This article contains spoilers for the Andor season finale
One of the most satisfying aspects of Andor is the way it’s depicted the day-to-day evil of the Empire, and the necessity of fighting against it. In this show, the Imperials generally aren’t mustache-twirling villains, and their crimes much more personal than the comic book stuff we’ve seen them doing in other Star Wars stories.
In the excellent season finale, we see that Leia’s A New Hope line “the more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers” is accurate, as the Empire’s attempt to crack down on Ferrix backfires when the community unites against them. The meat of this philosophy is told through Nemik’s manifesto for the Rebellion, which we see Cassian listening to before making his move.
“There will be times when the struggle seems impossible. Alone, unsure, dwarfed by the scale of the enemy. Remember this. Freedom is a pure idea. It occurs spontaneously and without instruction. Random acts of insurrection are occurring constantly throughout the galaxy. There are whole armies, battalions that have no idea that they’ve already enlisted in the cause. Remember that the frontier of the Rebellion is everywhere and even the smallest act of insurrection pushes our lines forward.
And then remember this. The Imperial need for control is so desperate because it is so unnatural. 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.”
That last word “try” is a firm riposte to Yoda’s famous “do or do not, there is no try.” Andor argues that Yoda’s philosophy is obsolete in the face of the Empire and the destruction of the Jedi Order, as the Rebels have nothing but the ability to “try” in the face of overwhelming odds.
It’s also worth remembering that the stagnation and shortsightedness of the Jedi meant they were all too easily manipulated by Darth Sidious during the prequel trilogy, with their attempted arrest of him in Revenge of the Sith giving him cause to declare himself Emperor, marking the beginning of the Galactic Empire.
Meanwhile, Yoda himself is hiding out on a swamp planet not lifting a single green finger to help the Rebellion, so it’s unsurprising that Rebel philosophy discards the nice but ineffective Jedi teachings. We may yet see a lightsaber ignited in the second season of Andor, though it looks like Tony Gilroy and his team are arguing that the common people of the galaxy can perfectly well rise up on their own without space wizards leading the charge.
Andor season one is available in full on Disney Plus