Star Wars creator George Lucas once wrote about “the taxation of trade routes” in the opening prologue of Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menance, and if Disney+’s Star Wars series has given die-hard fans anything, it’s the binary, granular look at how such universe politics come to be.
While The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett have been intoxicated by callbacks to legacy characters and all-things atmospheric from Lucas and even Star Wars animation architect Dave Filoni’s imaginings, Gilroy has focused on the smaller conversations — the clerical details if you will, of how a bureaucratic Imperial force rises and how a rebellion among disparate factions comes together — (Hint, it helps to have a rich person in your corner who is attempting to move money around and fund the opposition, read: Genevieve O’Reilly’s rebel cofounder-to be, Mon Mothma).
One such jaw-dropping detail revealed in the epilogue: Those big steel wheels that Cassian and the Narkina 5 prisoners were assembling a few episodes ago were parts for the Death Star’s firing cannon. Duh. It’s those type of Easter eggs that Andor has thrived on, versus, say deep universe cameos from the Filoni animation shows.
Season 1 completes the first year in rebel-to be Cassian Andor’s life. He returns to Ferrix for his adoptive mother Maarva’s (Fiona Shaw) funeral, but he can’t exactly be out in the open. The Imperials are sniffing out something is about to go down, and it does, as droid B2Emo projects a hologram of Maarva before the crowd, and in Obi-Wan style, encourages them to fight the power (“Fight the Empire!”). At which point, there’s an outburst worse than a drunk Mardi Gras with pipe bombs going off. Let the Star Wars begin. Andor escapes through furnace tunnels, and Imperial Security Bureau supervisor Dedra Meero (the sublime Denise Gough) is trampled by protestors, only to be rescued by her twin flame, anti-Andor, uber-Imperial wannabe Syril Karn (Kyle Soller). It was just a few episodes ago, she was playing hard to get. Now it looks to be a romance steamier than anything on Grey’s Anatomy.