A new episode of Andor is here, so it should be no surprise that it’s the number one topic of discussion in Star Wars. Since Andor‘s premiere back in September, it’s garnered a reputation as one of the best entries in the franchise in years, and hasn’t put a foot wrong since.
This week’s episode – ‘Daughter of Ferrix’ – is no exception, providing tears, thrills, chewy political debate, and an exemplary example of a classic Star Wars space dogfight. So, let’s get into what’s new with the episode and take the temperature of the fan base.
Below are spoilers for Andor episode 11
B2EMO is breaking viewers’ hearts in this week’s episode
Fans immediately fell head-over-heels in love with the adorable droid B2EMO in the first three-episode arc of Andor. He’s a bit beaten up, finds it difficult to hold a charge for long, and has picked up a stutter – but he’s intensely loyal and intensely cute. Tony Gilroy has described him as akin to an old family dog that might not be able to run for a frisbee anymore, but that you love to see lying peacefully in his basket.
Well, this week showed B2EMO at his heartbreaking lowest. The episode opened with the revelation that Fiona Shaw’s Maarva had died (presumably of old age) and B2EMO was grieving. Her friends and the Ferrix villagers tried to get the droid to come with them, though he wanted to remain in her house, saying “I don’t want to be alone, I want to be with Maarva”
Excuse us, we’ve got… something in our eye.
What’s also touching is that everyone respected B2EMO’s feelings, which makes a nice break from droids being comic relief in Star Wars media. Fans were immediately here for B2EMO and made it known on social media, with many wanting to just give him a reassuring hug.
It’s often noted that Star Wars manages to inject an absurd amount of personality into what amount to beeping metal boxes, but even by the franchise’s standards, B2EMO is a true droid highlight.
Evidence is stacking up that there’s a secret Jedi in ‘Andor’
Fans have theorized since the show’s first trailer that Stellan Skarsgård’s Luthen Rael is a Jedi in hiding. Most people (us included) dismissed them as far-fetched. But now, after the last two episodes, we grudgingly admit that those who thought this might have been right all along.
Luthen was looking suspiciously Jedi-like last week when he gave a lofty speech on morality and philosophy while dressed in a cape that billowed gently in the breeze, but the cherry on top came in this week’s episode. While visiting Saw Gerrara he was frisked by his security and a wooden object taken from him. This is the extendable cane we glimpsed in early episodes, but now that we have a proper look at it, it’s unmistakably similar to a lightsaber hilt.
This, plus Luthen giving Cassian a kyber crystal in the early episodes, makes it more likely than not that Luthen is at least linked to the Jedi Order.
So far Andor has sidelined any discussion of Jedi, Sith or the Force, so a Jedi appearing in the show might be jarring. But at this point we have absolute confidence in Tony Gilroy and the showrunners, so if they think the story is best with Luthen as a Jedi we’re on board.
‘Star Wars’ now has its take on the Batmobile
While we’re on the subject of Luthen we can’t go without mentioning the incredible scene in which he escaped from an Imperial Cruiser. This random stop could have been the end for the Rebellion, as Luthen’s ship is full of evidence he’s the mysterious Axis the ISB have been searching for. But, after stalling for time, Luthen deployed “countermeasures”.
This saw him unveiling his ship’s hidden weaponry: using the Imperial tractor beam against it by firing shrapnel into it to shred its equipment, busting out some sick flying skills, and finally deploying what appear to be twin lightsabers from the sides of his ship and barrel-rolling TIE Fighters to pieces.
For a show that often keeps its action low-key and personal, it was a surprisingly bombastic action sequence. Fans instantly compared Luthen’s ride to Batman’s Batmobile or James Bond’s various Aston Martins. Others went so far as to name it the coolest ship they’d ever seen in Star Wars.
We wouldn’t go that far, but we can’t deny watching Luthen wipe the smirk off the Imperials’ faces didn’t make us happy. The only downside is that Luthen’s craft will now be on the Empire’s radar, but let’s just hope it’s a common enough model that’ll make it difficult to track.
Dave Filoni and Kathleen Kennedy leave their mark in Japan
Star Wars Visions was a fun watch, with Neon Genesis Evangelion studio Production I.G.’s The Ninth Jedi one of the highlights. While on a recent visit to Japan, Dave Filoni and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy dropped by the office and left a fun souvenir of their visit. Check it out:
The drawing is (presumably) by Filoni, showing Ahsoka Tano and Grogu, a message reading “The Force is Strong with IG” and is dated 11 November 2022. Whether this means the prestigious anime studio is returning to Star Wars is anyone’s guess, though we doubt Filoni and Kennedy just happened to stop by because they’re in the area.
The second season of Visions is due in 2024, and though the next batch of episodes is said to focus on non-Japanese animation studios, maybe they’d make an exception for Production I.G.
It’s going to feel like a long week until the Andor finale next Wednesday, though we’re also going to be sad when the show is over and we have to wait until 2024 for season two to air. Let’s just hope other Star Wars projects are taking notes from Andor and it sees some awards season success, as this is top-tier television whether you’re a die-hard fan or just dabble in a galaxy far, far away.