on Disney+ in 2022. Diego Luna will be joined by a fantastic new cast that includes Stellan Skarsgard, Adria Arjona, Fiona Shaw, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, and Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma. Production kicked off three weeks ago in London.

↠ Jabba the Hutt quotes from Return of the Jedi and the Special Edition of A New Hope

Sep 8, 2022

Jabba the Hutt quotes from Return of the Jedi and the Special Edition of A New Hope


Possibly the most famous frog-eating slug to grace the silver screen, Jabba the Hutt is one of the great Star Wars bad guys.

He was the Tatooine based crime lord who placed a bounty on Han Solo’s head after he failed to complete a smuggling assignment – and thus he was first mentioned in A New Hope as he had employed bounty hunter Greedo to find Solo and kill him as revenge.

He was a pretty quotable character when he was fully realized in Jedi.

Jabba was featured as the antagonist in the first third of Return of the Jedi and in doing so became one of the iconic Star Wars characters and in modern culture has become a symbol of corpulence and greed.

Gordon Gecko would approve.

Jabba the Hutt quotes from Star Wars and Jedi

'Jabba Desilijic Tiure' as Jabba is formally known, made some great quotes during the Return of the Jedi and here's the best of them:
  • I will not give up my favorite decoration. I like Captain Solo where he is.
  • This Bounty Hunter is my kind of scum, fearless and inventive.
  • You weak minded fool! He’s using an old Jedi mind trick.
  • There will be no bargain, young Jedi. I shall enjoy watching you die.
  • You will soon learn to appreciate me
  • Bring me Solo and the Wookiee. They will all suffer for this outrage!
jabba hutt set photo from jedi
Jabba, Irvine and presumably some puppeteers

Jabba's 'A New Hope' quotes


jabba special edition star wars


Jabba was also snuck into a short scene with Han Solo in the Special Edition of A New Hope and had some quotable banter with the space pirate. They were discussing why Han hadn't paid his debt.
  • Han my boy, you disappoint me. Why haven’t you paid me and why did you fry poor Greedo?
  • Han, I can’t make exceptions. What if everyone who smuggled for me dropped their cargo at the first sign of an Imperial starship?

concept art of jabba the hutt from Star Wars
Concept art for Mr J. Hutt

Extra for Experts: Facts about Jabba

  • The original script of A New Hope describes Jabba as a "fat, slug-like creature with eyes on extended feelers and a huge ugly mouth". It was inspired by a character from the Dune book.
  • Jabba the Hutt was played by actor Declan Mulholland in scenes cut from the 1977 release of Star Wars
  • That character was filmed as a fully costumed actor suggests that director George Lucas had changed his mind about Jabba being a slug - presumably for design constraints or budget reasons. 
  • In Return of the Jedi, Jabba is portrayed by a one-ton puppet that took three months and half a million dollars to construct. While filming the movie, the puppet had its own makeup artist. 
  • The puppet required seven puppeteers to operate, making it one of the largest ever used in a motion picture.
  • Jabba the Hutt's death in Return of the Jedi was suggested by scriptwriter Lawrence Kasdan. The film's director, Richard Marquand suggested that Leia strangle him.
  • Jabba had a small cameo in The Phantom Menace where he fell asleep during the famous Pod Race. Bib Fortuna was seen lurking nearby as well.
  • People often remark about that laughing little critter who he kept by his side in Jedi. He was Jabba's court jester of a sort and is known by the delicious name of Salacious Crumb (check out his species reappearance in The Mandalorian as BBQ food...).
  • Jabba was alluded to by Han Solo in the Solo film near the ending of the movie, a set up for a potential sequel that potentially covers how Han got into debt with Jabba.
Extra for experts - Check out this person I met wearing a Jabba costume which is handy for parties!

Given the final show of Season Two of The Mandalorian revealed to us that The Book of Bobba Fett features Boba Fett and Fennec Shand taking over the throne at Jabba's Palace from Bib Fortuna, we can't help but hope the series gives us some flash back moments featuring Jabba.

Wedge Antilles really is Obi-Wan Kenobi's uncle (In Real Life)

Aug 20, 2022
wedge antilles obiwan uncle and nephew

Wedge Antilles is Obi-Wan's uncle!


From a certain point of view...

In the film, there is no family relationship between Wedge and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Heck, they never met in the film canon.

However, in the real world, Dennis Lawson who played Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy is the uncle of a rather famous actor called Ewan McGregor!



Dennis's sister is Ewan's mother.

An interesting bit of trivia is that Wedge is the only minor character of the original trilogy to survive all three major battles: Yavin, Hoth and Endor.

Lawson reprises his role with a very brief cameo as Wedge in The Rise of Skywalker. He's spotted piloting an X-Wing and says "Nice flying Lando!"

Bad ass.

Some more facts on Wedge.

This page got hit by Reddit - and we learned that Ewan McGregor's brother is an RAF combat pilot and his call sign is Obi 2. 

Here's the proof:

colin mcgregor obi-two - ewan



Check out Mark Hamill's cameos in the Star Wars sequels.

The trivia behind the concept art of 'Attack of the Clones'

Aug 14, 2022

attack of the clones art bookThe Attack of the Clones came out on 16 May 2002 and seeing as that's close enough to a 20 year anniversary, I had a look through my 'The Art of Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones' book.

There is more than just amazing concept art in there, it has plenty of facts and trivia about how the film came into being.

Author Mark Cotta Vaz shines a good insight into how  director and writer George Lucas would make decisions about what creatures and space ships and costumes would go into the film - it's an iterative process that largely appears to have worked.

It also shows some of the challenges that producer Rick McCallum faced and how his production team overcame them.

jango fett slave concept art

1. The Clone Trooper classrooms are a reference to Luca's first film, THX-1138

ryan church clones

The cloned troopers (from Jango Fett's DNA) were taught in giant classrooms.

Artist Edwin Natividad stated "it's assembly line learning, no individuality. There's no personal attention, they're just soldiers being trained". They are literally a factory production line of humans Iain McCaig confirmed the idea was they were going "back to George's THX days".

If you were not aware, THX-1138 was Lucas's first feature film and it covered a range of ideas, including 'planned reproduction of populations', control of said populations (through a bean-counter beauracracy under which human life and labour was valued in productive units) 

These concepts were totally on display in the final film:

attack of the clones thx 1138 reference

There's a lot going on during the Kamino sequence - the introduction of the clones, Jango and Bobba Fett, and throughout it all, a strong thematic parallel with the Empire Strikes Back.

2. The design of Coruscant

The idea of an 'Imperial City' was dabbled with as an idea by George Lucas during the pre-production of Return of the Jedi. It even had a name, Had-Abbadon. Luca asked his now-famous concept designer Ralph McQuarrie to come up with some ideas:

imperial city ralph mcquarrie

First mentioned in the Thrawn 'Heir to the Empire' novels by author Timothy Zahn and spied at the end of Return of the Jedi celebration scenes and in a bit of The Phantom Menace (refer to the Jedi Temple scenes with Yoda, Mace Windu and friends), Attack of the Clones was Star War's first chance to truly flesh out the planet of Coruscant.

George Lucas challenged the design team to make the city/planet look better than Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner (which funnily enough starred Harrison Ford who had become a box office A-list celebrity at that point following his two Star Wars roles and his massive Lucas produced hit, Indiana Jones).

A key feature was that personal vehicles could not be found on the lower streets. Only public transport existed. The planet's lower level inhabitants were modelled to look like they were part of a 'rough trade' or took part in criminal elements. This was in strict contrast to the upper levels where the nightlife was 'decadent' (Death Sticks anyone?)

Here's an early design idea by Marc Gabbana:

Marc Gabbana coruscant design idea

3. Anakin's Yellow Speeder


The yellow 'speeder' that Anakin Skywalker uses when he and Obi-Wan Kenobi chase the assassin Zam Wesell, is, of course, a reference to the yellow hot-rod that featured in George Lucas's second feature film, the beloved American Graffiti.

shuster speeder design attack clonesJay Shuster had designed his concept shortly before a meeting with Lucas.

He thought maybe Lucas had seen some elements of Anakin's TPM pod-racer, Lucas certainly loved the exposed engines and it was the director himself who ordered the speeder have a paint scheme like the hot rod in his 1973

Here's a screen comparison of the two films by Mike Klimo:

comparison of the yellow car in american graffiti to Attack of the Clones

Fun fact - Ron Howard has a major part in the film. He famously turned down a chance to direct The Phantom Menace however eventually ended up directing the Han Solo film. 

You can thank Mile Klimo for that discovery.

4. When a Sith Lord is not a Sith Lord but Ventress

When Lucas was bedding in the script for AOTC, at one point, the Sith Lord that became Count Dooku was considered to be a female. Artist Dermot Power came up with this design:

dermot power female sith lord ventriss

When Lucas decided that Dooku was his man, Power's design was ultimately used as the inspiration for the Clone Wars character, Ventress

ventress original design

Power said of his work: "My first drawing had her was;k down the stairs. I gave her a slim upper body clad in armor or leather, widened her hips, gave her a heavy belt and baggy pants for a grounded feeling - like watching a samurai."

It's amusing the art book does not acknowledge this design became Ventress, but this of course makes sense as the book came out well before Ventress's official entry into Star Wars canon. 

5. The Arena Battle Monsters are classic John Carter of Mars riffs

obi-wan battles the acklay in ATOC
Obi-Wan Kenobi takes on the Acklay

Harking back to John Carter of Mars, Ray Harryhausen and perhaps a few gladiator movies, Padme, Anakin and Obi-Wan are forced to take part in their own execution by three deadly creatures.

monsters in the area geonosis

The Acklay became so when George Lucas asked Iain McCaig to combine sketches he had done - designed likened to a velociraptor and a praying mantis.

The Nexu was once a lion that could breathe fire and the 'Reek' was inspired by the dinosaur species Placerias from the Triassic period. 


The Battle of Geonosis

Attack of the Clones is a bit of a convoluted mess.

We all get it, and those that don't, well they love it so good for them. 

What's not really up for debate is how awesome the last 40 minutes of the film is. After the arena battle with the monsters and Yoda flying in with his cloned army  (apparently with no qualms about using cloned humans as meat puppets) to save the day - and then a battle ensues proper which makes for some great action scenes amidst the chase with Count Dooku.

Here's some cool concept designs that went into the battle:

air attack geonosis

battle of geonosis clone troopers
  
yoda geonosis concept art

ryan church geonosis artwork

jedi fight concept art

reek attack concept 

Other fun facts learned from reading 'The Art of Star Wars, Episode II - Attack of the Clones' :

  • Padme's costumes in The Phantom Menance were inspired by actual costumes from Mongolia. For Attack of the Clones, Padme was dressed in a more Elizabethan-era style. 
  • The centipede like mechanical monsters sent into Padme's room by Zam Wessel are called 'kouhuns'.
  • Jango Fett's Slave 1 ship was designed to look similar to the Millenium Falcon as if it had been made in the same era, or even by the same manufacturer. 
  • Kit Fisto was originally designed in mind as a Sith Lord and only became green once made a Jedi. 

Order the book from Amazon:



↠ How many words does Darth Maul say in The Phantom Menace?

Jul 24, 2022

How many words does Darth Maul say?






31


That's right, Darth Maul only says 31 words in The Phantom Menace.

This is attributable to George Lucas trimming down the role he had in mind for the character prior to filming.

That 31 is 27 words less than the 58 words Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke as the Terminator in the first movie of that franchise!

We reckon Darth's boss, Emperor Palpatine, had much more interesting things to say anyway.

Who was Luke's sister intended to be in Empire Strikes Back when Yoda said 'No, there is another...'?

Jul 9, 2022

Despite making out in Empire Strikes Back, the Return of the Jedi ultimately revealed that Princess Leia was Luke Skywalker's sister. 


Given the kiss, it could not have been George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan's intention that Leia and Luke were twins. 


Indeed, draft scripts never hinted at this (just the same as early scripts did not feature Lord Vader being Luke's father). 


Ideas progress and develop over time and the best film scripts are born of many revisions - so was Yoda's like to Obi-Wan Kenobi that there was another hope a deliberate set up for an idea Lucas has or was it simply a plot device that was intended to be worked on down the saga?


Producer Gary Kurtz is said to have outlined what Luca's intentions were for Leia when he was asked to give a comment about The Phantom Menace and he was drawn into a discussion of the original intent of the saga films was to be. 


Kurtz indicated:

EPISODE 6: Leia was to be elected "Queen of her people" leaving her isolated. Han was to die. Luke confronted Vader and went on with his life alone. Leia was not to be Luke's sister.


So if the scripts never showed Luke was Leia's twin brother and Kurtz knew this was the intention, what did the early scripts of The Empire Strikes Back actually reveal?


Come on down Leigh Brackett - the scriptwriter of whom Lucas asked to take the first crack at the story.


Brackett's effort featured Luke meeting his actual father (who was clearly not Vader) and also his... sister. 

Introducing Nellith Skywalker from a Lucas revision of Brackett's draft:

nellith-skywalker-luke-sister

The now-defunct www.thesecretlifeofstarwars.com site (found on the Way Back Machine) notes that once Lucas decided Vader was to become Luke's father. 

Lucas then left it open in Empire and elected to make the twin relation in Return of the Jedi. 

This does raise the question of why Yoda says 'there is another' to Obi-Wan Kenobi if he knew Leia was Luke's sister - Kenbo was at Leia's birth and had rescued her when she was kidnapped as a young child...

The choice for Luke and Leia to be twins worked out well in the end and made for a good mild twist near the end of Return of the Jedi. 




 

How 'Robby the Robot' from Forbidden Planet inspired the development of C3PO in Star Wars

Jul 1, 2022


How Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet influenced the development of C3PO 


We've covered many of the influences that films and novels have had over George Lucas but Kitbashed found a great one in the form of the classic movie Forbidden Planet. I particularly enjoyed discovering how the famous 'Robby the Robot' had an influence on the robot that became C3PO.

While we have previously discussed how Ralph McQuarrie's design for C3PO was inspired by the Maschinenmensch from Fritz Lang's famous film, Metropolis and that his comedy duo act with his foil R2D2 came from The Hidden Fortress, it's Robby the Robot that sets the tone and inspiration of the 'goldenrod'.

Early C3PO design sketch
Early C3PO design sketch
How many times in the Star Wars movies does C3PO mention that he is a protocol droid that is capable of speaking some 6 gabillion languages?

A thousand?

Robbie the Robot did it first as he was being introduced to the human space travellers:

"If you do not speak English, I am at your disposal with 187 other languages, dialects and sub-tongues"

Robby the Robot's influence on Star Wars

Kitbashed cleverly notes that this example means that Robby the Robot is effectively a proto-protocol droid. C3PO's introduction to Padme in The Phantom Menace shows how he is modelled on this concept "Hello, I am C-3PO, human cyborg relations "

Word on the street has it that George Lucas has stated that the lumbering robot was not a direct inspiration for C3PO.

This is not wholly true.

In the documentary about science fiction films of the 1950's, 'Look at the Sky!' a discussion is had with directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas about Forbidden Planet.

Spielberg suggests that Lucas must have been inspired by Robby as he developed C3P0′s character. Lucas naturally suggested he was more influenced by Metropolis. 

That may be so for the 'look' of C3PO but Lucas totally stole the protocol droid idea whether he admits it or not!

There's a further reference or 'inspired moment' from Robby in A New Hope. At a point in Forbidden Planet the character Alta tries several times to summon Robby with her remote control, he excuses his absence by having been busy taking an 'oil bath'.

What does C3PO do when he gets to Luke's moisture farm?

 He has an oil bath and he exclaims "Thank the maker! This oil bath is going to feel so good."

And as we know now from the reveal in The Phantom Menace, Darth Vader is C3PO's maker, the line is doubly clever.

Extra fun fact: Robby the Robot appeared in two episodes of Lost in Space. That show also featured a robot that looks somewhat similar, THAT robot is the one that utters the famous quote "Danger Will Robinson, Danger!". That robot had no designated name but was formally titled "Robot Model B-9"
Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top