'Andor' S1 E12 Review: You Can't Go Home Again
Diego Luna says goodbye and hello, once more, in the season finale.
Now Streaming: If the original Star Wars trilogy was a father/son story, then Andor aims to be a mother/son story.
Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) defined himself through the eyes of his adoptive mother, Maarva (Fiona Shaw), who, together with her husband Clem, saved him during their rebel activites, when he was a youngster known as Kassa (Episode 3). Later, Clem was murdered. leading Cassian to become intensely worried about Maarva's survival under adverse conditions. He implores her to leave and escape the planet with him after the succesful payroll job. (Episode 7) Instead, Maarva declines his offer, and eventually falls quite ill in Episode 8. In the meantime, Cassian is imprisoned for a minor offense, eventually helping to foment a huge prison break (Episode 10).
Last week, in Episode 11, Cassian learns that Maarva has died. He becomes determined to return to his adopted home planet to honor her memory, which launches Episode 12, the season finale. Without going into any more detail, Maarva's presence continues to serve as a galvanizing force for Cassian and, indeed, the entire series.
Written by series creator Tony Gilroy and directed by Benjamin Caron, the concluding episode gives attention to each of the dishes (i.e. individual characters) that have been introduced, and gives them a good whirl. Some come crashing down; others keep spinning, and will, most likely, return in the upcoming second season. Each faces a crisis point in the episode, and their reactions are not always what I expected.
As the titular character, Diego Luna has less room to expand his character than the supporting characters, who had only a skeleton of their motives and motivations to start and/or end with. By this point, we already know Cassian a reluctant rebel, though there is still room left for him to grow or change or, at least, slightly modify his personality through another 12 episodes.
But this is the Cassian that we would expect after seeing Rogue One, if not yet completely in command of his own motivations. He has an instinct for good, covered with a gruff exterior, given to barking commands that are not always quickly followed. He is still covered in a coat of unease; he's fine with the idea of reaching for a commanding role, and he acts like he's a commander and expects people to listen to him, yet he's not sure if he wants that.
His instinct is still to walk and/or run away. Something is holding him in place, and the season finale reveals that it's his mother, his poor dear adoptive mother. Her fierce conviction to rebel against the evil Empire impels Cassian to action, no matter what happens to him or others. [Disney Plus]