Andor’s season finale solidifies it as one of Star Wars’ greatest stories
By Christian Westermann on November 24, 2022
The final episode of Andor’s first season brought everything full circle, and was a powerful reminder of what Star Wars has always been about.
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In the same way that Star Warshas always been bigger than the Skywalker family, Disney Plus’ Andorhas always been about so much more than how its eponymous vagabond became a freedom fighter. From the very beginning, Andor took care to emphasize the universal power of collective action, and to illustrate how resistance in the face of fascism is both an action and a state of mind. But in its season one finale, Andor got down to brass tacks about what it really means for people to wage war against one another, and in doing so, solidified its status as one of Star Wars’ most franchise-defining stories yet.
Despite it being the dramatic climax of Andor’s first season, “Rix Road” from writer Benjamin Caron and director Tony Gilroy feels like the beginning of something momentous and massive. Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) put a target on his back by killing two Empire-aligned security officers in Andor’s first episode, and spent most of this season gaining a deeper understanding of what a precarious time he and his loved ones have been living through. Were it not for Andor’s actions on Morlana One, the Empire likely never would have fixed its focus on the planet Ferrix with such intensity. Had Andor been able to keep an even lower profile, he might not have ended up in prison alongside countless others unjustly sentenced to labor for the rest of his life. Andor’s mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw) might still be alive, and his childhood friend Bix (Adria Arjona) might not have been tortured by the Empire if only he’d kept his head down and tried harder to avoid conflict.
But the choices Andor made are also what put him on the path to meet rebels like Luthen Rael (Stellan) and Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) just as the nascent Rebel Alliance was coming into its own as a powerful presence. Andor’s why the explosions that literally shook Aldhani metaphorically reverberated so far and wide across the galaxy that Mon Mothma (Geneveive O’Reilly) and the other senators on Coruscant could feel their impact long before anyone understood their cause. As Cassian secretly returns to Ferrix for Maarva’s funeral in the opening scenes of “Rix Road,” it isn’t really clear to him or anyone else on the ground what an outsized impact his decisions are having on the arc of history. What makes “Rix Road” such a satisfying finale to the season, though, is how it unfolds into a brilliant example of both sides of the Force moving in different ways that have little to do with space wizards.