This week, I returned home to my family from my out-of-state university. For all the past recaps, I’d stay up late by myself to watch the latest release, collect my thoughts, then organize my review. Reunited, I realized my family had shown interest in Star Wars: Andor, so I sat with them as they caught up and watched the finale with me. As I revisited the entire series and consumed each episode about family, strategy, rebellion, and sacrifice, I felt all the pieces come into place during the season’s finale.
I can say without a doubt, Andor exceeded all expectations I had and redefined what I believe a franchise about a fight against tyranny should convey in the twenty-first century. Without further ado, let’s unpack everything that happened in the season finale!
“Alone, unsure, dwarfed by the scale of the enemy.“
All the differing roads lead all our characters to Ferrix in wait for Cassian (Diego Luna) to return home. Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) and her ISB officers want to draw Cassian out. Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) is ready to kill Cassian for the sake of the rebellion. While security officer Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) believes Cassian’s capture will reinstate his status within the Empire. At the same time, Bix (Adria Arjona) is still under arrest by the Empire, drained of all the fire she once held. Rebels Cinta (Varada Sethu) and Vel (Faye Marsay) also linger in the shadows.
Maarva (Fiona Shaw), Cassian’s adopted mother, has passed. The funeral is tremendous in sound, size, and pressure. A marching band leads the procession through the streets of Ferrix, while Deathtroopers accompany a frantic Dedra, searching hastily for Cassian.
Loss Breeds Action
Cassian isn’t the first to lose someone. Stormtroopers slaughtered Cinta’s family, and instead of settling down with Vel, she devotes her time to snuffing out ISB officers on Ferrix. Freshly orphaned Wilmon (Muhannad Bhaier) tinkers with an object in the dead of night, his only light the projection of his murdered father.
“I used to hate the Empire. I don’t have words for what I’m feeling now.”Skeen, on the “murder of his brother”
Both Cinta and Wilmon are motivated by rage and revenge for their fallen family. Cinta murders the ISB officer quietly and quickly, as Wilmon throws his homemade bomb toward the troopers. This ignites an uproar amongst the people of Ferrix.
Cassian, who once was motivated by nothing but his own concerns, now shares the same pain Cinta and Wilmon feel. Instead of this unresolved injury resulting in a massive shootout with Cassian on the front lines, he focuses on rescuing Bix after learning of her capture. He ensures that she, good friend Brasso (Joplin Sibtain), beloved droid B2EMO, and the young Wilmon escape Ferrix altogether.
He isn’t even a part of the fight that takes place on Ferrix. Instead, it is the civilians and the background characters who fight against the Empire’s oppressive presence.
“Even the smallest act of insurrection pushes our lines forward.“
“We’ve been sleeping. We took their money and ignored them. We kept their engines churning and the moment they pulled away, we forgot them. We were sleeping. I’ve been sleeping. I’ve been turning away from the truth I wanted not to face. There is a darkness reaching like rust into everything around us. We let it grow and now it’s here. The Empire is a disease that thrives in darkness. It is never more alive than when we sleep.”Maarva Andor
Karis Nemik (Alex Lawther), who couldn’t sleep the night before his final day, rests after his manifesto is delivered to Cassian. After what seems like a lifetime, Cassian finally reads Nemik’s words before his return to Ferrix, where a long overdue revolt against Imperial officers takes place. Brasso throws the first punch, using Maarva’s brick as a weapon, and leads the fight.
The people of Ferrix were compliant for too long, and Maarva’s words spur them into action. Too many have unfairly suffered. Dedra survives the revolt through Syril’s help, but she is clearly shaken. After escaping the Empire’s trap on Ferrix, Cassian chooses not to leave with his friends. His journey is somewhere else. He confronts Luthen to officially join the Rebellion in the fight against the Empire.
Andor‘s message reaches past the confines of stars and space and should settle on everyone in our present day. We cannot be idle against oppressors while discomfort spreads where we choose not to see.
“Remember this. Try.”
Creator Tony Gilroy calls Andor season one the “education of Cassian Andor” and it’s clear to see why. His transformation throughout the past twelve episodes is crystallizing and compelling for both those around him and the viewers of the show.
“There’s a pivotal moment where he can no longer pretend that he’s completely unaffected by the Empire anymore. He can no longer pretend that he’s gonna be a mercenary. He can no longer have one foot in and one foot out. He’s in such a deep, deep problem….He has to make some really big decisions about who he’s gonna be.”Tony Gilroy
Despite all the inspiration, doom lingers. We know the end of Cassian’s story, and it hurts even more to see the parts he built during his imprisonment, aid the construction of the Death Star, the very weapon of his demise. This mirrors the story of Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) and his inability to break out due to his own personal inadequacy, despite leading the entire escape. Neither were intentional devices on Kino and Cassian’s part but instead, show the unfair systematic constructs assembled against them.
Andor‘s first season held my attention, drew out my tears, and earned my gasps and cheers without a single lightsaber battle. We were teased with TIE fighters, blaster shootouts, and Senate debates. But, I found my favorite scenes in the first season gravitated away from the action and instead toward the long, phenomenal monologues about strength and the ruminations on mental and physical systematic constraints. Any great piece of media should inspire dialogue, and this is precisely what Andor does.
Keep an eye out for news on the next season. Until then, you can read more of our articles about Andor here!
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