The Ultimate Showdown: Andor versus the Rings of Power

 

Andor versus The Rings of Power


No spoilers. You’re welcome.

It truly is a wondrous time for Gen X. Two of our most cherished stories, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings (whether the books, the weird animated adaptation, or the other weird but fun cartoon adaptations of The Hobbit and the Return of the King), have a renewed life in the form of Andor and the Rings of Power. And like a really annoying kid in middle school who chants “Fight! Fight! Fight!” in the hopes of causing trouble between two people who would rather be anywhere else, we’re going to pose the needless question: Who wins in a fight between Andor and the Rings of Power?      

Before we answer that, let’s look at this rivalry that we just totally made up. We've exhaustively researched this topic.  Perhaps just exhaustedly is more accurate.  We were exhausted so we're just writing just whatever we want.  Review our mission statement at www.damperthree.com  for more information.

They’re both creative works that deviate pretty far from the original materials. They’re both home to extraordinarily devoted fandoms. To that point, the fandoms of the movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s works and of Star Wars share something else in common: they can be divided up between much older “original generation” fans and more, relatively newer fans who may not always see eye to eye. So maybe we’ll look at starting a fight between fans of the same franchise in a future post.

Dramatic reenactment of OG vs newer fanbase discussing their differences. Photo by Lawrence Crayton on Unsplash

Andor versus the Rings of Power

By https://www.buzzfeed.com/ishabassi/the-rings-of-power-opening-credits-explained, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69820985

In this corner (no, THIS corner. Please pay attention), are the Rings of Power. It’s evidently very loosely based on the Silmarillion, a dense yet extremely poetic and powerful work that tells the story of the creation of the world, all the way through to the Third Age and the Lord of the Rings. It may also be based somewhat on the voluminous History of Middle-earth, but no one has ever read them so we can’t be sure. Anyone who claims to have read them is a liar or just dreamt it.

Anyway, the Rings of Power come with some formidable strengths. But they are controlled by the One ring.  Wait! That's the LOTR storyline, not the series.  First, the acting is first rate and the idea of making Galadriel into an action star is risky, but has the potential for high payoff. She’s obviously a major league elf, and has street cred from the Lord of the Rings movies.

Plus, in any fight with Andor, Rings of Power has both elves (immortal beings who are fierce warriors and powerful workers of magic) and the denizens of Morgoth and Sauron. So Star Wars is gonna gave their hands full in a one-on-one.

One the other hand, there’s a home-grown troll army evidently ready to tear it down before it can take root. An army that evidently tried to flood the Rings of Power with bad reviews the day it premiered. But it seems that, following the initial assaults, a more receptive audience has emerged.

Plus, there’s the danger of too many distracting side stories. We’re well aware that there are some significant love stories threaded throughout the Silmarillion, and that Peter Jackson took a LOT of liberty in expanding the Aragorn/Arwen story in LOTR. But that doesn’t mean another one in Rings of Power is necessary. It may work, but there’s the real threat that all it’ll do is apply brakes to the story.  

And in this other corner, right over here, is Andor.

Cassian Andor has a young Han Solo vibe to him. In fact, we may argue that Andor is more young Solo than young Solo was in Solo.

Solo.

Okay, Andor isn’t a cocky, charming rogue. He’s a gritty, charming rogue who, like Solo, developed his skills on the streets (or the…space streets?) out of a need to survive. And he has plenty of debts chasing after him. So in this respect, we have an echo of Han Solo without making him a cheap carbon copy of Han.

But like Han, we know that Andor finds a mission for his life. And that’ll pit him against the Galactic Empire. And since this takes place in the years just preceding A New Hope, we know that the good guys are on the run and the bad guys are tightening their grip on the galaxy.

Now, for all Andor and friends’ talents, it’s hard to imagine them going toe-to-toe with Sauron. Blasters can probably make short work of orcs and dire wolves, while heavy imperial walkers could take on larger creatures like trolls. But what can take a Balrog?

Aside from the Death Star. We’re going to go ahead and say that’s cheating and not allow it.

Weaknesses: no Jedi, apparently. Which may be great for a story like Andor but those Force-wielding wizards with lightsabers would be great for a rumble with some balrogs. 

Like you wouldn't pay to see this.

Plus, if you’ve seen Rogue One, you know Andor’s entire story, which adds a bit of melancholy to the tale. So there’s that.

The Winner: Rings of Power. It wouldn’t be easy, by any means. But without the help of Yoda or Mace, it’s hard to see how the world of Andor could prevail. We're talking world to world matchup here, and Middle Earth is just crawling with immortals with magical powers. Star Wars wins for sheer coolness, but since we've ruled out blowing up planets as a legal move here, and without a Jedi to be seen, the powers of Middle Earth gets the W.

What do you think? Leave a comment if you think we've goofed this up...we're open-minded. 

Wondering what the heck you just read? Us too. While you’re pondering it, check some of our other, more lucid posts:

 

 

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