Star Wars: Andor Episode 12 Review

Chris Connor reviews the season one finale of Star Wars: Andor…

After the reset of ‘Daughter of Ferrix ‘ and the forces descending on Maarva’s funeral to spring a trap for Andor, the finale ‘Rix Road’, had a lot to live up to. Could the series, which has earned the best  reviews for a Star Wars project in some time, stick the landing and lay a foundation for its second season ? The answer is an emphatic yes as it delivered an explosive, heartfelt finale that built on many of the dangling story threads while teasing audiences on what is still to come. 

Cassian himself is silent for much of the episode as he make his return to Ferrix, trying to evade the swarming Imperial masses that now seemingly occupy every corner – a far cry from the series opener and a sign of growing Imperial muscle. The growth in Imperial presence has been a strong point, slowly expanding Star Wars iconography to the point where we see a mass of Stormtroopers and Death Troopers here. 

Diego Luna is able to subtly convey Cassian’s plight with facial gestures as he dives from hidden crevices and drains to avoid detection. This is mirrored with Denise Gough’s Meero and Kyle Soller’s Syril, desperate to find Andor. We get a sense of Meero’s willingness to succeed as she shows her dissatisfaction at no prisoners from a failed rebel attack, putting her at odds with her superiors. 

The tension slowly escalates as the Maarva’s funeral procession marches through the town towards the Imperial blockades with the backdrop of loud hammering proving a distraction. The use of the band’s music and the hammering is a wonderful use of sound to really escalate an already tense situation, accompanied by Nicholas Brittel’s pulsating and stunning score. 

The second half of the episode carries much of the frantic energy of ‘One Way Out’ as the residents of Ferrix take up arms against the Empire and make a stand with a heartfelt and poignant final appearance in the series from Fiona Shaw making a call to arms. Shaw, while not the most prominent of characters in the series, certainly left her mark. This is a thrilling end to the season with the resourcefulness of the locals coming up against the might of The Empire and a sign of growing willingness to stand and fight that will only become stronger in the second season as we approach the start of Rogue One. 

Andor across its first season has delivered some of the most high quality Star Wars content since the Original Trilogy. The reluctance to embrace Easter eggs or cameos is to be welcomed, making this entry stand on its own, not falling into problems that have befallen Obi-Wan Kenobi or The Book of Boba Fett. It fully earns its twelve episode length with several arcs given room to expand and develop and meaning we get a sense of who both new and returning characters are, drastically expanding several existing characters namely Cassian himself and Mon Mothma. 

‘Rix Road’ is the finale the season deserves, action packed but knowing when to use it and fleshing out the world, building on arcs from across the whole season, and making every sacrifice and decision to this point mean something with a real sense of loss and risk that few other Star Wars projects have had on this scale.

While it may be a long, likely two year wait for more Andor, fans can be hopeful that the third season of The Mandalorian can carry the mantle forward and show there is still plenty of life left in a galaxy far far away.

SEE ALSO: Andor: A Star Wars show by any other name…

Chris Connor


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