Why Andor is Great and Rouge One is Just OK

Jamelle Bouie on Rouge One versus Andor:

[In Rouge One] We don’t actually get a sense of the interior lives of any of the characters, who, we know as an audience, are on the way to their doom. There’s no real attempt to deal with the psychology of rebellion. The movie is exciting, but I don’t think it quite works.

[W]hile “Andor” is billed as a show about the Rebellion, it is just as much, if not more, a show about the Empire. It is most interested, I think, in how the Empire works — in the bureaucracy of domination. Key moments take place within the Imperial intelligence agency, in scenes reminiscent of a John le Carré novel or adaptation (it helps that many of the actors are British, with the Received Pronunciation that we expect from Imperial officers in Star Wars). We see how paperwork in an office translates to brutality for ordinary people on the ground; how Imperial control is administered, and how dissent is repressed. We see why someone would join the Empire, find fulfillment in the Empire, seek to advance Imperial goals. It is a show that uses the idea of the “banality of evil” in exactly the way it was meant.

Exactly right.