Andor

Review

4th May 2023
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In short: It’s aight, well worth a watch, but fuck Disney.

“What is my sacrifice? I’m condemned to use the tools of my enemy to defeat them. I burn my decency for someone else’s future. I burn my life to make a sunrise that I know I’ll never see. And the ego that started this fight will never have a mirror or an audience or the light of gratitude. So what do I sacrifice? Everything!”

- Luthen Rael

I’ve got 500 words. I’m pairing down from 4000. Urgh.
Between September and November last year I would not shut up about Andor. A life long lover of the franchise, a plucky rebel, and someone who strongly feels that “Rogue One” is the best feature film in the canon, I have so much to say, but I want to focus on one scene.

The end of episode ten, sees Luthen Rael deliver a powerful monologue in the final act and for me shows the true face of Andor and it’s creators, Disney. It’s a powerful moment, he’s in a heated discussion with a lacky who he’s trapped for working for the proto-rebellion and is asked “What do you sacrifice?”. The anguish drips from him and his words punch a hole through many a revolutionary’s heart. He’s their mirror.

The beauty of Star Wars from their perspective is that the “Empire” can be whoever you want it to be. Sometimes depicted as a hyper fascist martial society laden with xenophobia and social hierarchy, other times as a bureaucratic authoritarian communist macro-state rife with corruption and cultural assimilation. Disney, they know how to play the game. If you’re a nihilist who feels like they’ve been consumed by their revolutionary ideas all hopped up on the Catechism, Luthen is you right? Maybe tho, you’re a blue-blooded hero of decency, a patriot and freedom fighter “a bad man who keeps good men safe” type whose noble sacrifice will place them on the right side of history, Luthen is you really, right?

This has always been the dichotomy of the Rebels. They are a bland stand in for your wish fulfilment, regardless of your politics. Engagement will be high, the cash prints itself.

In truth, it’s even worse.
It isn’t even honest in this. Writer Beau Willimon, merely wrote a fantastic bit of recuperation. This isn’t some earnest Ken Loach war drama, the words dripping with truth and sorrow. The vast corporation simply made your revolutionary emotional driver a product. Just like they always do. They replaced the genuine realities of organising with some aspirational twaddle and somewhere a possible comrade decides she’d rather wait until the revolution is drowning itself in glory and noble sacrifices.

It’s just a story, the words mean nothing. The rebel is just an interesting character study, their words hollow. It’s a powerful scene but I’m not Luthren.

Later…
I thought I was so damn smart, look at me, the corporate bastards won’t trick me. Then came the final episode. Now I know I’m not Luthren, heck, I’m not even Maarva, Still, my eyes welled up with rage and righteous fury, and I find my mirror. I’m Brasso and I’m tired of being asleep.

It’s not some complex rebel orchestration nor a valiant paragon of goodness standing against evil which sees the planet of Ferrix rise up. It’s just a working class community who cannot take any more. The scene is alive and visceral. I’ve seen that gutteral passion in the people next to me as the armour clad bastards made their shield line. Fuck, Disney got me. The Fuckers.

Oh it’s entirely without genuine substance, the plot points schlocky and it’s “message” delivered with a sledge hammer, but fuck me it’s got a mirror for everyone and for that, it’s fucking genius. I watched the series through again, and yep, it’s the best Star Wars has ever been.

Also Saw Gerrera is a fucking bad boi for sure.
Yep. I need more than 500 words. ■

Peter Ó'Máille

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