After a triple dose of Star Wars action, with the Andor release date bringing three episodes to the streaming service Disney Plus at once, we now have to wait weekly for each new episode. Andor episode 4 is worth the wait though, and the Star Wars series is now really starting to take shape.
By the end of episode 3, our titular hero has left behind his life to journey into the galaxy with Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård). The latest episode of the TV series sees the Star Wars character well and truly insert himself into the rebel cause. Meanwhile, tensions mount among the Imperial Forces as Syrik Karn (Kyle Soller) pays the price for his invasion on Ferrix.
Andor episode 4 maintains the high standards set by the sci-fi series so far when it comes to the technical elements, but most importantly, it substantially builds on the wider thematic foundations laid before it. Like any good spy movie, the clues are beginning to reveal themselves, and the game is afoot.
Moving away from the rubble and dust of Ferrix allows the show to really flex the diversity of its locations, revisiting the familiar setting of Coruscant and introducing us to Aldhani, a planet rich in plantlife. It’s a wonderful contrast to see the decadence of Coruscant and the natural landscape of this new world, to really reinforce the scale of the series.
All of this is captured beautifully by cinematographer Frank Lamm. The exterior shots on Aldhani are stunning, delivering the rich vista in all its glory not only through the standard wide angle frame, but also with the use of a more raw, handheld approach at times, too.
This expansion of environments goes hand in hand with the development of the story in episode 4, which is beginning to unfold in the best of ways. Clandestine meetings, secret identities, and ambiguous allegiances give the show a classic war movie feel, and the tension is certainly ramped up this time around.
You can now start to finally see what the show is working towards, and it’s tantalising. The prospect of a big heist, investigations, and potential for backstabbing and treason are a great hook for the audience, and it’s really refreshing to know that we have plenty more episodes to come to see this all evolve effectively.
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We are all too familiar with the widespread destruction of the galaxy inflicted by the Empire, but Andor is now beginning to dig deeper than the Star Wars movies have previously and explore the very human impact of this regime. This is just another example of the benefits of giving a story time to breathe.
It appears the series will definitely need that luxury too, as the latest Star Wars cast continues to grow. More British talent joins the ensemble, with Doc Brown, Denise Gough, Game of Thrones pair Anton Lesser and Faye Marsay, Alex Lawther, and of course, Genevieve O’Reilly entering the fray.
Among them we have two new, very fascinating female characters in the form of Gough’s ambitious Imperial officer Dedra Meero and Marsay’s fearless Rebel leader Vel Sartha. While still early days, it’s clear to see that both will be integral to the conflict to come, and it’s going to be intriguing to see how their characters develop.
It’s Stellan Skarsgård who steals the show this time around though. After marking his arrival with an explosive escape in the previous episode, you’d think it would be hard to match that going forward, but the MCU actor really steps up here.
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His commanding presence is a joy to watch, and as we learn a lot more about his character it’s clear to see that Skarsgård is having a lot of fun in this role. He and O’Reilly share a particularly entertaining scene together, which manages to be both theatrical and ominous at the same time.
While the first three episodes of Andor did little more than set the scene for the show, episode 4 takes the baton and runs with it. With new characters, new worlds, and an insight into the schemes of the Rebellion, it should be all fun and no filler from here on out.
Star Wars: Andor episode 4 review
Andor episode 4 sees the Star Wars series really starting to take shape, building on the foundations laid in previous episodes and clearing the way for even more fun from here on out.