Andor Episode 5 Review: Star Wars From a New Angle

The fifth episode of Andor has landed on Disney+. “The Axe Forgets” is the newest episode of the Star Wars TV series, and it follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as he navigates the distrust that comes with being a new member of a secret operation. This show has been off to a strong start so far, offering a slower-paced, richer look into a galaxy far, far away. This new episode continues the trend with another well-written installment in a series filled with a strong artistic voice and a story that continues to shine.

RELATED: Andor Episode 1-4 Review: The Breath of Fresh Air Star Wars Needed

On Aldhani, Syril Karn spends time with his mother after failing to catch Cassian in a previous episode. It is fascinating to see this much development given to a character who initially appeared to be a one-dimensional antagonistic force. This show gets into the weeds of Syril, a choice that works wonders for the story. It’s easy to wonder where his character will go next in the series. The episode then continues with Cassian and Arvel Skeen at odds with each other. Over the course of the episode, Cassian learns more about his crew members as they get ready for their mission.

Andor has excelled at slowly building its characters. You don’t know where every character is going to end up, but you get the sense that you will learn more about them later in the series. Each character feels lived in as if they have years of dodging the Empire in their midst and are world-weary as a result. The episode also does a good job of showing the expertise that Cassian brings to the team as he insists on flying the starship with the stolen payrolls. He is an interesting character, even though the show appears to be done filling in the holes in his backstory.

The episode provides a ground-level look at Star Wars, which is uncommon for this franchise. You see this in particular when a TIE fighter flies directly over their camp, showing the fear that one of these fighters can elicit — even though they have typically been treated as cannon fodder in other media. This is the result of a story told from the ground, as opposed to space battles and Star Destroyers. Andor works because it avoids going down a standard route while maintaining the scope of an expansive galaxy with many planets and species.

You see this in the various locations where Andor takes place. While Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett mainly had their scenes occur on the empty desert planet of Tatooine, this show brings us to many eye-catching places, exploring new reaches of the galaxy the same way the Star Wars prequel trilogy did. You buy into this world, not only through the incredible production design but also through the grounded stakes and lack of flashy action sequences. This is a well-written, dialogue-heavy show. It works because Cassian confronts the team about their fears, making the stakes of the mission clear. The basis in character growth is strong, and while the story could be fleshed out more, everything is building up to an emotionally satisfying show

SCORE: 7/10

As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 7 equates to “Good.” A successful piece of entertainment that is worth checking out, but it may not appeal to everyone.

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