Series Created by Tony Gilroy — Available on Disney+ now.
Since Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, it has been somewhat of a bumpy ride. Their so-called sequel trilogy features a safe-but-satisfying opener (The Force Awakens), an excellent and thrilling second film that divided the fanbase and revealed toxicities (The Last Jedi), and a conclusion that, in trying too hard to satisfy toxic fans, went back on what the previous film had set up and ended the trilogy on a whimper (The Rise of Skywalker). Even the spin-off films have divided opinions due to them over-explaining things that needed no explanations. As live-action Star Wars has embraced streaming, it has been with similar ups and downs. The Mandalorian is a bonafide hit (but in its most memorable moments it has still clung to fan service). The Book of Boba Fett was good in glimpses but its best episodes are essentially episodes of The Mandalorian. Finally, though richly satisfying, Obi-Wan Kenobi was a safe and fan-service-laden limited series that was yet another reminder of how insular Star Wars storytelling can often feel. As a huge Star Wars fan, it pleases me greatly to be able to affirm that ANDOR, a prequel spin-off series of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is a breath of fresh air in that it is a mature, dark, and gritty series that makes the Empire and the Rebellion feel real again.
All Six Episodes of the Limited Series Were Directed by Deborah Chow.
Set a decade, or so, after the events of George Lucas’ Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Obi-Wan Kenobi follows the character of the same name (played by Ewan McGregor, now returning to the role), as he has gone into hiding on Tatooine, where he is watching over young Luke Skywalker from afar. Sith Inquisitors are still hunting for Jedi throughout the galaxy, including Kenobi who Reva (played by Moses Ingram), the Third Sister, is especially interested in. However, Obi-Wan Kenobi is forced out of hiding after young Princess Leia Organa (played by Vivien Lyra Blair) is kidnapped by criminals. Kenobi is Leia’s only hope, and that is exactly what Reva, who orchestrated the kidnapping, had expected and hoped for. As Kenobi leaves Tatooine, he has to reconnect to the Force, but this also means that he risks being confronted by the Inquisitors or even Darth Vader.
Series Created by Jon Favreau — All Episodes Are On Disney+ Right Now.
Jon Favreau’s The Book of Boba Fett is a spin-off of the extremely popular Disney+ Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian. The Book of Boba Fett follows the titular character (played by Temura Morrison), who became a fan-favorite character in the Original Trilogy (and who made his in-universe return in The Mandalorian), as he tries to become the new daimyo of Tatooine for the purpose of controlling the territory that once belonged to Jabba the Hutt. But he isn’t the only one who wants to control what can and can’t happen on the desert planet.
Had it not been for the fact that I think there is a notable jump in quality from the first to the second season of the Disney+ Original series, it would’ve been really difficult for me to separate the two first seasons of the first-ever Star Wars live-action series. You see, while, for Americans, there was an entire year in between the two seasons, Disney+ didn’t arrive in Denmark until September of 2020, and Disney made the decision to release the first season week-by-week. They did this so that when it ended, the second season would be ready to begin, but they also did it in an attempt to keep people on the streaming service for as long as possible. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Mandalorian – Seasons One and Two (2019/2020)”→
Directed by Ken Cunningham — Available on Disney+.
It can be difficult to enjoy Star Wars fully when the fanbase is as fractured as it has been these last few years. A significant part of the fandom has a deep hatred for a film that I like quite a bit, and it has made it so draining to debate Star Wars opinions these days. These last few weeks, I have been watching the second season of The Mandalorian, which I will hopefully be reviewing soon, and it, along with this LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special released on Disney+, truly reminded me why I have always loved Star Wars so much that even online disputes can’t ruin it for me. The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special is genuinely wonderful and a good time for the whole family. Continue reading “REVIEW: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)”→
The following is a review of Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker — Directed by J. J. Abrams.
Although the subtitle of this film suggests otherwise, Disney has been pretty adamant in saying that the Skywalker saga (i.e. the episodes) is coming to an end with this ninth episode, which thus ends Disney’s sequel trilogy. It has been a trilogy that has been bumpier than I expected it to be, which is largely due to Lucasfilm hirings and firings, as well as the return of a rabid, entitled, and toxic part of the Star Wars fandom, which has been determined to have their say on what can and cannot be appreciated about these films. This part of fandom has been absolutely infuriating, and it has robbed Star Wars fans of the happiness that one should get when you discuss something that you love. J. J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens was an undeniably satisfying and very rewatchable table-setter, and Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi was an ambitious, bold, and critically acclaimed exploration of legacy, legends, and failure. Now we have The Rise of Skywalker, J. J. Abrams’ curtain-closer. Though I did ultimately enjoy the film, I have to admit and acknowledge that this is definitely the sequel trilogy’s low-point, in part due to Abrams’ obvious attempt to appease parts of the fandom that could only be pacified by reversing decisions that were made in Rian Johnson’s film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)”→
The following is a review of Solo: A Star Wars Story — Directed by Ron Howard.
Okay, let us get one thing out of the way early on. We all expected this film to fall apart. Most of us had this sinking feeling that told us we were getting a film that had fallen apart during production. Just like with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, behind the scenes news made us worry about the film, but it was even worse this time with Solo. Continue reading “REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)”→
The following is a review of The Director and the Jedi — Directed by Anthony Wonke.
You can’t talk about Star Wars right now. I mean, sure, you have the ability to talk about the franchise, but the vocal minority of the Star Wars fandom has become rather toxic. As someone once put it, no one hates Star Wars more than Star Wars fans. As a big Star Wars fan, I had always disagreed with that notion, but the first fan reaction that made me realize the truth in that phrase was the reaction to Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Director and the Jedi (2018 – Documentary)”→
The following is my review of Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Directed by Rian Johnson.
There is nothing like Star Wars. The Star Wars saga includes the biggest films of all-time, the most influential films of all-time, and one of the most rabid and passionate fandoms in popular culture. There is an innumerable amount of lore about the galaxy far, far away, and the philosophy of Jediism was once recorded as a religion. Star Wars, as author Chris Taylor wrote, conquered the universe, and its influences can be felt throughout popular culture. Continue reading “REVIEW: Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017)”→
The following is a review of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Directed by Gareth Edwards.
In 2015, J. J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens proudly announced that the good Star Wars was finally back. Gone are the days of the disappointing and operatic George Lucas prequels. With The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm proved that the future of the Star Wars saga – the episodes – were in good hands. But what about the untold stories of the prequels? To answer several unanswered questions Lucasfilm will give us these spin-off films that they call ‘Star Wars stories.’ Continue reading “REVIEW: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)”→