For the better part of half a century, George Lucas pulled off a Jedi mind trick of galactic proportions by convincing people they shouldn't read too much into the similarities between his Star Wars trilogy and Frank Herbert's Dune.
A desert planet here, a messianic protagonist there - all's fair in the vacuum of space operas.
Of course, most casual sci-fi fans couldn't care less whether one man's sarlacc is another man's shai-hulud and are happy enough to ride through the wormhole and maybe get some romance and funny costumes along the way.
Denis Villeneuve's successful cinematic take on Dune last year was something of a vindication for the sci-fi snobs because it showed what they've been banging on about ever since Herbert downed some magic mushies and fever-dreamed his cerebral Star Wars for grown-ups more than a decade before Lucas's family-friendly version stormed the cinemas.
Those responsible for the latest strand of the Lucas saga seem determined to deliver their own version of Star Wars for grown-ups, this time something more along the lines of le Carre with lasers.
It remains to be seen whether their ponderous 12-part series, Andor, will be embraced by a new generation of subscribers more used to episodic sugar bites about big-eared babies than softly spoken, ethically dubious freedom fighters, but there's no doubting we're not on Tatooine/Arrakis anymore.
Now streaming on Disney+, Andor is a prequel to a prequel.
Our first meeting with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an uncomfortable encounter because within five minutes of introductions he'd killed a man in cold blood, leaving us a little uncertain whether we could root for this new brand of conflicted hero.
Lucas's world had always been a binary one, of a type a child could easily embrace before bedtime; good/bad, light/dark, easy. Now, off to sleep with your plush Ewok.
With Rogue One (the story of how the plans to blow up the Death Star were stolen), the black and white blurred into grey. Suddenly, and inconceivably, designers of weapons of mass destruction had families; the rebel alliance was complicated by extremism, even the reprogrammed robots couldn't be trusted.
Andor is set five years before the events of Rogue One and, from the very first episode, shoots us back into this moral murk by following Cassian into an unsavoury red-light district - a Blade Runner version of Amsterdam's De Wallen - where his itchy trigger finger once again tests our sympathies.
It's quickly apparent this constant conundrum regarding our inchoate spy is where writer Toby Gilroy is happily going to leave us, hardly surprising for a filmmaker who brought us a movie called Duplicity.
Relentlessly, we're left out in the cold when it comes to our preconceived ideas of goodies and baddies. An urban firefight featuring a bunch of blue-uniformed meanies begins to resemble Black Hawk Down, a lover cum informant is killed, yet the woman he betrayed is distraught.
Complementing Gilroy's dogmatic approach to character-building is director Toby Haynes' slavish devotion to world-building. Gloriously enough, we're often green-screen free, giving the series a more authentic aesthetic than what we saw in fellow Disney+ stablemates The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
And although things may look, sound and feel very different to the Skywalker universe, we're still supplied with sufficient touchstones, so we never lose our bearings completely. There is the obligatory new droid, this one's called B2EMO; it stutters and is a cross between WALL-E and those things Bruce Dern was stuck in space with in 1972's Silent Running.
There are the crazy (female) hair-dos and the incongruous mash-ups of earthly technologies to which we've always turned a blind eye. We are in a time of holograms, yet someone uses something which looks very much like a pay phone; open-cut mining is a thing, a murder investigation is hindered by the fact CCTV cameras don't appear to exist and I'm pretty sure a teenager was wearing a hoodie.
Full marks must go to the Andor team for bringing a new level of sophistication to Star Wars but whether the all-important merch-hungry kids will hang around for this slow-burn space espionage saga is the question.
Our 10-year-old nicked off to play Roblox.
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