Star Wars: Andor review, Episode 11: Let’s call it war

Image: Star Wars: Andor/Disney+
Image: Star Wars: Andor/Disney+ /

“Let’s call it war.” Those few words from Saw Gerrera sum up the first season of Star Wars: Andor. The penultimate episode of season 1, “Daughter of Ferrix,” once again raises the stakes for the series and sets up what’s sure to be an epic showdown in the finale next week.

The episode opens with an anxiety-inducing shot of Cassian (Diego Luna) and Melshi (Duncan Pow) clinging to the side of a steep cliff, hiding from Imperial scouts after their daring escape from the Narkina 5 prison. His experiences over the last few episodes have changed him, but Cassian really starts to transform when he hears that his mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw) has died.

On Ferrix, Brasso (Joplin Sibtain) speaks with droid B2EMO and learns that Maarva died of sickness. Though we haven’t seen him in every episode, B2EMO has become a fan favorite, and it’s heartbreaking to see how childlike and distraught he is over Maarva’s death. Helping Brasso pick up the pieces are the Daughters of Ferrix, who offer some comfort to the droid as they prepare Maarva’s body for a funeral according to the customs of the planet. Observing all of this are Cinta (Varada Sethu), a rebel spy, and Corv (Noof Ousellam), a spy for the Empire. They’re both looking for Cassian and suspect he way turn up for his mother’s funeral.

The news of Maarva’s death makes it all the way to Syril Karn’s (Kyler Soller) former sergeant, who wakes Syril up in the middle of the night to tell him about it. For the disgraced Syril, Cassian is the one who got away, and he’s been obsessed with bringing the man to justice since the beginning of the season.

Cassian finally lets his emotions show

Meanwhile, Cassian and Melshi befriend a duo of native Narkinians in order to get off of Narkina 5. The Narkinians initially think that these guys are more trouble than they’re worth. But once they realize Cassian and Melshi are escaped prisoners, they agree to help.

The Narkinians take them to Neimos, where Cassian was first arrested and where he stashed a load of credits and Nemik’s manifesto. The two rest, bathe, and acquire fresh clothes before Cassian travels to Ferrix, which changes the trajectory of his life. He and Melshi split up so that at least one of them can survive. Melshi wants to make sure someone hears about the atrocities happening in the Narkina 5 prison. Cassian hands him a blaster.

The episode ends with a heartbroken Cassian staring at the horizon on the beaches of Neimos as he finally lets his mask slip and feels his grief over his mother’s death. It’s a quietly gut-wrenching scene, and one that poignantly harkens to the final moments of his life in Rogue One.

Star Wars: Andor moves its pieces into place

The rest of the episode catches us up with all of Andor‘s major characters. ISB officer Dedra (Denise Gough) instructs the Imperials on Ferrix to approve the people’s request for Maarva’s funeral because she sees it as a way to lure Cassian. Vel (Faye Marsay) tells Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau) of Maarva’s death so she can tell Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård) and he can get ready to take out Cassian, who the rebels see as a liability.

Luthen meets with Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) again to tell him not to join Anto Kreegyr in an upcoming attack on the Empire. He tells him it’s a trap, and that Kreegyr’s men will be slaughtered. Ever the paranoid anarchist, Saw questions Luthen’s loyalties and even accuses him of being ISB, but Luthen talks him down. That’s when Saw says, “let’s call it war.” No matter which side wins, there will be devastating losses.

When Luthen tries to leave, he’s stopped by an Imperial patrol looking for partisan activity in the area. Despite the strong tractor beam hold, Luthen is able to get away and take out a few TIE fighters in the process using his souped-up ship, which looks like it has two giant lightsaber blades shooting out the sides.

Let’s call it war

Andor is all set up for a truly epic season finale. So far, the show has proven that even the quietest moments can pack a hard punch, and it’s done a great job of selling the Empire as an evil, fascist, authoritarian entity bent on subjugation and order by any means necessary.

For Cassian, the first season has been teaching him that ignorance and complacency in the face of cruelty is not an option. Sides must be chosen, and Cassian is right on the edge of becoming the brilliant, dedicated rebel spy who gives it all for the cause.

Episode Grade: A

Next. Andor Episode 10 delivers an epic prison break and a shocking twist. dark

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