Star Wars Fans Are Saying Andor Is Better Than The Empire Strikes Back?

Some Star Wars fans are using Reddit to claim Andor is better than The Empire Strikes Back.

By Gareth Skarka | Published

Andor, the latest Star Wars streaming series on Disney+, has been praised by critics, and now fans in a Reddit discussion are comparing it to the film that many say is the best of the franchise, The Empire Strikes Back — and claiming that Andor may be even better than that classic film.

In a thread begun by Reddit user ‘GoldenJoel’, fans are expressing astonishment that Andor, described in posts as “a show based on a character no one gave a crap about from a serviceable movie” has turned into a brilliant piece of amazing science fiction. Comparisons are even made to George Lucas’ original sci-fi classic, THX 1138, and express shock that this prestige drama is from the same franchise that once featured Jar Jar Binks and Ewoks.

When Andor launched on the Disney+ streaming service, it landed well with the critics, scoring a perfect 100% in the latest four consecutive episodes and not dropping below the 90% mark once in the season to date. Although the series initially seemed to struggle to find similar success with fans, who were perhaps expecting more typical action-adventure Star Wars fare, the streaming numbers from Flix Patrol seem to show the streaming series has gained fan support as it’s gone on. A week ago, Andor became the number one viewed TV show on Disney+, lifting it up three spots from the number four place from the week prior.

The series follows Cassian Andor (Diego Luna reprising his role from Rogue One) years before his involvement in the heist to steal the plans to the Death Star. The series is created by Tony Gilroy, known for his contributions to writing Matt Damon‘s Bourne series, so it’s little wonder that Andor, unlike any other part of the Star Wars franchise, is a tense and often claustrophobic espionage tale.

Tony Gilroy recently revealed that Andor Season 2 would start filming the Monday before Thanksgiving. Fans already got a little insight into that information since series star Stellen Skarsgard, who plays Luthen Rael on the show, revealed earlier in the year that Season 2 would begin filming later in 2022. 

The fans in the Reddit thread have heaped praise upon the adult nature of the show, saying that even much-beloved films like The Empire Strikes Back were aimed largely at children — swashbuckling adventure stories based, in many ways, on selling toys. Andor doesn’t seem to be selling toys or Lego sets, and the writing of the show seems more at home in a prestige drama, making the dialog in the classic films seem childlike in comparison.

Fans discussed their belief that Andor enriches Lucas’s original vision in the original trilogy. Lucas always considered the original trilogy to be a story for kids, a conventional hero’s journey with moral lessons embedded in its sci-fi mysticism. However, there are some story elements that are difficult to convey in a children’s adventure. You cannot spoon-feed the nuances of rebellion and dystopian fascism in a children’s story, so those were sort of glossed over in broad archetypes. The dialogue in the original films also reflects that, it’s sort of digestible and straightforward in a way that’s overtly accessible for all ages.

Andor addresses those unexplored areas of the source material with mature themes and morally complex characters, and by its nature, it’s a show for a more adult audience — an approach that seems to have found success with a growing number of Star Wars fans.