Lord Gilroy and his team have delivered the finale episode of Andor, and while it may not feel like a traditional season finale that is full of twists and turns, it still stuck the landing by tying up most of the first season’s big plot threads, while setting the stage for season two’s accelerated timeline as it marches Cassian to his fateful meeting on Kafrene in Rogue One.
Head on down below to check out the full Andor Finale review.
Just like that, Tony Gilroy’s Andor experiment, which was very much one for a live action Star Wars property, has completed its first season. While the finale may not have featured the usual twists and turns that season finales do, or the complete tying up of all narrative threads that fans may have wanted, Rix Road still managed to stick the landing by providing a tense showdown on Ferrix that moved Cassian even closer to the Rebel hero we know he becomes, while also setting the stage for the second and final season.
This finale is a perfect example of Tony’s show but don’t tell style of narrative delivery. Without going into nuanced exposition to explain away the multiple narrative threads that ran through season 1, Tony and his team managed to close out most of the first season’s major plot points by simply showing us, rather than screaming it down our throats.
You have to appreciate the simple, yet effective methods Andor’s team used to end most of the Season 1 threads including Mon’s banking issue, which has now been solved via blaming Perrin’s old gambling debt and agreeing to Davos’ terms. We didn’t need further conversations on this, so it was appreciated to just get two simple scenes to close the door on Mon’s biggest issue plaguing her involvement in the rebellion, which will now free her up to do even more in season 2.
The same can be said for the Luthen wants Cassian dead plot point, which now too is closed thanks to the final scene between them. We weren’t lectured by Cassian on why he wants to fight now, nor were we given another Luthen monologue on why he now thinks that keeping Cassian alive is a good plan.
Viewers just knew this was the case thanks to how the episode showed us that both of these men’s minds were changing through their experiences. Cassian’s growth clearly came from his time in prison, but also from listening to Nemik’s manifesto, which offered yet another banger of a monologue for this series. Luthen on the other hand seemingly began to change his stance after listening to Maarva’s rousing speech to the people of Ferrix. That is why this show is brilliant, because fans aren’t treated like dummies and get talked down to by the script to ensure they understand what is taking place.
In Andor, all we needed was to see the scenes play out, because the series was paced so well that every episode helped to build towards the character transformations in the finale. Nothing prior to the finale was on accident, every scene, every bit of dialogue was key in leading viewers towards the narrative answers they sought in the finale. That’s what makes Andor so unique. There truly is no filler because everything you see is purposeful and as long as you’re paying attention, answers get delivered without long winded exposition and filler.
Ultimately, the finale was extremely tense with a great build up of pressure that gets released like a steam valve during Maarva’s funeral, and while nothing over-the-top, or water cooler worthy really happened, the finale still did its job in showcasing Cassian’s metamorphosis and making it feel earned and not convenient. Like his mother before him, we too now see how he is an unstoppable force for good, and this arbitrary character created for a Star Was spinoff, is now earning the legendary status he was given in Rogue One without knowing where he came from, and what made him that freedom fighter he is when fans first met him on Kafrene.
If your someone who has slept on this series, or found it to be too slow before all episodes were released, from the words of Nemik, Remember this, try. Andor Season 1 is a gem, and the finale confirms this. It may not have been a typical season finale full of surprises and shocking turns, but it got the job done and left me wanting more, which is a sign of great storytelling. All I can say is – Stone and Sky, Stone and Sky, Stone and Sky.
How about some top moments!
The first top moment is more of a series of moments featuring Cassian as he returned to Ferrix. His moment with Clem’s stone and the flashback was touching, and helped to show how the loss of Maarva has really hit him hard, but at the same time, it adds to his motivations to rebel and fight for freedom like his mother before him. This is further confirmed in the scene in which he’s listening to Nemik’s manifesto, which like Luthen’s monologue from two episodes ago, was another piece of brilliant Star Wars writing.
I mean listen to this stuff, how can it not motivate you to fight back against tyranny and oppression of any form?
There will be times when the struggle seems impossible. I know this already.
Alone, unsure, dwarfed by the scale of the enemy.
Remember this: Freedom is a pure idea. It occurs spontaneously and without instruction.
It was just pleasing to see Cassian’s change in tone, as well as knowing that Nemik’s manifesto is a key ingredient in his change, and something he used to motivate himself to make some big choices in the finale.
The next scene of note comes when Brasso meets Cassian in the sewers to discuss Maarva’s final words. Like most of Cassian’s moments in the finale, this one was heavy. This was Diego’s episode for sure, and while his co-stars have been outshining him for most of the season due to how they’ve been written, he expertly nailed Cassian’s grief and new resolve to fight back. Maarva’s final words were perfect, and just what Cassian needed to hear to move forward in his plan of rescue but also his plan of joining the rebellion in earnest. Plus, how could you not appreciate the line that Cassian would become an unstoppable force for good. Just brilliant stuff Maarva, you should be a motivational speaker when you grow up.
Who else never knew that they needed a Star Wars marching band in their lives? The band kicked ass and the funeral song was amazing, but the true reason this scene makes this list is because of how well it built tension towards the inevitable explosion that would be Maarva’s funeral speech. The whole procession was a thing of beauty and perfectly showcased how the people of Ferrix would be the type of people to rebel in the name of protecting their way of life and loved ones. Hell, the march even got Bix and her liquidated brain motivated again, so it definitely smacked.
Speaking of Maarva’s speech, how could it not make this list. Like others in this series, especially Kino’s one way out moment, it was motivating, even to me, some schlub sitting on his couch in a dark basement watching a fictional space show. Everything word she said was leading the people of ferric closer and closer to open rebellion. Her words struck the right chords at the right time, and if you weren’t moved by them, well you may be a fascist, because I was ready to fight whatever empire may be holding me down right now after she yelled out Fight the Empire. She even seemingly moved the unflappable Luthen Rael with her words, and possibly even Mr. Law and order himself, Syril Karn. That lady should get a statue if the Empire doesn’t glass Ferrix first.
And the final moment should be no surprise, because it’s the moment most of us have been waiting for, and that is the moment Cassian fully commits himself to Luthen’s burgeoning rebellion, and takes his first official step towards becoming one of the heroes to save the galaxy through his sacrifice on Scariff beach. His line of kill me, or take me in, is so on brand for his character that it made Luthen laugh in surprise, and fans nod in agreement. This dude has come full circle since the last time he was with Luthen, so getting this pay off in this manner was a great end for the first season.
I will close with more advice from Nemik, because it’s important for real life and your Star Wars life.
Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks, it leaks.
Authority is brittle.
Oppression is the mask of fear.
Remember that. And know this, the day will come when all these skirmishes and battles, these moments of defiance will have flooded the banks of the Empire’s authority, and then there will be one too many. One single thing will break the siege.
Remember this. Try.
Nick and I will talk more about the Andor finale on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.