Ever since the very first Star Wars film was released in 1977, the franchise has been leading the way in revolutionizing the filmmaking industry. One of the most significant ways that has happened is through the pioneering of visual effects, something that was the focus of the fantastic Light & Magic docu-series this summer.
So when it comes to the galaxy far, far away, gorgeous cinematography and beautiful effects are par for the course, and sometimes fans can come to almost take them for granted. Yet every so often, there’s something so stunning that shakes you out of that rut, and Andor episode 6 was one of those moments.
Simply put, it’s one of the most gorgeous and visually fantastic looks at the Star Wars galaxy we’ve ever had.
Part of that happens simply through the contrast in settings, as the two planets shown in the episode are the luscious green Aldhani and the sterile city Coruscant. Both planets look great.
But what was really the magic in this episode centered around the Eye, for which the episode is titled, which is an atmospheric event that happens every three years above Aldhani. It’s a religious moment for the locals, and it’s the only good thing that Imperial troopers stationed on the planet have to look forward to during their stay. It also provides the perfect cover for the rebel infiltration of the base, which this episode is about. But more than anything, it just looks absolutely gorgeous.
It’s a slow build-up, as we see the occasional shooting star across the sky as part of the lead-up to the event (or, as the locals would say, it never really stops), but then we see tons of them at once lighting up the sky. It’s beautiful enough seeing it as the locals look on, but then we get a chase with the escape craft (piloted by Cassian) and TIE Fighters in pursuit, flying in the midst of the Eye, that looks incredible.
The fact that it happens on a series rather than a film is even more noteworthy, as it hasn’t always felt like Lucasfilm has put the same level of attention and budget for the effects on some shows as they have for the films. I hope this causes them to double-down on it all the more, because the results are as good as the franchise has ever looked on-screen. And I’m loving every minute of it.