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Andor: Season 1: Episode 1: Kassa

What is it ? : We pick up with Cassian Andor quickly moving through a rainy city, which is identified as Morlana One. He enters the red light district and a particular brothel, where is buys a drink and inquires after a woman from Kenari who he says is his sister he's trying to track down. Two government security guards take offense at him being dealt with before them, and they follow him when he leaves after he's told that the woman left months ago, leading to a confrontation where he kills them both.
He takes his ship and returns to Ferrix where he lives, where we discover he is known for borrowing, taking favours, and exploiting his friendships. He calls on one of his friends to set up a meeting with her contacts so he can sell high value stolen goods to them.
Meanwhile the head of security wants to cover up the murder of the two guards, as they were in the red light district, which isn't even supposed to exist, and he has a meeting with the Empire where he doesn't want to bring attention to any failures by his department. But in his absence, his aide, Syril Karn doesn't like the idea of these crimes going investigated, so begins looking into the murders.
We also get a series of flashbacks to young Andor on Kenari, he is with his people, who live a simple primitive life, and they witness a starship burning up in the atmosphere above them.

High Points : This episode is very watchable, but feels far more part of a story than other Star Wars TV shows, as we're really not sure what's going on. Above that it really looks great, there are crowd scenes, and it's obvious there's droids and aliens among the crowd, and it really transports you to that galaxy far, far away.

Low Points : But there's not really a lot going on, the summary above, is obviously stripped down to the basics, but really apart from a number of encounters with "friends" that Andor has, there's not a lot going on here. We discover he asks favours from friends, that he's borrowed money from friends, that friends think he steals from them, that he puts friends jobs in danger by borrowing ships from where they work, and so on.
Perhaps it's just introducing the support cast for the show, but many of these characters don't feel important, and I just don't care about them.

So what do you really think ? : This feels more in common with the Solo movie, as Andor himself isn't a Rebel operative, he's just a petty criminal looking for someone close to him (pretty much the set up for the Solo movie). I can see where the plot is going, and this is perhaps going to provide Andor with some nice backstory, but we were promised "this is where the Rebellion begins", and this episode just doesn't seem to provide that.

Final Words : As I said at the beginning, this is very watchable, and they've probably released the first 3 episodes together as it needs that to get into the meat of the story. But there just doesn't seem to be much going on here, and apart from Cassian Andor, I'm just not interested in any of the other characters . . . . yet.

Score : 8.5/10

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