There was a lot of anticipation following the three episode debut of Andor, Star Wars‘ new series following Cassian Andor from Rogue One. After receiving an 89% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and praises of it being “the best Star Wars show since The Mandalorian” from the Guardian, Andor’s debut did live up to expectations. But did episode four carry the hype?
This article contains spoilers!
A Three Episode Entrance
The past three episodes of Andor were a breath of fresh air within the world of Star Wars. While we love seeing our familiar and beloved Jedi, politicians, and planets, the world of Andor is so removed from any Star Wars media we’ve seen before. The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and Obi-Wan Kenobi all took place entirely or partially on Tatooine.
Instead, Andor introduces Morlana One. The modern, corporate city is shrouded in rain and darkness. Ferrix is also introduced. The run-down planet resembles Jakku or Tatooine, but its culture is rich and expansive. Through events that take place on Ferrix, Andor presents a definitive display of systematic corruption and the fear of rising fascism. The iniquity within the Pre-Mor officers is clear and the people of Ferrix try to stick together against cruelty and unfair violence.
[Andor is] the journey of a migrant. That feeling of having to move is behind this story, very profoundly and very strong. That shapes you as a person. It defines you in many ways, and what you are willing to do.”Diego Luna, Vanity Fair
This Star Wars series stands alone in new worlds, new planets, and new characters with Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) in the center of it all. After establishing Cassian’s brief backstory revolving around an adoptive mother, a village run by children, and a lost sister, much remains in question. Episode three ended with Cassian’s tentative connection to a possible rebellion. So how did episode four continue the action-packed three episode debut?
New Directions and New Questions
As the longest episode yet, episode four looks stunning. Directed by Susanna White, Andor sets itself apart from previous Star Wars series. Both The Mandalorian and Obi-Wan Kenobi utilized The Volume, a nearly 360-degree LED immersive soundstage. Yet Andor shatters the Star Wars CGI trend. While The Volume is a revolutionary piece of technology, it’s nice to see stunning physical locations used.
In this episode, Cassian meets a small group of rebels under a fake name, Clem, after his father. He struggles with the weight of war and the sacrifices he’s made in the past. All the while, Cassian is met with distrust from the rebels at his sudden and abrupt introduction. At the same time, viewers watch intricacies at play in the political world with rebellion icon Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård).
Mon Mothma is the leading figure of the rebellion, but there is a new light cast on her in this episode. Her presence isn’t just a clever reference. Viewers are explicitly seeing what is at stake within her world. Rael and Mon Mothma are in desperate need of manpower and aid for the rebellion. Mon Mothma worries about who she can trust.
There are nice allusions to previous television shows as pointed out by users on Twitter. As a whole, Mon Mothma’s influence stretched over Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and now Andor. Hopefully, the latter will give us more knowledge of her full story. Episode four already presents a tense relationship with her husband. Surely, more insight will come.
As the spotlight is skewed back on Coruscant and on internal Imperial divisions with Denise Gough’s new character Dedra Meero, much mystery lies on what will happen with Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) and the people of Ferrix. Last we saw Bix, she lost her partner Timm to Pre-Mor officer violence. Yet based on her importance in previous episodes, we can assume it won’t be the last we will see Adria Arjona’s character.
So what will come of her? And where will Dedra Meero’s investigations lead her? As she attempts to uncover what happened on Ferrix, will she effectively combat the higher demands for inaction? Can we expect more tension next week?