I'm relieved that the Obi-Wan Kenobi show was as good as it was, but I'm shocked that it's made me excited for the next piece in the Star Wars puzzle. I'm talking about the upcoming Star Wars: Andor series.
Yes, even though I only saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — the film Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) debuted in — once, and I haven't thought about it at all since, I'm now eagerly ready for its prequel series. And it all comes after the fact that my footing as a Star Wars fan hasn't been solid.
The most recent Star Wars movies and shows have put fans on a rocky track as of late, much like the Millennium Falcon escaping an asteroid field. Nothing's ever guaranteed to be great or even interesting, as I wished I could close the Book of Boba Fett early, and The Rise of Skywalker made me want to rise and leave the theater once Emperor Palpatine took the wheel.
Read next: Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally pitched as a trilogy — what does this mean for possible season 2?
That said, after watching Obi-Wan Kenobi, I've become quite excited for August 31, the day Andor will drop on Disney Plus. So, what's got me hyped for a character I didn't know? I'll tell you!
Of course, beware spoilers below for the Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Obi-Wan Kenobi proved that Star Wars can still give us something new
The first bit of information here is all-too crucial. Andor reportedly takes place in 5 BBY (years before the Battle of Yavin), which places it four years after the events of Obi-Wan Kenobi. That means life in the galaxy far, far away is going to probably still be very similar to where things were in Obi-Wan Kenobi. Order 66 has the few Jedi left afraid for their life, and the rebellion (still in its infancy) is in no fit shape to take on the Empire.
That means one of the best parts of the Obi-Wan Kenobi series can continue and live on through Andor. No, not the budding friendship between Leia and Obi-Wan. I'm talking about The Path.
Three of the best new characters in the series (all respect to Moses Ingram's work as Reva Savander) are all members of, or affiliated with, The Path. I'm talking about Kawlan Roken (O'Shea Jackson), Sully Stark (Maya Erskine) and Haja Estree (Kumail Nanjiani). And each tapped into something brilliant and emotionally resonant in this series.
Jackson delivered a strong bit of leadership that felt utterly unique in the current Star Wars world. After the Inquisitorius hunted down and took his Force-sensitive wife, Roken formed and led The Path, a group that's smuggling the Jedi and Force-sensitive folks to safety. We know less about Sully, but Erskine delivered her dialogue very well, making moments out of minuscule segments.
Then, there's Haja, who is doing good while also being a little greedy. In a way, he feels like a call-back to Han Solo, as he's not purely in it for himself. But Nanjiani nailed the role, and made me hope we see him soon.
Admittedly, none of these three characters are said to appear in Andor, but I have some faith. After Obi-Wan Kenobi's smallest surprise appeared in its first episode? We now know to expect the unannounced. Hopefully that doesn't lead to expectations that are too high.
But Andor seems to be continuing their story
Andor, as its below trailer shows, seems like the story of the start of the rebellion. The best moment in this trailer, if you ask me, is when Maarva (played by the excellent and reliable Fiona Shaw, who did her best to make Killing Eve better than its later scripts) says "That's what a reckoning sounds like."
Through the trailer, we see other faces that will form this new Rebel Alliance. Not all of them, of course, will likely make it out alive. Heck, because this movie takes place before A New Hope, we can almost assume none of these characters make it out alive.
Save, of course, for Mon Mothma, the future Chancellor and Commander-in-Chief of the Rebel Alliance. We know that she lives beyond this series, but I'm curious to see how Genevieve O'Reilly reprises the role she first took in Episode III (and later in Rogue One).
I do hope that The Path becomes the Rebel Alliance, or we get some semblance of that idea. It would be terrible for that team to be forgotten so quickly.
Outlook: More of this, please, Lucasfilm
I would have been more excited for a Star Wars series or movie that takes place outside the existing timeline. Knowing what comes next is an easy way to kill the drama. It's why people avoid spoilers. But this is Star Wars, and Lucasfilm knows that fans flock to shows and movies that piggy-back onto existing lore.
But if Star Wars will continue to introduce new people from this galaxy far, far away, people who are doing noble and inspiring work? They'll have my attention.