This article contains spoilers for Andor.Andor learned from the mistakes made in George Lucas’ star wars prequel trilogy regarding their portrayal of politics. star wars has been political, as all art is, from the beginning; it’s no secret that the Viet Cong inspired the Rebel Alliance and that George Lucas founded the Empire over America. The prequel trilogy, in particular, had their politics on their sleeve with much of those films’ runtime devoted to political intrigue in the Senate and Palpatine’s rise to power as Chancellor, then Emperor. The Phantom Menace even opens with an exploration of the titles regarding the disputed taxation of trade routes and a blockade on shipping to the planet Naboo. Senator Amidala’s Response to Palpatine’s Announcement of the First Galactic Empire in Revenge of the Sith, “this is how freedom dies… to thunderous applause“was even explicitly stated by George Lucas as a commentary on supporting President George W. Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Andorsimilarly explores the machinations of politicians, through the lens of Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly). Andor continues the prequel trilogy’s exploration of politics but avoids many of its pitfalls: the stilted dialogue and clunky performances that threaten to ruin the more interesting political themes that George Lucas has imbued with star wars prequels with. Andor achieves what George Lucas’ prequel trilogy was intended to do by effectively tying politics together with interesting, multi-dimensional characters and a higher-stakes story, which actually makes viewers care about politics in the star wars galaxy, as well as their real-world parallels.
The shadow of the empire makes the politics of Andor more oppressive
Andor is set in 5 BBY, 14 years after the reign of the Galactic Empire (about 5 years before the events of A thug and A new hope), and, as such, portrays the Empire as exerting tight control over the Galaxy. Any spark of resistance is met with an overwhelming show of force from the Empire. Following the Aldhani payroll robbery in Andor episode 6, “The Eye”, the Empire increases taxation on the sectors hosting “partisan activity”the crackdown on convictions and introduces legislation in an emergency session of the Senate that virtually allows the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) to do whatever it pleases in the interest of Imperial security.
What makes these political discussions more engaging than those of the star wars The prequel trilogy is shown to have immediate consequences that directly affect the characters in the series. At the end of Andor episode 7, “Announcement”, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) is arrested on false charges by a shoretrooper and given the maximum prison sentence by the judge in what amounts to little more than a hand-built kangaroo court hurry. This not only makes political discussions in Andor more gripping than the previous trilogy, but also displays the sheer oppressive power the Empire wields over the Galaxy.
Mon Mothma is the perfect hook for Andor’s political subplots
Another way in which politics in Andor is more engaging than in the star wars The prequel trilogy is the Senate subplot is anchored by a single fascinating character: Mon Mothma. One of the prequel trilogy’s biggest flaws is that the Jar Jar Binks, gratuitously and unfunnyly, plays one of the most important political players in the Senate. His presence undermines much of the drama and sense of importance these scenes are meant to have. Andoron the other hand, makes the political plot of the Senate interesting by attaching one of the series’ most interesting characters to it.
What makes Mon Mothma so captivating is her intelligence. She’s a two-faced character, as she explains to her old friend and potential political ally, banker Tay Kolma (Ben Miles), she has a public image of “polite, sometimes indecisive” Senator while, behind the scenes, she helps fund the Rebel Alliance. She also disagrees with fellow rebel Luthen Rael’s (Stellan Skarsgard) methods on Aldhani. These disagreements within the Rebel Alliance and more interesting and consecutive political discussions make from Andor representation of politics much more interesting than star wars prequel trilogy.
Next: Andor Can Show Palpatine Like He’s Never Been Seen Before