For whatever reason, I didn’t go to the cinema to watch Star Wars when it was released in Ireland on December 27, 1977. This probably puts me in the minority of my generation.
aybe, as a typically indulgent, think-it-all, 15-year-old I figured I’d outgrown that kind of thing. That’s funny. Forty-five years down the line, it’s often guys about my age who are found bouncing loudly when the latest entry in the Star Wars franchise just isn’t “right,” as they see it.
I finally realized star Wars In 1982 when his first British television show was on ITV. Admittedly, watching a widescreen movie adapted for a 4:3 TV screen ratio using the dreaded pan-and-scan method wasn’t the ideal way to enjoy it.
Watching it on the box had another drawback: it somehow made all those familiar British actors with small background roles stand out more than they might in front of the buzz, bang, and whoops of the big screen.
I don’t know about you, but realizing the Imperial Officer standing on Darth Vader’s shoulder is the same guy I saw on some dreary British sitcom two nights before broke the illusion and takes me out of the story.
Of course, the reason there are so many British actors in the original The Star Wars trilogy is because all the interiors were filmed at Elstree Studios in England.
You will most likely experience the touch of deja vu while watching the latest Star Wars movies popup series Andor (Disney+), filmed at Britain’s other famous studio, Pinewood – the home of James Bond films.
In the first minutes, the titular hero (although the anti-hero would be more accurate) Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna from Narcos: Mexico, Annoyed by two weightlifters, one of them is nothing but Coronation Street Villain Jez Quigley (Lee Boardman), an over-the-top character who looked like he had been carved out of a slab of cured pork.
It doesn’t last long. She didn’t even get any further, “Look, what’s his name,” before Cassian popped one into Jizz’s head, after sending his friend out with his bare hands.
And why does Space Police Sergeant Kostick look so familiar? Because it used to be East Enders Villain Trevor Bateman (Alex Ferns, who also appeared in Chernobyl And the Batman).
I know none of this should be funny. British, Irish and Australian actors have achieved massive successes in American television and films in recent years. But somehow it is. I’m half expecting Phil Mitchell to come on as Imperial Guard.
In any case, Andor The series that will push Star Wars in a new direction has been hailed, but if you’ve seen it rogue one Set five years later and also featuring Luna as Cassian, you’ll already know what the trend is: away from the grand space operas of the originals and toward something more well-established.
The series is known for Star Wars without overdoing Star Wars-y.
There is a lot of talk about the Empire and the Rebels, but there are no Jedi Knights, no lightsabers and not yet white armored stormtroopers.
It’s sadder and dirtier than some people might expect from the franchise, but that’s what everyone expects from creator Tony Gilroy, who wrote and co-wrote the first four Bourne films. Rogue One. The spaceships are scratched and battered, and everything looks much more realistic.
It’s more violent, too. The good people in the galaxy that George Lucas created would not shoot anyone in the head in cold blood. But then, Cassian Andor, the thief and murderer, was no longer a fully formed righteous man.
The series, which is set to run for two seasons of 12 episodes each (the first three are available from today) traces his five-year journey to what ended up in Rogue One.
Based on the two episodes I’ve watched, it’s hard to predict how much fun this trip will be. Characters are introduced and Cassian, now a man wanted for the murder of Old Eze and his friend, does a lot of running and detours in and out of doorways. But the plot is still on the dark side so far.
The Disney+ series was a mixed bag. But with no new Star Wars movies planned, it looks like the small screen is where the series’ future lies. ironic somehow.
Rating: three stars