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Andor Director Toby Haynes On Fine-Tuning The Impact Of Vel And Cinta's Relationship

"Andor" is a bit of a head-scratching paradox for Disney+. Audiences are giving it the equivalent of a solid B rating on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb — whereas its counterpart, "The Book of Boba Fett," got somewhere between a C- to an F (depending on which ratings website you ask), and "Obi-Wan Kenobi" scored a solid D grade from viewers. Despite this, however, Business Insider reports that the first episode of "Boba Fett" has half the viewing minutes of the first three episodes of "Andor." Similarly, "Obi-Wan Kenobi" garnered over a billion viewing minutes for its debut, compared to 624 million minutes for the "Rogue One" prequel series.

So what is it about "Andor" that's pleasing viewers more than almost any other live-action "Star Wars" IP? Well, for starters, people can't stop talking about the love between Vel and Cinta. And as tempting as it is to throw all the credit at the actors who play them — Faye Marsay and Varada Sethu — it turns out that director Toby Haynes deserves some credit, too. In a recent interview, he went into specific detail about how he's been shooting and editing his actors in order to impact viewers. And you may be surprised by the amount of effort he puts into his work.

Haynes is dedicated to making sure their romantic moments land with the audience

While sitting down with The Hollywood Reporter, when asked about how he's specifically portrayed Cinta and Vel, Toby Haynes admitted that he approaches special moments like theirs with an indiscriminate desire to make an impression on his audience. "It's really just about conveying what's on the page so that it feels impactful. It's about making sure that you are feeling it, and that you're not going too subtle or too bold." He further elaborated that asking himself important questions like "Am I feeling this or am I bored? Am I thinking of other things?" is an essential part of his process from the first time he reads the script all the way to the final edits.

If fan reactions are any indication, his process is working. On this Vel and Cinta appreciation thread, the original poster gushes about how much they appreciated the subtlety of unveiling their relationship all the way back in Episode 5 of the show, and how it makes it "so easy to get emotionally invested in every single one of them," which goes to show that viewers are neither bored nor thinking about other things. 

Funnily enough, "Andor" fan @keldorjedii enjoyed their relationship more in later episodes after audiences received explicit confirmation that the two were a couple. They praised the LGBT+ inclusion, adding that "Vel and Cinta LOVE each other, and their relationship actually plays a fundamental part in their story arcs."