The first season of Star Wars, Andor flew by. Partly because it had three episodes in one, partly because we loved the series, and partly because there is still a week to go. We’ll need to wait until 2024 to see the second season. Unfortunately, the same holds true for House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power. We’ll review the final season in our next review, but it’s difficult to see series creator and writer Tony Gilroy losing it all.
The ending is hard to predict, due to a peculiar bad habit in the penultimate episode. We will discuss this in our Star Wars: Andor 1×11 review. You may find spoilers in the following lines. Please continue reading.
The second episode will conclude the first season’s narrative. It will be directed by Benjamin Caron who also directed the seventh episode. He has previously worked on TV series like Wallander, Sherlock, and The Crown. It’s not an amateur at all, as you can see from the first scenes of episode. The episode opens with Cassian and Melchi still on the run from their escape from Narkina 5 Imperial prison. This scene is heart-pounding, even though it’s mostly static and uses only bits of dialogue to build tension.
We learn that Andor’s mother Maarva has died at her Ferrix home.
We saw very little of Fiona Shaw (famous for her role as Aunt Petunia Dursley) during the season. This is a serious criticism of the TV series. He didn’t have the opportunity to “bond” with the character and his departure had little impact.
Surprisingly, we were not only grieved for Maarva’s passing, but also for the realistic staging of the following moments. Only those who have been in this situation can recognize the cold, respectful, almost solemn familiarity of the staging.
The episode builds anticipation for Cassian’s mother’s discovery. It also plays on interludes and times. But the episode ends with a devastating blow. B2EMO, the Andor house droid, reacts to Cassian’s “looks” and expresses a deep loneliness. His attachment to Brasso is what literally breaks Cassian’s heart. Although Star Wars droids are known to have emotions or have human characteristics in general, this episode is the first to show a droid grieving. Not in incomprehensible chirps but in words and actions. This is a Pixar scene, be aware.
After a mishap on Narkina 5, which revealed a new alien species to us, we immediately expect Cassian to find her mother at the end. This is just to remind us of how awful the Empire is on a galactic level. It is important that the episode ends with Rogue One. However, if Rogue One was Cassian’s end, then this would appear to be the beginning. Cassian and Melchi leave Niamos and promise to tell everyone all about the atrocities committed by the Empire. We don’t know if this will set in motion the machine that will eventually lead Cassian to Jyn Erso to steal the Death Star plans.
It is clear that the first season has sacrificed the protagonist of the TV series to tell the galaxy about him, the other characters, and the precarious balance in power. We will soon find out if the second season will be more focused on Cassian’s story.