Attention: This article contains spoilers for the first season of Star Wars: Andor.
Andor is by far the best thing Star Wars has done in recent times. Both from a technical point of view, in terms of photography, effects and performances, as well as getting fully immersed in a story that truly embodies what it means to build a rebellion. Ferrix’s people (and people like them across the galaxy) walked so the Jedi could run, and it’s been really exciting to see showrunner Tony Gilroy explore that in such a meaningful way in Andor. Let’s take a look at that ending, what it means for the future of the series. and why the post-credits scene doesn’t really matter much.
The ending of Star Wars: Andor explained
Unsurprisingly, the ending leaves Andor (Diego Luna) in a real bind. The funeral of his adoptive mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw) is to take place in Ferrix, a place he cannot return to lest he be recaptured by the Empire. To make matters worse, Bix (Adria Arjona) remains a prisoner of the satellite troops, who continue to torture them to get the location of Andor.
Although it’s still a series focused on his journey, Andor rightfully shares the main stage with Ferrix’s people in the finale. While Cassian works to free Bix, Ferrix continues his procession through Maarva, all of which culminates in a hellish (posthumous) speech from Ferrix’s late Daughter. “Freedom is a pure idea. It occurs spontaneously and without instruction,” the hologram of her tells the square. And yet her instruction is provided by her. Or at least some inspiration.
What Maarva says to Ferrix’s people perfectly reflects Andor’s experience in the Narkina 5 prison complex. She reminds the people that tyranny requires constant effort, that oppression is the mask of fear, and that authority is fragile. Episode 10 illustrated all of these things, but you can’t have a season finale for a show about the rebellion without a good old-fashioned uprising.
“Remember that the border of the rebellion is everywhere. And even the smallest act of insurrection advances our lines,” says Maarva in the square. Her speech mentions early on that she always wanted to be uplifted or inspired, and in her last moments (on screen) she did just that for an entire city. Ferrix rises up against the Empire with what appear to be heavy losses on both sides. We still don’t know what the future holds once the Empire sends reinforcements. But, for today, the people have won.
As the first sparks of the rebellion form, Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) rescues Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) from the revolt, signaling that there will be a partnership between the two next season. Meanwhile, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Rielly) is forced to accept a deal from the shady Davo Sculdin to protect funds intended to support the rebellion. The deal? A presentation. It sounds simple, but for Mothma it means offering up her daughter and her soul to stop the Empire. We only get a glimpse of the moment, but it’s enough to show how disgusted Mothma is with what she’s been forced to do.
Andor’s ending falls into the prequel trap
Despite being a prequel to a prequel, Andor has managed to keep us all on edge. She has been compelling and inspiring throughout, and the finale was no exception. However, the last moments offer us the first debatable moment of the series.
After getting Bix and company to safety on a ship to escape Ferrix, Andor heads out to meet his destiny with Luthen (Stellan Skarsgârd). He knows he can’t keep his friends safe if he’s constantly looking down on the small section of the rebellion that wants to kill him. This “showdown” between the two was necessary for the story to move forward, but the problem lies with the order in which the two moments occur.
Luthen is not going to murder Cassian Andor. There’s no way to make that moment suspenseful or shocking in any way. However, Andor’s companions do not share the same plot armor as the future rebel leader. If the final cliffhanger had been the question of whether the ship successfully made it out of Ferrix, we might have ended the series on a bit of a cliffhanger! Instead, we see Luthen pick up the weapon from him preparing for a moment we know will never come.
It’s an insignificant moment in a series that has otherwise been almost entirely exceptional. But still, it draws attention.
Andor’s Post-Credits Scene Explained
There is not much to analyze here. The brief scene confirms the theory that almost everyone Andor saw already had: the prisoners of Narkina 5 were building the Death Star. Or, more to the point, they were building the main gun of the Death Star. I’m sorry, Alderaan.
It’s worth taking a step back to remember exactly where Andor is in the Star Wars timeline and why the construction of the Death Star turned out to be such an ordeal for the Empire. This series is set for the most part five years before the events of Rogue One and A New Hope. As we have seen throughout the first season, this is a period in which the formalized “Alliance to Restore the Republic” does not yet exist. There are only scattered pockets of resistance overseen by prominent figures like Mon Mothma, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) and Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits). And as the post-credits scene reminds us, the Empire is still years away from ending the “technological terror” that Palpatine hopes will allow him to rule the galaxy through fear.
Based on the ending of Revenge of the Sith, we know that the Empire had already completed the skeleton of the Death Star by the time Palpatine crowned himself Emperor. He had probably been overseeing its construction since the day Count Dooku brought the plans from Geonosis (at the end of Attack of the Clones). But one thing that Rogue One and its prequel novel Catalyst make clear is that the Empire had a hard time perfecting the Death Star’s main weapon. The Death Star’s superlaser requires massive amounts of Kyber crystals as a power source, and only Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) understands the science well enough to make such a weapon a reality.
Andor takes place years after the opening scene of Rogue One’s prologue, which means that Galen has been recaptured by the Empire and his daughter Jyn (Felicity Jones) is on her way to becoming a rebel freedom fighter. But the Death Star’s main weapon is still far from complete. Even as the Jedi temple on Jedha is being looted for more raw materials, we see the Empire using the prisoners as slave labor to speed up the process. The Empire is getting closer to its ultimate goal. Luckily, Cassian and his allies are prepared to make things a lot more difficult for them in season two.