‘Andor’ Is The Han Solo Spin-Off We Wanted
It’s been just three months since Obi-Wan Kenobi ended with the titular Jedi saving the lives of both Luke and Leia (before, presumably, force-feeding them some kind of magic Jedi memory-wiping potion offscreen) and now yet another Star Wars show is here. Andor is, of course, all about the early adventures of Rogue One’s Cassian Andor (but sadly not his sassy robot sidekick). And judging from the first episode, it seems as though Andor may be giving us the Han Solo spin-off we always wanted …
A lot about Andor feels similar to the setup of the flawed but unfairly maligned Solo; a young, scrappy, morally-flexible dude is stuck living on an industrial planet. Andor also seems to be pulling from some of the old Han Solo Expanded Universe books. For instance, the new series opens with Cassian visiting a brothel, a thing that has never actually been seen in a Star Wars story (even in the unnecessarily horny Holiday Special) except for in the seedy underworld of the Han Solo book The Paradise Snare – which, incidentally, is also about a planet of people enslaved by aliens with powers of sexual gratification.
Even more consequentially, the villains of Andor aren’t Palpatine and Vader, or Bossk and Baron Papanoida, but rather a bunch of douchey business goons from the “Corporate Zone.”
Which is straight out of the very first Han Solo book: Han Solo At Star’s End – which was also the first Star Wars EU book after the inadvertently incest-heavy, faux-sequel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. The book sidestepped the continuity of the Empire by introducing the villainous “Corporate Sector Authority.”
Hopefully, Andor will sidestep what was arguably Solo’s biggest problem; it completely undercut his character arc in A New Hope, turning him into a “good guy” who essentially bankrolls the Rebellion years before he’s supposed to be a grizzled space pirate. But Andor is seemingly building up to a story in which Cassian is a full-on cold-blooded soldier who will be softened by the events of Rogue One – and judging from the fact that it opens with him gunning down two dudes outside of a house of ill-repute, that seems like a safe bet.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter!