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December 02, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Andor Finale with Adam Serwer

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight brick a stormtrooper! First in the Airlock (3:55), Jason and Rosie dive deep (deeep) into the season one finale of Andor, recapping as well as exploring motivation and theorizing where we might find these characters in season two as well as revisiting Rogue One. In the Hive Mind (1:15:58), X-Ray Vision is thrilled to welcome Atlantic Staff Writer, journalist, and author Adam Serwer to discuss his recent piece “Star Wars Gets Political,” his love for Star Wars, secular fascism in the Empire, the politics of Andor, and more. Then in Nerd Out (1:53:12), friend of the show Liz theorizes on the possible force sensitivities of an Andor character. (Stay tuned for more Nerd Outs in 2023, including the many we didn’t get a chance to feature this year.)


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Jason Concepcion Warning. This podcast contains spoilers for the finale of ANDOR and some minor spoilers for the film Rogue One It.


Jason Concepcion Hello. My name is Jason Concepcion, and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked podcast, where we dive deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. In this episode, it’s the big Andor finale episode we’re going to be discussing the ANDOR finale in the Airlock in the Hive Mind more and more with Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer wrote a really, really interesting piece in The Atlantic about the show and in Nerd Out, Liz theorizes about an Andor character’s possible connection to the force. And of course, if you want to jump around, check the show notes for timestamps. Joining me today, she’s the only one that knows what happened on Kenari. She is a daughter of Ferrix. She knows all about Saw Gerrera’s extremism. But she’s not going to talk about it anywhere else but here, she is the great, the powerful, Rosie. Knight, Rosie. How are you?


Rosie Knight I’m good. Hello. It’s true. I Saw was right. I just need to say that. I am


Jason Concepcion He was absolutely.


Rosie Knight  a Saw apologist. He was always right.


Jason Concepcion We’re going to talk about this at length because he continues to be right. He was right early. He’s still right. And he will continue to be right.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And he just does not get the credit he deserves. How was your Thanksgiving?


Rosie Knight It was a very good chill time. I ate food with my friends and I watched a lot of movies and worked on a very cool secret project that I can’t talk about. So I didn’t have a proper break, but it was nice to just be able to slow down.


Jason Concepcion Can you give like one very, very vague hint?


Rosie Knight It’s it is a comic book format. It’s in the comic book format. That’s the hint I can give you, but yeah, I missed, I missed being here, talking to you.


Jason Concepcion Same.


Rosie Knight But it was, is, is nice to to just take some time and nice to be able to like really dig into Andor and kind of watch it and take in that unreal finale before we kind of dig into it here.


Jason Concepcion I had I had family in town.


Rosie Knight Oh, lovely.


Jason Concepcion All around I baked bread. We realized that. We realized that one of our family members who had COVID like two months ago and has been like, Oh, my taste hasn’t come back. My taste hasn’t come back. Stuff tastes weird. We realized when they were here that what was going on is their taste had come back at a certain point, they were just eating bad food wherever they were.


Rosie Knight I was going to say, you will know in L.A.. In LA you  will eat some food and you will know the flavor will  be there.


Jason Concepcion As soon as, you know, we like ordered some Italian from Jon and Vinny’s and and immediately it was like this pesto is delicious. Holy cow. Like what? Looks like the taste is back. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s wonderful to have it back. Okay, let’s get into it. Let’s get into the Andor finale.


Jason Concepcion [AD]


Jason Concepcion We’re stepping out of the Airlock into the streets of Ferrix, as the the mournful, but also inspiring, funeral march is playing. And we’re here to talk about the finale of Andor Rix Road, written by Tony Gilroy, directed by Benjamin Caron. We’re on Ferrix. It is the day of Maarva’s funeral. Dedra arrives on planet. She meets with all her imperial underlings. And, you know, it takes a peek into Bix’s cell through the porthole. Elsewhere, Xan meets with Brasso after Brasso shift and Xan tells Brasso that, hey, I just got a call from Cassian. What? That’s right. I think Cascio, Cassian is coming home. He knows that Maarva died. Meanwhile, the ISB is all over Ferrix. They’re crawling all over the streets, keeping a very close eye on Brasso. They’re watching this this interaction happen. Meanwhile, also watching this interaction happen is Cinta of the Aldhani crew. They are waiting also for Cassian to show up because they would like to kill Cassian.


Rosie Knight Dun, dun, dun.


Jason Concepcion And close that loose end. Later, Nurchi, the Ferrixian junk dealer who is now informing to the ISB with absolute alacrity. Is giving up everything. Can’t wait to


Rosie Knight He is excited to do it.


Jason Concepcion Give it all up. Wants to do it. Wants to get off this this dust bowl of the planet is meeting Xan for a drink. And he’s like, you know, he’s like, oh, you know, it’s got to be, who’s going to place Maarva’s stone? That’s got to be really eating at Cassian and that’s going to be so tough. And Nurchi is, so he is, plays this very, very, very, very cannily because he can kind of tell that Xan has some information, but then Nurchi covers it up by saying, Hey, if you know anything, keep it to yourself. Don’t tell me. But like, can tell, by the way, that Xan is like stewing over his drink and clearly wants to say something, that he knows something.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And this is a great bit of foreshadowing too, because like who will be there to place Maarva’s stone? Don’t worry. The stone will come in use in one of the most memorable scenes, and you will see who places and where they place it. And it’s so good because that line just gets me.


Jason Concepcion Elsewhere we see Wilmon, who is the son of Salman, a man who was previously in the in the series tortured by the ISB. We see him assembling some kind of device which we take to be a bomb. On Coruscant, Mon is waiting in the limo for Perrin. He gets in, they go off to ride off together. And then Mon starts this argument with Perrin where she confronts him about his gambling. How long have you been doing it? I can’t believe you’re gambling again. If you want to do that, you know, go to Canto Bight to do that. But don’t do that here and don’t lie to me about it. And Perrin is like, What the fuck are you talking about?


Rosie Knight Why are you going on about? He’s like, I am. He does many things wrong, this man. But gambling doesn’t seem like it’s one of them.


Jason Concepcion I have, I’ve cleaned that up. I haven’t been gambling. Certainly not on Coruscant. Somebody is getting in your ear. They’re trying to tear you down by attacking me. And anyway, where would I get the money? And and Mon’s like, that’s the thing that scares me the most. And, of course, all of this whole discussion is, is for the benefit of Kloris, who Mon knows, their driver, Kloris, who Mon knows is an ISB agent slash informer.


Rosie Knight Yeah. She’s setting up her husband to basically take the fall for whenever this audit comes around, she’s laying the.


Jason Concepcion Right.


Rosie Knight Groundwork.


Jason Concepcion I don’t know what my husband spent. My husband gambled it away.


Rosie Knight He gambled it away. And you know what? You know, I didn’t just come up with this as an excuse because didn’t my driver tell you that six months ago?


Jason Concepcion Right. Now and it’s actually super, super smart. That said, we know there’s an Andor season two. And you all you have to feel that this is not a permanent fix. Like this will buy her some time, surely, as they untangle this and try to figure it out. Maybe follow Perrin around. You know, like this will force the ISB to spend some assets on Perrin and see if he is really gambling. But ultimately, the ISB will run this down and we’ll figure out that that’s not what’s going on here.


Rosie Knight Especially because even if they don’t figure out what she’s actually been using the money for, they will know that she got the loan from Davos. They will find that out at some point. And the question is, how reliable is that man? Now that their families are connected through their children, is he going to protect them? Will he sell one down the river? This could be, I think, a big thread that we see in season two. Does Mon get isolated from her wealthy family and her background, then does that radicalize her? Or does she have to just sell out people that she loves to protect her stay so that she can stay in that place for.


Jason Concepcion Let me ask you this.


Rosie Knight A greater rebellion?


Jason Concepcion I wonder, there is a a great scene in the great series Rebels. I want to say it’s like season two or three where Mon gives the speech that basically announces that the rebellion exists. Right. She gives that that video speech where she’s like, hey, we have to fight the empire. I am denouncing the emperor today. I am resigning from the Senate. If you want to fight the empire, come meet us in space. And let’s do that and let’s do this. Basically founding that, the foundational moment of the rebel alliance. I wonder if we get a version.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion Not what? Not like a retcon per say, but if we see that from the other side, because that would be pretty fun to see the Tony Gilroy version of Mon’s like.


Rosie Knight That’s what I was going to say.


Jason Concepcion Coming out speech.


Rosie Knight I wonder. We know how much the shows and the animated series have kind of lent into each other and become very entwined,entwined, especially because Filoni is behind a lot of the other live action shows. It will be very interesting as we move forward towards the time that we know in the main Star Wars timeline to see how those moments intersect and to see what Toni translates from Rebels and Clone Wars. Honestly shows that without which Andor still probably wouldn’t exist. Because those shows were what made Star Wars television a viable possibility. But like you say, it would be fun to see Tony Gilroy translating some of those moments from what many people still essentially see as like a kid’s TV show in this the least kid’s friendly Star Wars show of all time.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. Back on Ferrix, Vel meets her, her partner Cinta at the Safe House. Cinta updates Vel about all the movements of the ISB agents, various ISB agents around town. They know they have to be very careful. She is ready to kill Cassian Andor the second he pops.


Rosie Knight She is about her business. Vel is not about it. Cinta is about it.


Jason Concepcion She is ready to pop him to save the network as soon as he shows his face. And yes, you’re absolutely right, Vel, throughout this episode and the previous episode is really troubled by this. Whatever. She just gets a vibe from Cassian. Not to mention he was really the most competent member of the Aldhani. Like they would not have pulled it off if not for him. And so the idea of double crossing him, stabbing him in the back, in order to keep him out of imperial hands, really, really bothers her. You can you can really, really tell.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And I think as well, like the the privileged background that she comes from as Mon’s sister, she she even though she wants to leave it behind her, it is the safety of it I think is drawing her back. She wants to, she did the Aldhani, wasn’t that enough? She doesn’t really know that it’s a continuous struggle. Whereas Cinta is very much in the mindset of like I will do what has to be done for as long as it needs to be done. More of that Luthen school.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. Cassian arrives back on Ferrix and he finds Clem’s brick in the streets. Maarva’s partner is essentially the man who raised him as a father, and he remembers a moment where Clem was teaching him to, you know, how to clean salvaged equipment. And there’s this wonderful, like, small moment of, like, see, like, most people wouldn’t even look to see what’s actually underneath all of this stuff. And he’s thinking about that. And then he heads over to Bix’s shop and she’s not there. But Pegla is there. And it’s from Pegla that Cassian learns that Bix is in the hands of the ISB. Cassian kind of a steal himself goes off and listens to some of Nemik’s manifesto and it is a like it is truly like electrifying stuff. The kind of stuff you can’t believe.


Rosie Knight Should we read it? I have it


Jason Concepcion Yes. Read it. In Star Wars.


Rosie Knight There will be times when the struggle seems impossible. I know this already. 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 have already been enlisted in the cause.


Jason Concepcion I mean, it’s incredible stuff.


Rosie Knight And the performance is so great. Like, it just it’s the first of two incredible speeches of this finale. This one is my favorite, but it gets you.


Jason Concepcion It also.


Rosie Knight It’s so good.


Jason Concepcion It really just makes you think. Obviously, in recent years, Mon’s role in the rebellion has been it was always clear that she was incredibly important. But with Rebels and Rogue One and some of the books and stuff like it, it’s become clear what a pivotal character she was. And then it’s also clear that supporting her, are people like Nemik, who provided we’re seeing a lot of the philosophical framework for the struggle, and people like Maarva, who provided a lot of like the emotional impetus and inspiration for the struggle, who we just are never going to hear about. They’re certainly never going to get a medal. They are not like revered heroes of the rebellion. And it is really amazing to like learn about them here. And also the other thing I was thinking about is like the idea of like, freedom, you know, being an organic and natural idea that just springs up when you are restrained, when you feel less free, you want to struggle against that. That’s natural. I’ve been thinking a lot about that with this with this story and thinking a lot about how, you know, something we talk about a lot, which is that bad guys don’t think about themselves as bad guys. They think they’re pretty good. I remember, you know, reading any number of histories of the Civil War, reading about how for, you know, the Southern Slaver class, ahead of the Civil War, freedom, slavery was absolutely in line with their definition of freedom because it meant freeing themselves from ever having to do manual labor, which they saw as like work. Not befitting like gentlemen. And and it just has me that that idea and Nemik’s manifesto, just has me thinking about how much these kind of powerful, but amorphous ideas like freedom, oppression can be aimed and reconstituted and targeted in a million different ways by people who are really being sincere but are also like completely diluted.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion In the true meaning of the word freedom. Or the nature of oppression.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion I mean, we’re dealing with a lot of that in our in our world today.


Rosie Knight And I think there has been readings from certain different groups of Andor that supports their ideas of like what freedom is to do with like January 6th and stuff like that. What I love is the speech is much longer, right, and there’s this line that that Nemik says, where he says the imperial need for control is so desperate because it is so unnatural. Tyranny requires constant effort. It breaks. It leaks. Authority is brittle, and oppression is the mask of fear. And I love that because that’s when it does that Tony Gilroy thing where there’s this vagary to it. But then you do that, you do the twist where it’s like, we are talking about fascists here and the reason they want to oppress you and the reason they have to fight so hard to do it and the reason they need to be militarized and have weapons is because it’s so unnatural what they want for other people to not be free. You know, and and I love that idea. And also and this, you know, talking about kind of the current politics of what translates here. This is also very interesting because one of the most regular talked about kind of points about protest is something that people can’t stop is multiple tiny protests all over a city or a country. If you have one big protest, it’s easy to stop it if you have multiple rebellions or tiny gatherings. There are never enough people to stop it. So it’s very interesting once again to see Tony Gilroy bring that contemporary idea of protests and rebellion and put it into the context of Star Wars.


Jason Concepcion Elsewhere, Dedra is running her team through the ISB, her her plan base, her action plan for Maarva’s funeral. They’re going to have Rix Road covered from every angle, but no snipers, because Dedra wants him taken alive. They they need a living witness, and that’s a big deal. Now, I think this is going to be something when we go to season two that Dedra is going to be called to the carpet about. I think I would expect in season two that, one, Dedra is going to blame other people for the failure to to to grab Cassian Andor, one, and identify the contact. And two, she is going to be blamed herself for not having enough lethal force.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Ready to, like, put this whole thing down.


Rosie Knight Which is really funny because she’s not doing it because she’s some kind person who doesn’t want to kill people. She wants control and to understand the greater plans of the rebellion. So she’s like, Well, we need people who know what’s going on so I can torture them and ask them what’s going on. But it’s probably going to be played out because we’ve seen this misogynistic hierarchy within the empire. It’s probably going to be played out as if she’s a woman. She couldn’t do what needed to be done. She couldn’t bring that lethal force to control the rebels.


Jason Concepcion Certainly Blevin, of the ISB, is waiting in the wings for the downfall of.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion Of Dedra. We go to Coruscant, go to ISB headquarters. Kloris, the driver, is informing Blevin about this argument that Mon and Perrin had and they’re trying to figure out, like what? What does this mean? Then Blevin is called away because the Kreegyr raid is happening. The Kreegyr operation is happening right now. And the result of that operation is Anto Kreegyr and his entire crew of men.


Rosie Knight Some 30 men, Kreegyr and 30 men.


Jason Concepcion Are gone. There are no survivors, no one to interrogate. Now, Dedra is pretty wound up about this, and she is on the horn with Major Partagaz and she’s like, you know, someone’s got to say that we’re never going to unravel this thing if we don’t have someone to talk to. Somebody’s got to be in the room saying that. Partagaz is like, okay, you don’t get it. This is about wiping the taste of Aldhani out of the Emperor’s mouth. Because if the Emperor, is feeling anxious, none of us will be able to do our job. So you. You want prisoners, you want to be able to have a conversation about the way this operation is being run. Find the contact, find Axis, a.k.a. Luthen, who they don’t know who that person is. Elsewhere, the ISB that is watching Brasso realize they’ve been fooled. It’s not Brasso that they’re watching, hanging out at Maarva’s. It’s actually a Brasso double. He, Brasso, himself, has slipped down into the sewers where he’s meeting with Cassian. Brasso tells Cassian, that Maarva wanted him to know that none of this is his fault and that she loved him. And very touchingly, she said she told Brasso to tell Cassian that she loved him more than anything he could ever do wrong, which is such a powerful.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion A powerfully Star Wars sentiment in which, you know, I mean, this is a story in which we actively forgive people who take part in the wiping out of planets and the massacring of of children. And so that is just a very, very Star Wars thing to utter. Brasso promises that he will take care of Maarva’s Stone, and boy, does he.


Rosie Knight Ha. He does it very easy to use that. He takes care of it and he uses it to take care of business.


Jason Concepcion Luthen makes contact with Vel, just out on the street, also.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Wearing his sick vest.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight He’s got, like a black hood. He’s looking very villainous.


Jason Concepcion Okay, can we talk about this?


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Tony Gilroy, of course, from Rogue One, didn’t give us any Jedi in that. But certainly we would assume that Chirrut is at least force sensitive. I wonder. I mean, clearly, the robes make you think Jedi. Make you think Sith.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion I wonder if Luthen is, one, sensitive. Two


Rosie Knight Luthen also did have the Kyber Crystal. That’s right. He definitely has a connection to the force, to the ideas of the Jedi, even if the word not is not being, you know, uttered. And I know that our guest, Adam, he has some thoughts on that, too, that quite like theory focused. So but definitely the robes. They’re meant to make you think like, oh.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight I mean, he’s wearing black robes. He’s got them over his face. Could just be a manifestation of the way he sees himself. We know he sees himself as the enemy, as someone who’s fallen, who’s done these terrible things. But the Kyber Crystal, you know, this guy Kyber, I’m thinking might.


Jason Concepcion Might also be a Jedha. Maybe he’s like a Jedha native.


Rosie Knight I do wonder, I wonder about that too. I wonder if there’s something.


Jason Concepcion That’s how he knows Saw.


Rosie Knight Some connection to that space or just maybe a friend or a family member who is force sensitive, who who was a Jedi? Who knows? I’m very interested because they really play into it in this episode with the way that they dress Luthen. And we know the costuming in Star Wars is is rarely a coincidence. Lots of thought goes into that.


Jason Concepcion Um, so Luthen tells Vel that, oh, this is perfect, that there’s so many ISB here, and she’s like, What the fuck are you talking about? And he’s like, Listen, we we don’t have to hunt, Cassian. We let them do it. And then when they find him, we kill him before they can take him away to interrogate him. It’s very, very easy. Now let’s go to the hotel, where we can wait him out. Then the bell tower starts a clanging. It’s the funeral. The funeral is starting. The marching band, which has been warming up now begins to play their funeral dirge. The parade is is moving slowly through the streets. There is Brasso holding Maarva’s stone, in front of him. B2Emo is rolling along with him. Various other notable figures from Ferrixian society are all here. Imperial officers are getting very very anxious. Any kind of dIsplay of of of the people, any kind of mass gathering is a thing that they’re just going to be very, very nervous about.


Rosie Knight And they’re definitely starting to realize that that they’re outnumbered, which is always the way there’s always more people than there are oppressors.


Jason Concepcion And there’s a reason.


Rosie Knight It’s just whether people are together or not.


Jason Concepcion There’s a reason they’re building a Death Star. And that’s because they don’t have enough people to put everywhere in the galaxy.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Cassian is watching all of this unfold from his hiding space and then he spots Luthen in the crowd. Meanwhile, Nurchi makes who believes that he has found where Cassian is hiding, and in fact he has, makes contact with his imperial handlers like, okay, pretend to arrest me I’ll take and he gets arrested and then he’s like, listen, I know where Cassian is. I want double the reward right now. And you get me off the planet immediately. Like, no waiting, no Pasko. No. Next week. Next month. I want to go now. Dedra and the ISB goons, they prepare to move in on Cassian in this location. But again, Dedra is like alive, alive, alive, alive. How many times I to say we take him alive? The funeral parade stops. Brasso and B move to the head of the column in her cell. There’s this wonderful moment where Bix is kind of like hearing the funeral music, and she’s, like, slowly, kind of like, stirring. Of course, she’s been, like, heavily traumatized by the torture she’s been that she’s been submitted to. And all of a sudden, the band changes to, like, an upbeat marching number and the column begins moving with a real purpose. Death troopers now are closing in on Cassian’s hiding place, but he’s not there. He slipped back into the sewers and now the crowd is chanting Stone and sky, stone and sky. Stone and sky. And then B pops a little hatch on the top of his little head and begins to play a hologram message, which Maarva recorded some time before she passed. And she talks about how much she loves Ferrix, the culture of Ferrix. What makes it important. Ferrix is kind of positioning in the empire as this kind of like place of salvage, where they’ve all just kind of ignored the empire for all these years. Like, they come and, you know, they do their business here and then they leave and we try to forget about it. And she says that she wishes she had done it differently, that she can’t forget about anymore, and that she wants the people of Ferrix to not ignore their feelings about the empire. They need to rise up. They need to resist the empire, she says I want Ferrix to continue. We’ve been sleeping, we’ve had each other, and they left us alone. We took their money and they ignored us. And then she says, Fight the empire. And then all of a sudden the imperial officers, they step in to try and break this up and B gets overturned.


Rosie Knight Can I talk about this?


Jason Concepcion And when these people and when people see be overturned, they fucking lose it.


Rosie Knight No, no, no.  That’s the funniest shit. Yeah, I want to go down in Star Wars history. Maarva gives this speech and she’s really like she’s talking about all the funerals she’s seen. This is a place that’s paved with funeral stones because so many people have died. And every time it made her a little bit more angry at the empire. But really, now she needs people to fight. She gives this rousing speech and people are getting jostled, they’re jostling. But it’s not until an imperial officer kicks over B


Jason Concepcion How fucking dare you?


Rosie Knight Everyone’s like, What the fuck?


Jason Concepcion What the fuck?


Rosie Knight I need it to go down in history that this rebellion on Ferrix started because somebody put hands on B2emo and everyone was like, absolutely not.


Jason Concepcion Yes.


Rosie Knight Absolutely not.


Jason Concepcion It’s how fucking dare you?


Rosie Knight Yeah. Brasso, he’s the most pestigious. He runs straight up there. He’s got Maarva’s funeral stone and he’s just hits.


Jason Concepcion Beautiful.


Rosie Knight He is bricks an imperial officer right in the head.


Jason Concepcion It’s so beautiful.


Rosie Knight And it all kicks off.


Jason Concepcion Cassian is at the hotel he finds Bix. She’s in a terrible fucking state. Meanwhile, out in the street, the imperial shock troopers. The riot troopers are beginning to buckle. And it’s at that moment when it seems like it’s unclear whether the empire is going to be able to get control of this situation or whether the riot is going to break through that Wilman hurls whatever it was he was he was building and indeed is a bomb and it explodes. Several storm troopers go down there. Their vehicle is also damaged.


Rosie Knight Overturned.


Jason Concepcion And there gets overturned. Their box of grenades cooks off. And now more explosions are rocking the street and the stormtroopers just open fire in the crowd. They’re being just like gunning everybody down. Brasso drags Wilman to safety. Xan get shot down. R.I.P. Xan, who just was a good friend to Cassian.


Rosie Knight Was really holding it down.


Jason Concepcion Was really holding it down. And never, you know, had his own things going on, but at the end of the day, made took necessary risks to remain on the side of of justice. And he dies here, along with what we can only assume to be probably dozens of people in the explosion in the ensuing gunfight. It’s surely dozens and dozens of Ferrixians were gunned down here. Meanwhile, Cinta is running around the streets, an ISB agent who kind of like figures out that she’s up to no good, stops her. She stabs him to death. Cassian fights his way out of the hotel. He sees that Nurchi is probably killed in one of the explosions that happened. It’s unclear.


Rosie Knight I have that feeling. The classic like he could have, because we see the explosion happen and we see him get knocked down and he’s laying down. He looks dead. I’m like, maybe he’s not dead. This show hasn’t had a great record of killing people other than black characters, so I’m hoping maybe he’s gone, like learned his lesson. And but I think there’s something to be said. You know, I was on the L.A. Comic-Con podcast, and Hector Navarro said this really that thing that I thought was really heartbreaking. But it really got me where I was like, even the people trying to escape will do anything to escape. If you side with Empire, you’re still going to die. Yeah, that’s like the most fucked up thing. So, like, he tried it. He betrayed his friends. And what for? To end up maybe dead on the floor. It’s like lots of deaths happening. R.I.P. to a lot of people.


Jason Concepcion Not to mention, I mean, this is jumping ahead, but you have to assume that once the empire gets control of this situation and by control, that probably means. Hundreds, if not thousands, gunned down.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Dead.


Jason Concepcion Hundreds, if not thousands, put in prison and interrogated. And then, as super producer Saul is saying in the chat, martial law and an occupation of significant size. You then wonder. He’s like, what is the state of Ferrix when we come back in season two, it is probably.


Rosie Knight Doesn’t even  exist.


Jason Concepcion If it even exists. Right if they didn’t use it as a test case for the for the Death Star, which is not operational yet. Does, in what state is it? If it even exists, that I’m sure will be heartbreaking. As this riot is popping off, Dedra gets clobbered by a rock. It’s wonderful. She goes down.


Rosie Knight It looks like she’s about to get torn apart by the people of Ferrix. I really thought she was coming to an end and I was feeling very good about it.


Jason Concepcion I was feeling great about it until she is rescued by our terrible friend Syril Karn, who hitched a ride out here. And. Yeah, you know, I’ve seen people like frame their quote unquote relationship as like Syril is, quote, in love with Dedra. He’s not. This is not love


Rosie Knight He’s a stalker.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. He’s a stalker. This is a toxic relationship he is in. He is just enamored with anyone who is wielding power. He wants to feel powerful and he wants to be close to that. It’s not necessarily about Dedra personally. It’s about what she represents. And he is not a well man.


Rosie Knight It’s very it’s going to be very interesting slash scary to see where that goes in season two because he pulls her aside, he saves her and she’s like, oh, I guess I should say thank you. And she’s sort of still scared, but they’re all close pressed up together. And this is going to be someone that she’s going to have to trust. I mean, how are they going to get off Ferrix? Is this going to be the kind of situation where we start the second season straight afterwards? Is there going to be a time jump? If we have to see them escape, there is a potential that she’s going to have to rely on, Syril. But we know that Syril is a horrible person and he’s a very toxic person from a very toxic household. He does not respect women. I imagine that whatever that relationship becomes in the future, it’s not going to end well for Dedra because that’s a man who he wants to be close to power because he wants it, not because he respects her having it.


Jason Concepcion Not to mention,  you wonder again, we’re jumping ahead a little bit to the conversation. But but I do wonder if Dedra does undergo some sort of downfall because of her failure in this whole Ferrix operation.


Rosie Knight And would Syril sell her out?


Jason Concepcion Would Syril, one, sell her out? Or do they team up to you to continue the investigation either on their own, or does she or does she go to the ISB and say, hey, this super, super toxic weirdo really, really helped me out and he’s really driven and maybe give him an ISB application and I’ll vouch for him.


Rosie Knight So, Chris, just super producer. Chris just put in the chat that Tony Gilroy says it’s going to be like a year time jump. So I actually of all the options that you just laid out there, I think it’s very likely that in a year we either see them in two places. Syril very high up in the ISB at Dedra’s side or post that downfall and they’re both kind of in this follow you do insane quest to take down the rebels in a very violent, toxic way. So either way, it’s going to be interesting. I was rooting for Dedra to die, but so we all know that we are there in the late. You know, I always be very happy where I’m in the future. I’m like, look, I know the canon of Star Wars and guess who I never heard of, Dedra. So that just means I can hope she dies. Hopefully she’ll be dead.


Jason Concepcion  Yeah. And, you know, she was not.


Rosie Knight Her or Syril.


Jason Concepcion Ccertainly we don’t see her, you know, running around at the side of Orson Krennic.


Rosie Knight Exactly. Like, you know, I’m saying I’m watching. Fingers crossed.


Jason Concepcion Okay. Luthen is watching the riots from afar while Vel and Cinta are packing up the safe house. They’re preparing to get off the planet as quickly as they can. Cassian spirits Bix to to a ship which is going to carry her, Brasso, B2emo, Wilman and some others to safety. Cassian says his goodbyes, give some advice to the pilot, says, Listen, as soon as you get over the sea, you don’t have your tracker on. You fucking hit the afterburners, you’re out of here. B is like uh, uh, Cassian, I didn’t get to see you. I didn’t get to see you. And you’re like, this is fucking heartbreaking. And then Cassian says, I know, but I need you to hold things down here while I go take care of business and and B is like, but you always say that. And then Cassian is like, Yeah, but you always come through for me, don’t you know, you little B? And it’s wonderful. And I hope that B is safe forever. Even though we never hear, much like Dedra, we have never heard of him before.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And I hope that he is safe somewhere.


Rosie Knight Me too. And there’s a really interesting moment where Cassian’s like, I promise I will come and find you. And it’s unclear whether B doesn’t really believe him, understandably, but it’s unclear whether Bix is lucid or not because she then says, Cassian will come, Cassian will find us, but she says it to Cassian as if she doesn’t recognize him.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight So it’s a really interesting kind of heartbreaking moment, especially because of what we see him do in the final scene of the show.


Jason Concepcion I got to say, also some real Bor Gullet parallels with what happened to Bix. And you know what Bor Gullet is able to do.


Rosie Knight Oh my gosh.


Jason Concepcion And does, in fact, in Rogue One.


Rosie Knight Could what the babies are, could they potentially be related to Bor Gullet?


Jason Concepcion Like you wonder if that is the if Bor Gullet is the last.


Rosie Knight That’s the screen.


Jason Concepcion The last of its kind you know.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion Then we go to Coruscant where Mon and Perrin are presenting their daughter, Leida, to the gangster, Davos Sculdun, and his son is some sort of Chandralin match. This is some sort of ritual in Chandralin culture.


Rosie Knight This is one of the most depressing scenes in the show, of. This is this this is a finale full of depressing, sad moments. And yet this moment seems.


Jason Concepcion You want to talk about.


Rosie Knight So depressing. Mon’s face. I mean is so horrified with what she is doing. It is so gross.


Jason Concepcion You want to talk about ruthless, right? We we think about Luthen as ruthless, right? He’s going here to kill someone who has been very useful and beneficial to him in his mission and will clearly sacrifice anyone.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Jason Concepcion In order to keep the rebellion going, keep it safe. Keep his network from being being revealed. Man, Mon, as scared as she is, she’s also tremendously ruthless and courageous. I mean, first of all, setting up her husband to take some kind of fall.


Rosie Knight Grim.


Jason Concepcion Offering up her daughter, who is, you know, little Miss Fascist Coruscant 2022, offering her up to a gangster in order to keep the rebellion, you know, in money. She is an unbelievable hero of the rebel alliance. And the things that she has had  to do are insane.


Rosie Knight She’s much more similar to Luthen than she would have us believe.


Jason Concepcion In her own way.


Rosie Knight In her own scary, like execute extremely ruling class way. And the way that she just sells it is so heartbreaking to see the she just knows that she’s doing something terrible that she does not agree with.


Jason Concepcion I would argue, too, that she’s. Even though you see her fear in a much more present way than you see Luthens. Mm hmm. I think she’s. She is. You know, Leeson calls himself a coward at various points, but I think that her courage is so. It’s. It’s jaw dropping because she is just completely exposed. Yeah, she is. Like her family would turn her in if they knew.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Family loves being part of the empire.


Jason Concepcion Happily turn her in.


Rosie Knight So much privilege and money and security and status from it. They just love it.


Jason Concepcion Luthen could get in his spy shuttle with, you know, his faked transponder codes and his various countermeasure, you know, like countermeasures against imperial encroachment and, you know, jet off to, we would assume, some safe house somewhere in the galaxy, Mon, if it all goes badly, if it all went sideways, which we know it won’t from, because, you know, we’ve seen again, we’ve seen Rebels, we’ve seen Rogue One, we’ve seen Star Wars.


Rosie Knight We know the way.


Jason Concepcion But if it went sideways. Can she would she be able to get off Coruscant? It’s really unclear. Like, she is just completely exposed. So like kudos to Mon Mothma, a true hero of the rebellion. Elsewhere, Cassian has broken off into Luthen’s ship. And he and Luthen arrives and Cassian confronts him. And Cassian gets Luthen to admit, yes, I came to Ferrix to kill you. You made it really hard to kill you. And Cassian is like, Well, I’m going to make it easy. There’s a blaster right there on the table right next to you. And Luthen was like, What the what is this? What is this? And Cassian is like essentially says. I want to fight the empire. If you don’t think you can trust me to fight the Empire, then kill me right here.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Or kill me or take me on.


Jason Concepcion Or else take me on. And let’s fight together. And Luthen smiles and realizes. Okay, this guy Cassian, I can trust and let’s go fight. And then we get the stinger scene in which we discover that the prisoners of Nakina 5 were assembling not just the Death Star, but crucially, the super laser for the Death Star, which is, you know, Galen Erso’s project and Masterpiece and Ultimate Revenge, also his life’s work is that.


Rosie Knight Very ironic.


Jason Concepcion Very ironic.


Rosie Knight TO have the prisoners building the thing that will eventually lead the rebels to be able to get freedom for the galaxy. And also, we were right. We did.


Jason Concepcion We were right.


Rosie Knight We were right.


Jason Concepcion We were a couple of things that have been on my mind ever since, watching, you know, finishing the series, number one, I thought we were going back to Kenari, and were going to find out what happened to Andor’s a sister. I guess that’s probably on the on the table for season two. Did you were you expecting that? Were you thinking.


Rosie Knight Oh, right. You know, I really wanted to because as I’ve said, like we’ve spoken about this before, I do think that is one of the places that the show did not deliver, the kind of nuanced, interesting context and conversation and representation that I think it did so well in things like Narkina 5 or even just as the finale went on and we got to see this textured, working class planet of Ferrix. But I think this is my hope, right? My hope is that season two will focus on Andor finding his sister. As in that will probably happen quite early. And I would love to see his sister challenge what Maarva did and challenge his assimilation outside of Kenari and kind of the way that and make him just realized that there was a set that was a part of that behavior that even if it had good intentions was actually quite dangerous and had a bad effect on him. I think that’ll be a really interesting way to bring that real life analogy that we spoke of, of of indigenous children being kidnaped and adopted and giving it that same context as a show that gave us a prison industrial complex, slavery storyline, you know. So I was surprised that there wasn’t even a tease of his sister. But maybe that, I hope, is because in season two they’re going to do something that’s just as complex and thoughtful as what we’ve seen in this season.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, I was. I’d be interested to know what happened there. And certainly I feel like. I know the way that it hits me, the Maarva storyline, which is that, you know, I think Maarva and Clem thought they were doing something really good.


Rosie Knight Definitely.


Jason Concepcion There, right. They thought they were doing something really positive, but also. You know, it’s that thing we talk about with perspective where everybody thinks they’re, no matter what they’re doing, thinks that they’re doing the right thing, or at least is trying to act out in a way that comports with their ideals about, you know, justice and right and wrong. But it’s also clearly. They kidnaped a kid.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And also.


Jason Concepcion Like flat out, like, you don’t know where his parents are. You don’t know where his family is.


Rosie Knight Sister is.


Jason Concepcion You don’t know what his the bonds that he has with those people are. We don’t know anything about the culture of those people.


Rosie Knight And I think part of this is like there was a really intense and in-depth, a long conversation in our discord about this that lots of members took part in. And I think something that really came up, that was also something we saw in the early episodes. There’s a reason that we don’t know any of that stuff, and that’s because from when he was a child, Maarva says she told him not to think about Kenari, not to tell people he was from Kenari, not to even remember Kenari. Don’t talk about your sister. That in itself reflects the way that indigenous children in the past have been violated by being forced to pretend that they are not indigenous to fit better into these like, you know, inverse commas schools and orphanages and stuff. I think that that is a very interesting parallel that again, I would like to see explored because it’s to do with intention and impact. I believe Maarva thought she was doing the right thing.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight But Cassian lost that deep connection, and it was it feels to me that the fact that the sister was a driving force early on in the season, but we haven’t heard about her again, really, as the season went on. I don’t think that’s because he’s replacing his sister with his found family. I’m hoping it’s because that will be a bigger arc in season two.


Jason Concepcion I mean, there were clues, there are hints at it over the final two episodes where I thought, oh, we’re going to we’re going to we’re going to go back there, we’re going to film something out. But that never happened. Again, I do expect that we’re going to tie up that loop. Certainly in season two, if not done in some other story form. Okay, Saw Gerrera, you hear a lot about, you know, in Clone Wars, elsewhere about it in Rogue One, certainly about Saw Gerrera’s extremism how the things that he does actually hurt the rebellion because it drives a wedge between the various factions who are gat who are kind of like reaching across these various ideological lines in order to form the rebel alliance. He’s just so out there. And and I guess the implication is violent that that people don’t there are is a significant faction of the rebel alliance that doesn’t want him associated with the cause. At the same time, I’m really struggling. I wonder if we’re going to find out what that is in season two, because I got to say, I, Saw feels very tame right now. Like I’m not saying that he is not a killer, but so is Luthen. But so is Cassian. But so is Vel. But so is Cinta. But so is like everybody that we’ve seen thus far and saw does not seem meaningfully out of step with what anybody else is doing. And the only thing that I see right now that is different, of course, is, you know, again, there’s a lot to be revealed. We would assume the only thing that really sets part a sore apart right now is the fact that he was first he was he before anybody was trying to organize to resist the empire, he was doing it and saying that we should do it.


Rosie Knight I wonder does, so there’s two routes I think they can go. One, I think in a way it’s just quite one of those funny narrative conundrums because Tony Gilroy in this show at multiple points is like just hit an imperial cop with a brick.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Just to break out of prison, like he’s putting forward.


Jason Concepcion Slaughter the guards on the way out. Yeah


Rosie Knight Yeah, exactly. He’s putting forward ideas that are radical and a lot of what we’ve seen in Star Wars before has been that kind of that Xavier versus Magneto style conundrum of like the rebellion of Mon Mothra. The rebellion. Mothra, Mon Mothma. The rebellion. Godzilla on the brain. I’m like, I know Judge loves Godzilla. It’s probably not a coincidence. But, you know, the rebellion of of of being peaceful and money and being in the Senate, we now know that that’s actually fake. There are not two versions of the rebellion. There’s the violence of the rebellion that has to happen to allow Mon Mothma to do the things that she wants to do. What I would be interested in seeing, will Saw Gerrera get the blame for Aldhani?


Jason Concepcion Interesting.


Rosie Knight Is that’s what makes Mon so so scared of him and his techniques because she’s scared of Aldhani and she would love to not be connected to it, even though it’s what she is funding. I wonder if there’s something around that where Saw is actually getting blamed for the one thing he didn’t do. Because the truth is, he is the one who told Luthen don’t go and kill.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Kreegyr’s people actually. Don’t allow that, I mean don’t allow them to die to keep the secret. That’s wrong. There’s 30 men there. He does not believe in willful deaths and murdering people. He believes in doing what has to be done. And now we’re seeing him. That is very much in line with what Cassian feels or the show feels. So it will be interesting to see if they expand on what saw allegedly did or if so ends up getting the blame for something that the rebellion don’t want to take sides.


Jason Concepcion So also feels like, you know, it reminds me of a of a dynamic that happens in the real world, which is a group of people, you know, you know, from a disenfranchized community or from with, you know, real roots in a lived experience that is maybe outside the mainstream will say, hey, this thing is actually. This is like violent against our community. This is this is this is the first step in like, you know.


Rosie Knight We see where this is going.


Jason Concepcion Actual violence being taken against like this is where this is going. And and oftentimes in the real world, when those figures will speak up, people say, oh, that’s fringe. You’re being alarmist, yadda, yadda, yadda. I see that as kind of happening with Saw who is again, who is early on was like the empire. We got to fight the empire. This is look how crazy this is. Look how look how evil they’re being and people being like, no.


Rosie Knight It’s not that bad.


Jason Concepcion Your being you’re being alarmist. You’re being a little crazy about this. And I think it’s very interesting that Saw is branded an extremist by the quote unquote, mainstream of what will be the rebel alliance at a certain point when within a few months of of the raid on Scarif, that main stream of the rebel alliance will absolutely greenlight an operation that kills, like, what, 2 million people on the Death Star? You know, like it’s just interesting how somehow Saw is an extremist, but blowing up the Death Star, which let me just go on record, that was the right thing to do but yeah , 100% that was the right move.


Rosie Knight There is an ethical conversation to be had.


Jason Concepcion But will, like however many people Saw killed, can it possibly match up to how many people died in the in the battle of Yavin? So it’s just very interesting that at a certain point, the mainstream of the rebel alliance has come to a place where they’re doing things that are that if they would have been told half a year previously what would occur at the Battle of Yavin and elsewhere, they’d be like, That’s crazy. We’re not going to do that. We’re not going to kill 3 million people. I going assure you, we’re not going to like that. They will find themselves in a place where that will just make sense. And I. And I hope that we get to see whatever it is that Saw does to either get that kind of like label as an extremist or we get to see, you know, a moment where he gets to say, well, I was I was right, was I not right?


Rosie Knight I wonder if, like in the realistic political allegories that this show’s building and I wonder if the label of extremist is just something they say about him because they don’t want people to respect him or realize he did it first. You know, they say, oh, you’re an extremist. Saw is an extremist. We can’t listen to him. But this was the man who laid the groundwork for what you were doing. You just don’t want to give him credit.


Jason Concepcion I will say, you know, like like a lot of us on this zoom, I watched Rogue One as soon as I was done with, with Andor and I think that a lot of Saw’s paranoia in that movie suddenly just make it just makes a lot more sense. The fact that even Kreeyr reveal, Luthen’s Kreegyr revealed to him that and how his shock at realizing how willing Luthen would be to like burn an entire network to keep everything safe. He it it’s easy to see how that experience, not to mention whatever physical trauma he had undergone in the intervening years, would result in the paranoia that we see on Jedha, where he’s like, This is a setup. It’s the pilot. You’re trying to bait me into going somewhere and it’s you can almost watching it. I can almost see the wheels turning like this is like Anto Kreegyr. They’re trying to set me up like Kreegyr and suddenly all of a sudden really made sense.


Rosie Knight That I will say I think is one of the absolute masterstrokes.


Jason Concepcion Oh, it’s wonderful.


Rosie Knight What Tony Gilroy did with this show. He went. He made out. He made Rogue One. And then he basically retroactively created a prequel with Andor. Look, this sounds like what everyone should do with the prequel, but it’s not. It is like a puzzle box where he takes tiny moments that almost seem throw away from Andor and expands on them in a huge, huge sense. I mean, having, you know, the droids that arrest Andor on the space Miami.


Jason Concepcion Yeah. B2 BK2, same model.


Rosie Knight Just little things like that. You know Adam we’ll talk about it later, but like, he has a prison inside him and he carries it with him everywhere he goes. We now know what that means for Cassian. Saw, why would he think it was a setup? That’s so specific, because that is what Luthen did with Kreegyr. Like, it’s so satisfying to feel the pieces click together. And if you haven’t gone back and watched Rogue One after finishing Andor, do it because I guarantee you are going to feel incredibly satisfied and very smartly. There is still a lot of space left for Cassian to move in season two. To get to the person he is in Rogue One. He is not that person now because of what happened in season one. But we understand the person he is in Rogue One a little bit better because of this season.


Jason Concepcion Absolutely. One last Saw thing, which is, you know, clearly when we see Saw in Rogue One, he is he’s sucking on some sort of like oxygen tank that he needs because his lungs have been damaged, he’s missing limbs. He also doesn’t seem to recognize Cassian or certainly it now it could be in his state, his absolutely paranoid state, that he just doesn’t remember that he knows this guy or had met this guy or been in the same room with this guy. You know, Luthen I remember Luthen saying that thing about Kreegyr. He doesn’t know me. Yes. We’ve been in the same room, but he didn’t know who I was. It could have been a situation like that where where Saw has been around Cassian, but didn’t know. Didn’t recall exactly who he was. But I wonder how they’re going to play that in season two. One, I would expect we’re going to get more Saw. And two, why is it that, obviously, Saw is a famous figure in certainly in rebellion circles. But why is it that side didn’t seem to know who Cassian was?


Rosie Knight Okay. So I think this could tie in to the journey of Cassian over the next season. I wonder. It’s very it’s very sad. It’s very bleak. But I think it’s probably quite likely. I wonder if the way that Luthen sees Cassian as being useful after that interaction. I wonder if Luthen. Is the one who trains Cassian to become that cold blooded killer.


Jason Concepcion Oh, I think so.


Rosie Knight And I wonder if the reason that Saw and Cassian don’t necessarily cross paths in any kind of definitive way is because, Cassian’s life is as a killer, as an assassin, as the person who will take out those who needs to be taken out. Which means that he is essentially. A. A specter. You know, he’s not really a presence in the rebellion because his role is to take out the people who and I would assume that would be very easy to get Cassian to do. If you say, well, here are the people who destroyed Kenari. Here are the people who did this thing that personally hurt you. Here’s an empire person who did something terrible. Here’s some. And then. Then that’s how you get to the person. In that first scene of Rogue One who can just shoot the informer.


Jason Concepcion I. Let’s talk about Luthen for a second because. He gives that little smile when when you know, when Cassian gives him the choice. Either shoot me down or take me on and. But I. I other pods that I listen to other have kind of maybe have have kind of placed Luthen in that same kind of, you know, framework of somebody who comes to the light of like, Oh, I’ve seen the error of my ways. I shouldn’t have tried to kill Cassian. Maybe I’ll do the rebellion differently. I didn’t get that side at all.


Rosie Knight I don’t think so.


Jason Concepcion The sense, especially considering what you mentioned, that at the beginning of Rogue One, Cassian, is every bit what Luthen is now and will without any kind of compunction.


Luthen has other people to do it for him.


Jason Concepcion He will. He has no compunction to just like cutting off, you know, the head of a, you know, a loose thread if that protects the network. I think I don’t sense any kind of hesitation or or sorrow in Luthen. In fact, I think at the end of this, Luthen is going to continue to be as ruthless as he has been. Like that is my sense from from this. Did you feel anything? Do you think Luthen is going to change his ways?


Rosie Knight I totally agree. I think you’re on exactly the right path. I didn’t see it that way at all. I saw his smile as he is incredibly satisfied because here is a person.


Jason Concepcion This guy get it.


Rosie Knight Who’s just like him.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight This will die.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Right. He’s going to die or he’s going to be in the rebellion. And actually, what that really means is he’s going to die being in the rebellion like Luthen. And obviously we see that Luthen speech, that becomes true for Cassian dying for this sunset. You’ll never get to see or the sunrise you’ll never get to see. That is foreshadowing of Cassian and Jinn dying on Scarif. And I think that what he’s smiling about is to Luthen, because of how ruthless he’s become. All of this whole season was almost like a test. He didn’t know he was testing Cassian. He was going to kill him. But then he comes is, oh, here’s somebody who will who is so desperate to be a part of this, who so believes this is the right thing to do, that he will give me a blaster and tell me to kill him or make him a part of it. I think Luthen is just very happy to have someone else who’s kind of as unhinged and committed to this as he is. And I think that Luthen is a user as much as he’s doing things for a greater good. And I think we will see that ruthlessness and exploitation translated to Cassian, I do believe. My gut says Luthen and probably will like in season two. This might not do Galaxy Brain but a little bit further along kind of theory. I think he will probably die saving Cassian. I think that will be his one moment of redemption. He sees that cassian can continue this on and he sort of does something to stop cassian dying. I think that is the only redemptive moment he may have. But I think that it is no coincidence that Cassian is ruthlessness at the beginning of Rogue One is a direct reflection of Luthen’s, and I think that relationship over the next season is only going to get more terrible.


Jason Concepcion I have a galaxy brain. I have a galaxy brain take. I think Luthen saves Cassian somehow, and that. And to your point, that is the kind of Luthen redemption moment. But. Cassian is forced to kill Luthen at a certain, either to let him walk into an imperial trap. Let him go down. Or.


Rosie Knight I think that sounds very realistic.


Jason Concepcion Has to kill him in order to keep him from falling into the empire’s hands. And I think it’s going to be a very tough decision, but I think that. Is how we get to the Cassian Andor we see in Rogue One.


Rosie Knight That will be a watershed moment, i think.


Jason Concepcion Shoot a guy. And then he’ll shoot a guy in the back. He’ll kill Galen Erso even though the orders are we snatch Galen Erso when somebody takes him aside and goes, Hey, listen, we’re not actually going to rescue Galen Erso, you fucking kill that guy the second you lay eyes on him, who will happily kill Galen Erso in the presence of his daughter.


Rosie Knight Even though he’s not connected with his daughter on a  human level.


Jason Concepcion As long as that allows the rebellion to survive, I think that’s my galaxy brain take.


Rosie Knight I think that’s a really great call. I think Saul pointed this out. I totally agree. Luthen would want it that way. He’d want it want it that way. He would.


Jason Concepcion He would agree with it.


Rosie Knight Yeah, he would want it. He’s probably giving him the old kill me wink you know.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight You know, like you can do it but also okay so this is less galaxy brain and up a little bit further. I wonder if there’s some kind I wonder if the sister arc  and the Luthen arc crossover in the way that.


Jason Concepcion Oh, I like that.


Rosie Knight The empire or somebody gets hands on Cassian’s sister and he asks to betray an inverted commas Luthen, but there’s some kind of agreement that’s made. I wonder if those two sides of his life will be pitted against each other. I really hope the sister arc does come into it next season. And we’re not just like she’s just frigid, like, oh, sorry. She’s dead. Yeah, like, sorry, too. You know, there’s been too many.


Jason Concepcion There’s been too many mentions of her for that to happen. They’re they’re going to bring her back. Vel and Cinta. What do you think we see from the Aldhani crew going forward? And are they going to be active participants in this nascent version of the Rebel Alliance?


Rosie Knight Cinta, Yes. I think she’s going to become a big character. I have a big feeling that she’s going to be on alongside Cassian on that journey may be someone who he sees doing the things that he believes he has to do. I think Vel could be a very interesting character. To see Mon Mothra, Oh my god, Mon, Mon Mothma through through Vel’s eyes. And to see that the two sides of the rebellion, Luthen’s rebellion and Mon Mothma’s rebellion, I think Cinta and Vel could become kind of reflections of those two versions. Because Vel’s definitely getting tired of the brutal reality of the rebellion. So I hope that we see both of them going forwards in season two.


Jason Concepcion Amazing show. An incredible achievement. I understand why they’re only doing one more season. Certainly when we talked, talked to Tony and he was like, Well, a certain point I was just like, What the fuck am I doing?


Rosie Knight This is like, Why did I do this? This is like ruining my life.


Jason Concepcion So I’m very, you know, like I’m very grateful that he decided to do that again, to go through that process again. And I can’t wait to see and I can’t wait to see how this leads us into Rogue One, the battle of Yavin. And and on and on. Where do you put Andor in your Star Wars pantheon?


Rosie Knight Woo. I am. I mean, surprising no one, my favorite Star Wars is, my favorite main canon Star Wars is Return of the Jedi. Because really, my favorite Star Wars is like Battle for Andor like ewoks. I love those Ewoks movies and I love Special. I love that stuff. That’s my closest to my heart. So I’m a Jedi first person. It is really hard because it’s the comparison of subjective nostalgia and love for these things and objective goodness. I would say in objective goodness this is as good as the best Star Wars. So it would be that.


Jason Concepcion 100%.


Rosie Knight I would say, in mine is probably around currently it would be like Jedi, Rebels, Clone Wars, Andor, New hope. But then again, you know, I love the Last Jedi, so sometimes that’s my number one. So it’s hard for me. But it’s up there. I can’t say definitively a number base because there’s too many Star Wars movies. I’ll never forget seeing The Force Awakens in a cinema at midnight with like a bunch of other people. That was like one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. I think The Last Jedi is a masterpiece, but this is up there. I think this is objectively includes some of the best Star Wars storytelling of all time. The Narkina 5 stuff for me is that some of my best trauma storytelling ever.


Jason Concepcion One thing I forgot to talk about, and we talk about a little bit with Adam is, there are other prisons like for other other alien races, right? Like they kept all they were like, what’s your homeworld? They kept all the humans with the humans. I would assume if they have Wookiees, they keep all the Wookiees with the Wookiees like we would. We should assume that, right, that they’re any different. The empire has different prisons  for different.


Rosie Knight Across alien and human being is very dangerous. So I think as well season two prediction something that we I know we both want to see in season two, more alien representation. Different kinds of aliens, understanding why human supremacy such a big part of the empire, but also understanding as we kind of talk about that, that that is also probably a budget constraint. And we are very happy with what came out of that budget constraint because this show looks amazing. And they committed to telling like a really incredible story.


Jason Concepcion Okay. I have Andor, I think it would be tied for two. I have Rogue One and Andor. To me like.


Rosie Knight Yes.


Jason Concepcion You need both, right.


Rosie Knight I agree.


Jason Concepcion Either so I have again sometimes as I’ve said here.


Yeah. Rogue One is your favorite.


Jason Concepcion Sometimes my favorite. But I’m going to put Empire first. Okay. So Empire, Rogue One/ Andor. 1A/1B. Rebels. A New Hope and then probably Jedi.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion I love Return of the Jedi.


Rosie Knight I love it. It’s hard because, like, now there’s so much Star Wars that it stops being an easy question because like, I would also say that The Last Jedi, even though it has like some really big flaws, I love a lot of the stuff that they did there. Like, I wish that Finn had been more obviously a Jedi. I always believed him and Poe were both force sensitive, and we kind of get that in the third movie a little bit. But like, I love the stuff with him and Rose. I think that that throne room fight is one of the coolest things that’s ever been put to screen.


Jason Concepcion It’s the best lightsaber fight ever, period.


Rosie Knight The idea of the democracy, of the force and everybody can use it. And it’s not just some weird bloodline elite ism. So that one for a long time after seeing it, that was my favorite. But there’s so much that it’s just hard. But. But this is up there, definitely. And I think. I feel very lucky to live in a time where you can be like, Oh, there’s great Star Wars TV shows. And they’re not just great for Star Wars TV show like Rebels and Andor. Those are just great TV shows. Whether or not I would say anyone who doesn’t think they’re into Star Wars should watch this show. I think it could just find such a huge audience, and I hope that people give it a try. Even though I’m sure everyone who listens to podcast probably love Star Wars.


Jason Concepcion Well, we’ve got more and more Andor up next in our conversation with Atlantic writer Adam Serwer.


Jason Concepcion <AD>.


Jason Concepcion Welcome to the Hive Mind, where we explore a topic in more detail with the help of expert guests. And this week we are thrilled to have Atlantic staff writer Adam Serwer join us to go even deeper into the politics of Andor and talk about his Star Wars origin story and more. Adam Serwer, is a staff writer at The Atlantic, and he recently wrote a piece titled Star Wars Gets Political, But Not In the Way You Think. Adam covers a variety of topics, mostly on the political scene, justice, society, race, etc. And we’re delighted to have him here on X-ray Vision to talk about Andor. Adam, thank you for joining us.


Adam Serwer Thank you so much for having me.


Jason Concepcion So I think we’re both really interested to get your take. And also, you know, we’re fascinated by your piece as someone who is not really like into the granular conversations around Star Wars on a kind of week to week, project to project level to see like what your what your reaction to Andor was. So, you know, just.


Adam Serwer Okay, so.


Jason Concepcion So how did you feel about it?


Adam Serwer I need to clarify this so I’m not involved in those conversations.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer But I am involved in, in a sense that I’m a hopeless Star Wars fan.


Jason Concepcion I love to hear it.


Adam Serwer I think there was like a couple of years after the prequels where I kind of detached and just like, wasn’t interested. And then the Clone Wars cartoon brought me back in.


Jason Concepcion Nice.


Adam Serwer And, you know, even even Rise of Skywalker, which is the worst thing that has ever happened to the franchise. It’s worse than Phantom Menace. It’s worse than I mean, it is this the complete silence of anything to deal with that era of Star Wars just sort of speaks for itself. Even that did not stop me this time because there’s so much other stuff that’s good that they’re doing. And I think, you know, I’m not I don’t write about it very much. I don’t you know, I’m not you know, I don’t get like super involved in like the production details and stuff. Like, it’s not it’s not professionally. It’s all except for every once in a while, it’s not something that I’m professionally absorbed in. But I do love this stuff. I will watch just about any Star Wars content you give me. I don’t know why. I just. I just really enjoy. And I think part of it is just that it’s just it’s flexibility. And I think that’s one of the things about Andor is that the universe can contain so many different interpretations. You know, I think one of the things that people liked about an earlier stage of the MCU, which is that it was very clear that in the Marvel Universe you could do something that was a completely different genre from something else and it would still, like fit. And I think Star Wars is really like that, right? I mean, like, even if you look at Solo, which is one of the less celebrated installments, it’s a heist movie.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer And it feels like a heist movie. And and that kind of genre flexibility, I think, is, you know, amenable to many different kinds of artists interpretations of which Andor is probably the best example of something. We’ve seen a Star Wars creator do something completely different from everything that’s come before, while still feelling, at least to me, very much like Star Wars.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Okay. So before we get into Ando then, as a fan, I’d love to know, like, what’s your origin with Star Wars? Where was the place that you first fell in love with it? And what’s kind of kept you hooked throughout?


Adam Serwer I mean, I was just I was a little kid who, you know, saw the movie when I was like five years old or something like that. And like, you know, I loved the whole series. And then, you know, at some point you’re like eight or something like that, and somebody’s dad who has like, you know, who’s like, like a cool dad or something and like to talk to about, you know, X-Wing fighters and stuff with his kids and his kids friends. He says something like, Oh, did you ever notice that Star Wars one is episode four? And this observation just blows your mind and you’re just like, Wait, wait. It’s like this whole other story that we don’t even know about and nobody’s seen it yet and what happened. And like, you know, and this just sort of this is the moment where you’re like, oh, this universe is so huge that your imagination just runs away with it. Right. And like, maybe start reading novels or comic books or something like that. And it’s just. It’s just. You know, I think that was definitely the moment for me where I was, where I sort of, you know, didn’t just like it, but sort of fell into the pit.


Jason Concepcion So what do you think it is about Andor? Andor, I think, as you noted in your piece, and as many people of are talking about, is really kind of the first project along with Rogue One to put some real meat on the kind of skeleton skeletal idea of rebellion that’s kind of alluded to and talked about, but not really explored in any kind of like detailed way. What is it that makes this story feel like Star Wars, while also being seemingly like the most radical take on what a rebellion in this world would mean?


Adam Serwer So I think, you know, obviously, Star Wars is no stranger to political allegory. And when I wrote that piece, you know, my intention was not to say that this is the first time Star Wars has engages in political allegory, because that’s obviously not true. Lucas is, you know, sort of famously like, you know, I did a story where you can the rebels are both America, the Viet Cong and the empires, both America and the Soviet Union. You know, I mean, and the Nazi the rebellion is every righteous insurgency that has ever existed and the empire is every evil regime that has ever existed. And that’s sort of, you know, that’s always been there. But what’s interesting about Andor and also about Rogue One, although I think in a very different way, is that they have an internal politics that makes sense. I mean, I think this is something that, you know, the difference between Rogue One and Andor to me, is that Rogue One the rebellion is very much a religious entity. And when you look at you know, they talk a lot about the force. You know, obviously, you have to pray. You know, the the rebels on the beach are saying for Jedha, you know, when they’re attacking Scarif, there’s this talk about I mean, the huge backlash is that they destroyed a holy city and the empire is still violently secular and and or but the rebellion is not yet, at least from what we see, is not like a religious institution. But that said, there’s something similar there and that we have a sense that there are ideological divisions. In Rogue One, it’s simple, you know, they say Saw is an extremist. But but in Andor really gives us you know you have Mon Mothma who is sort of a more establishment figure who is secretly, you know, funding an insurgency, but is also sort of horrified by the actual violence that an insurgency requires. You have sort of, you know, gives us a sort of lay of the land as far as, like, I’m not going to work with somebody who tried to overthrow the republic with the Droid army. Like, I’m not going to do that. And, you know, you have Luthen who I think whose ideological origins have been hinted at in a way that I think the show very clearly wants you to think one thing, although he may not end up being that thing. I mean, I think the show is very clear that it wants you to think that Luthen is some kind of fallen Jedi. I mean he shows up. I mean, hopefully, you know, there’s no spoilers for your listeners, but yeah, he shows up.


Rosie Knight This is post finale for us.


Adam Serwer Siths-R-Us. Sith brothers.


Jason Concepcion Yeah, yeah.


Adam Serwer He’s he’s dressed like, you know, he’s dressed like the fake me out, Sith outfit Luke Skywalker is wearing in Return of the Jedi. So he’s like, he’s he’s you know, the show wants us to think this. He has that sort of Chekhov’s walking stick that looks like a lightsaber, you know what I mean.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer I mean, the show wants us to think that he’s a Jedi. I don’t know that he is. I don’t know if that will turn out to be the thing. I don’t know what his particular ideological origin is. But the important thing is that there is there are ideological divisions. There is this, you know, manifesto that one of the characters writes in Andor that Andor, himself, is uninterested in because he’s uninterested in politics in the same way that in Rogue One, she’s like, I got, you know, I don’t have the luxury of political opinions. So she’s kind of lying. Yeah. You know, I mean, she based on her origins, she does have political opinions, but she has decided to reject them in favor of, you know, just scraping out day to day existence, which is what a lot of the people in Andor are doing. And we don’t see in a big part of what people like about the show and what people like about this portrayal. The universe is that we see those people, these people who are eking out an existence under an oppressive regime, not just the people who are sort of the heroes who are going to save the galaxy.


Rosie Knight Yeah. Something from your piece that really spoke to me is where you said this. The series attempts to imagine an internal politics of class culture, an ideology that motivates its principal characters and fictional institutions. I would say that it’s quite easy to say that Andor is probably the first Star Wars that has really even delved into the ideas of class. You know, The Last Jedi definitely wanted to touch on this idea of a democracy of of the force and how all different people from all different spaces. But Andor like you said, it really delves into kind of the politics of class and how it impacts the galaxy. Could you speak a little to that and how effective you think it is in this series?


Adam Serwer Yeah. I mean, look, I mean, you know, Ferrix. You know, Ferrix is a working class planet.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer People there are doing salvage, and they’re working with their hands. You know, the empire is you know, you get a sense that the the heist in the in the show provides a pretext for the empire to engage in, you know, essentially prison slave labor. To to speed up, you know, that it’s not necessarily a question of the utility of the repression, but the need to recruit a labor force. You know, the the you have, you know, things like, you know, Karn is not simply an ideologue. He is sort of from a lower middle class family on Coruscant. Like we never we can’t see the sky from where Karn’s apartment, mother’s apartment is. Right. It’s a small apartment. It’s a kitchenette. The dining room. You can see the stove from the dining room. You know what I mean? It’s a small apartment. The neighbors are observing, you know, they can hear, you know, it’s it’s, you know, Lower East Side, New York City or something like that, you know, 80 years ago. And that that that kind of detail. And I think this is again, this is one thing that Andor does really well is that it they’ve done their research about historical periods and events in a way that allows them to remix them in a way that they’re recognizable, but also like they’re not tracing them.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm. Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer You know what I mean? Like, it’s. It still feels like Star Wars. It doesn’t feel like, you know, it doesn’t really feel like New York City.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Adam Serwer It, you know, the the the prison break, which, like the events of the prison break, really sound a lot like the concentration camp uprising at Sobibor in World War Two. But but at the same time, it’s not so close to it that you’re like, Oh, they just copied this.


Rosie Knight Yeah, yeah, yeah. They translate it into the world of Star Wars in a way that feels organic.


Adam Serwer Right. Exactly. And, you know, things like, you know, Mon Mothma’s daughter, you know, embracing her planet’s religious traditions in a way that feels like an act of defiance, you know, not just towards her parents, but towards the empire.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer You know, which is again, it is. It is similarly violently secular. Right? They they do not have they tolerate religion, but they see it as a privilege that they can take away, not as a right of the people under their control. And so I think, you know, these are all things that are drawn from the I mean, and even when you look at Rogue One, it’s sort of somewhat like the film is a creature of it’s period. But I think it is a not it is a very clear sort of analogy to the war in Afghanistan in terms of its portrayal. It’s like a space, Afghanistan or the Western perception of the war in Afghanistan, rather. But the the point is that it’s taking these real world world events and remixing them in a way that makes sense within the universe. And it gives the universe a sort of realistic feel that, you know, Star Wars is typically not known. Star Wars is is a space opera, but it’s really a fantasy. Right? It’s almost like it’s more it’s closer to Lord of the Rings than Star Trek in some ways. And so I think, you know, the sci fi aspects of and or are there like they’re obviously present, you know, but they are not the the wheels around which the plot itself turns necessarily.


Jason Concepcion Because this show is is so interested in like what motivates people to rebel, what motivates a political movement. I wonder if you could if you have any thoughts about how we interact, you know, as human beings with our political ideals. Is that a scaffolding that we then build our outlook on? Or do people decide, as I think, you know, Skeen, the the kind of rapscallion Aldhani gang member who then tries to get Cassian to like turn on the on the group and steal the money he had he had kind of want him to a side by saying, oh, you know, they killed my brother and here’s why I turned against the empire. You know, as is kind of alluded to by his character, people make a decision that they’re going to do something and then backfill this entire political ideology to fit that like, well, which comes first, the chicken or the egg, do you think, in the way we interact with our political ideals?


Adam Serwer Well, I think one thing one of the things that I like about the show is that it is not the characters make choices. Yeah. You know, Mon Mothma is from a particular social class and she makes the choice to rebel. Not everybody in her social circle is making that choice. In fact, most people are not making that choice. She, she she views the rebellion through her own ideological lens. You know, she’s horrified by Aldhani, even though, like Aldhani is what she is funded.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer You know, so her her her class background, her, her, her privilege, she interprets the rebellion through that. And obviously, you know, we know what happens with Mon Mothma later, if you’re if you’re a Star Wars fan, but you know the same thing. You know, there are you know, Skeen is an example of someone who is he believes because he and Andor are from the same galactic underclass that they’re going to make the same decisions.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer In that moment, narratively, you know, Andor is not necessarily committing to the rebellion at that moment. In fact, he’s not. His plan is to take that loot and go to space. Miami.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer And.


Rosie Knight Doesn’t go well.


Adam Serwer Get a get a girl and like, you know, enjoy the rest of his life. But he’s not he’s also not going to betray the rebellion, of course. And so you see and similarly on ferries, you know, there are people who make the choice to rebel and there are people who make the choice to side with the empire. And, you know, I think that’s you know, the point of the show is that there. And I think something to show it as well is that, you know, these these class backgrounds, these cultural backgrounds, they matter, they shape our politics. But we do make decisions for ourselves about how we interpret those experiences and how we choose to, you know, how we choose to try and shape the world as a result of them. And it’s not just a question of robotic, you know, insert this background, you get this politics.


Rosie Knight Yeah. And for you, as a Star Wars fan, you know, we’re talking about this on a really kind of deep political level. And like you said, Rogue One definitely was. There was a reason that a lot of Star Wars fans loved it, which was, oh, well, this is this is the people who have to die before, you know, Luke and Leia can get a medal. Like, let’s talk about that. And Andor kind of expands on that exponentially. But, you know, even as a Star Wars fan, like you said, inherently a political franchise, even though usually quite vague, I found myself like incredibly surprised, that me and Jason have talked about this a lot, to see a a prison slavery plotline and to get people on the side of people who are in prison, who are being exploited for their labor and then to cheer them on for a prison breakout, you know, for a riot and to get people on their side. Were you surprised as you were watching the show to see the kind of political analogs it was taking and the stories they decided to tell?


Adam Serwer Yeah. I mean, look, the protagonist is a character who’s father is a black man who’s killed by the cops.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Adam Serwer You know?


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer There’s just, you know, I think that, you know, because of my politics, I think, you know, obviously, I tend to see some of the more left wing analogs in the story. I think there are right wing ones. I mean, I think the empire empire’s violent secularism is obviously, you know, in keeping with, you know, left wing, repressive left wing regimes around the world, I don’t think that’s a mistake. Or, you know, the they are drawn from a lot of like I said, they’re drawing from a lot of sources. I don’t think I was surprised because Rogue One was so clearly playing in those waters. I did not expect them to weave themselves skillfully into the story of the show in such a way that the show does not feel didactic to me.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer You know, when you read out the sort of list of plot developments and character motivations and things like that, it does feel very political, but in the show, it feels very organic. It does not feel like you are being battered over the head with a particular political ideology. Now, maybe, you know, maybe that’s because I’m you know, I’m a leftist centerd person. So that’s just yeah I’m sympathetic.


Rosie Knight Same.


Adam Serwer But I do think that I do think that narratively that, you know, it is a good show that just happens to have, you know, plot points that illustrate a particular kind of politics. But they’re not the most important thing in the show. The most important thing in the show is that the narrative flows organically and movingly and artistically. And it’s not simply, you know, battering you over the head with what to think. At the same time, again, like, look, you know, this is Star Wars. Like it’s an anti imperial. The story is always going to be anti-war. Yeah, well, it doesn’t matter who the who, you know, what form the empire takes, whether it’s like 50,000 years in the past or whatever. And it’s a step empire or it’s, you know, the galactic empire that we see in the original trilogy or the first order we see in a sequel trilogy, you know, that that is always, you know, in some sense, that kind of rebellion is always that anti authoritarian politics is always going to be present in the  story.


Jason Concepcion Something that Rosie and I have been really interested in discussing and noting is like the seemingly very conscious human supremacy of this story. Star Wars is a you know, it’s a story in a world in a galaxy populated by lots of different species and droids. But this is a story centered around humans, particularly the empire. You don’t see any droids at the highest levels of the decision making. The ISB, you mostly see people and white people and very few women, even in this kind of like nascent rebellion. You know, Saw Gerrera has a pretty intergrated crew, but that’s it. I wonder if you might expound on, you know, what what do you think the the human supremacy of this story, you know, means to the story?


Adam Serwer Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, if you’re a Star Wars fan, there’s a you know, that is a long time narrative narrative explanation for this, which is that, you know, the empire is racist. The empire is a human supremacist organization. And, you know, in Rogue One, you see you see more weird alien fighting on the beach alongside the rebellion. And here in Andor, you know, there is a conscious effort to portray the protagonists as being sympathetic to droids and aliens in a way that the empire is not.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer I mean, obviously, B2emo is probably the most sympathetic, non comic relief, portrayal of a droid you’ve ever seen.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion And he’s basically a very, very sweet dog.


Adam Serwer A very, very sweet dog. But and you know, some of that is in Rogue One. You know, the reprogram fo a droid whose name is.


Jason Concepcion K2so.


Adam Serwer K-2so. Right. I mean, like, you know, when he sacrifices himself.


Jason Concepcion Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer You know Andor is upset.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer He knows his friend is dead. I mean, he’s but he’s sort of at the same time, he treats them like, you know, you’re my droid.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer Whereas, like, B2emo, there’s a moment, you know, where he’s like, I don’t want to leave the house.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer And he’s like, Well, I’ll stay with you, which is like, you know, a level of, droids are people, that I think we haven’t seen before. So which I think it’s like, you know, pulling in one of the more problematic threads of Star Wars, which is that droids are, you know, sort of slaves. But nobody ever really acknowledges that.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer But yeah, I mean, I think, you know, we see, you know, and then we get that moment where they’re escaping from the prison and they’re, you know, they’re trying to they try to hotwire the ship of two fishing aliens. Aliens could turn them in, but they don’t. Instead, because they’re like, well, we’re not going to turn the empire, fuck the empire, we don’t like those guys. Yeah. You know, I think I would expect I mean, the two things that, you know, I expect from the second season of the show, other than a high body count, are probably some explanation by some further explanation of of like of lay religion when it comes to the force that we saw in Rogue One and probably like more dealing with aliens, although I think, you know, to some extent, even though there is a narrative explanation for why you don’t see so many aliens, you know, I think there’s probably some budget constraints as well. I mean, I think that’s probably one of the reasons Andor looks so good compared to some other Disney Plus series is there is a tremendously well done allocation of budget there. Yeah, the story is done on in such a way as to require a few moments of like crazy special effects, but not as many. You know, you don’t have it. You know, you don’t have two giant dragons fighting each other or something like that.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Adam Serwer You know, I mean, this is a story that it’s it’s I mean, like even, you know, the sort of final episode, like, is like a Shakespeare play where all the characters are on a stage at the same time, like it’s written sort of like almost like a play. And so, you know, it does not require. It didn’t have you know, there are a couple of moments like, you know, when when Luthen escapes on a ship that are like obviously like we spent a lot of money on this and it was very satisfying. But, you know, I don’t know how much of the lack of aliens is a question of budget constraints or how much of it is a demand of narrative. But, you know, those are always you know, those are conflicts that even shows that are funded by the mouse have to make.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm. Yeah. And also as well like those are the the confines of the budget can often birth really exciting things. So I think the fact that it probably was driven by a budget but then it leads to people having conversations like this about whether it’s deeper connected narrative is part of kind of the wonder of of these shows. I mean nobody expected a 12 episode Star Wars show to look so incredible because we all just assumed it was going to be the six episode budget stretched over 12 episodes. So it’s definitely a surprising turn of events.


Adam Serwer Yeah. I mean, it’s like it’s it’s impossible. Like how do you how do you explain how Andor looks the way it does? And Book of Boba Fett looks the way it does. Like, how do you you know what I mean? Like, it’s just I mean, it’s just take away the sort of quality of the writing, whatever. Um. You know, they these shows look completely different.


Rosie Knight Yeah. The production design of Ferrix is so textured, it feels so real. The finale really leans into that. And also extras. I think that’s the biggest thing that so many people in Andor but the book of Boba Fett. Everywhere you go, only six people live there. Only ten people live there. Doesn’t feel lived in.


Adam Serwer It doesn’t feel lived in. It feels like you’re looking at a set and I’m not even sure I’m at some point I was questioning like how much of this Ferrix set has been used in like other Star Wars shows.


Jason Concepcion And you don’t really know.


Adam Serwer Yeah, it’s amazing how it feels. Unrecognizable. Like you’re not like, Oh, this is obviously Mos Eisley. You know, that’s that’s not the reaction you have looking at Ferrix. You know consciously that this is probably been used before, but it’s not it doesn’t it doesn’t feel that way because of the way they do it.


Jason Concepcion To your point, Rosie, I think part of this, another thing we’ve talked about in past discussions in the show is this is really, Tales of the Jedi aside, the first depiction of mass protest in a Star Wars universe, it’s really kind of like Battleship Potemkin feel of an uprising, you know, against impossible imperial odds. We’ve never seen that before in Star Wars. And it really packs a kind of emotional and and very ambiguous political punch. You know, who doesn’t love freedom? You know, people people across the ideological spectrum love to talk about freedom. But, yeah, the I think part of why it looks so great is look at all these people here that are protesting against the empire. This is incredible to see.


Adam Serwer Yeah. I mean, I think Star Wars I think the truth is that the politics of Star Wars were always this sort of, you know, 19th century Republican ism in a way that was non-controversial until recently.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Adam Serwer When people started, you know, being like, you know, romanticizing like Francoist Spain or something like that. You know, there’s sort of like weird neo phalanges that you see among certain circles, but. You know, I think I think to some extent that shift in our own politics is really the thing that’s changed the most. You know, I think, you know, Andor has like some reflections of our era in terms of, you know, mass incarceration, the issues that animated the George Floyd protests. You know, questions about equal protection under the law. But I think it’s politics do not seem so radical to us were it not for our political context, I’m not sure that it would feel that way necessarily to future generations.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Adam Serwer I mean, you know, Star Wars itself, despite, you know, the original fight, sort of, you know, Lucas saying, well, you know, the rebels are kind of like the Vietcong or whatever. You know, people didn’t interpret it that way. Like nobody nobody who went to see Star Wars in 1977. Not nobody. You know, I can’t say that, but.


Rosie Knight The wide.


Jason Concepcion The massive audience. The people that were queuing three and four times a day to watch the movie.


Adam Serwer Right. People were like laser swords in space. But they, you know, and like the rebels are us, obviously. Look at look at these British accented Villains, but.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer And that’s that’s another thing like, you know, this sort of like strain of like a religion in the empire. It’s like you think about one of the best things that Star Wars does is it takes like little threads.


Rosie Knight Mhm.


Adam Serwer From, from, from previous installments and draws them out. You have, you know, the scene in the first in a New Hope which is like, you know, some imperial general saying to some, you know, you know you don’t frighten us with your sort of sirs ways Lord Vader, your sad devotion to that ancient religion, you know, there’s like contempt for faith, like, you know, then spins into, like, everything we’re talking about. Or like there’s a line in Rogue One where it’s sheer. It says something about Android or like this one has a prison and a him, and he takes it wherever he goes. But now you look back at that line and you’re like, Oh, holy shit. And this is something that’s I mean, like, you know, this is something that Star Wars does. Like, you know, that’s seen in In a New Hope where Luke runs into the Millennium Falcon. He has to abandon Obi-Wan, who, you know, is about to be killed by Vader. You know, that’s like the last. The completion of order 66. Except you don’t know that because it’s 1977. But it’s like that scene where, like a Padawan has to abandon his master who’s being killed by the Empire. And like that, we’ve seen that replay over and over.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer Which is self, you know, which, which you know is. It’s like you can retcon Star Wars in a way that makes power moments that were supposed to be one thing means something completely different and being emotionally resonant in a completely different way. And it’s something that I don’t I’m not it’s hard to think of another genre or another, you know, another universe, fictional universe in which that kind of thing is really possible in the same way, I mean, other people try to do it. I won’t mention any names, but other people try to do it in a way that seems like hacky and like just, you know, trying to preserve a particular brand’s relevance for, for, for a certain moment. But with this, it’s like people take something like like Dave Filoni will take something that was in the prequels, the original trilogy, and spin it out into some narrative complexity that becomes wonderful. And that’s Andor, sort of like that on a grand scale.


Rosie Knight Yeah, you touched a little bit I think as well on that. The trajectory of Star Wars is is quite unusual because for a long time it was kept alive by these, you know, expanded universe, now known as like legends novels. So in that way, people have always been taking those little threads and expanding out, whether it’s a book about a character that you didn’t realize could have this kind of complex interior life. And and then that is now continued in the way that new creators are taking things and collaborating on old ideas to kind of keep the IP going. But it’s kind of one of the blessings of that constraint of, Oh, we need to keep this IP alive, we need to keep people caring about it. You get creators who sometimes come in and see something like Tony Gilroy saw in the possibilities of this story to kind of tell an entirely different to show an entirely different version of what we’ve seen before.


Adam Serwer Mm hmm.


Rosie Knight So you wrote your piece before the season had ended. We are now post the finale of Andor. How do you feel like the show hit, looking back, is now that you’ve seen the first season?


Adam Serwer I mean, look, it’s obviously I think it’s one of the best interpretations of this universe that we’ve ever seen artistically. From a narrative perspective, I think it’s tremendous. You know, just in terms of portraying what motivates someone to be a rebel or to line up with the empire. I think that’s just a question that, you know, was not necessarily previously asked. I mean, I think or at least not asked and answered in a way that felt satisfying. I mean, when you look at the prequels, you know, this is sort of the the point of the prequels was to say this is how Darth Vader happened.


Rosie Knight Yeah.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer Right. And, you know, the worldbuilding in the prequels was so good that it created a lot of potential. Right. But the ultimate narrative of how Darth Vader happened felt very unsatisfying for a lot of people. And then you had Clone Wars, which really pulled it as a thread and like portrayed it like showed this like evolution of Anakin, as someone who is like slowly being radicalized.


Rosie Knight Mm hmm.


Adam Serwer So that between episode two, in episode three, you know, Clone Wars gives us a tale of how anarchy becomes more and more desperate and detached from, you know, his own self discipline so as to make himself vulnerable to palpatine’s manipulations. And that so so again, in the grand tradition of, like, rogue one filling a giant Star Wars plot hole, why would the Empire have a super weapon with such an easy way to destroy it? Like, I mean, that’s what Rogue One is, right? And it is a movie.


Jason Concepcion Yeah


Adam Serwer That is devoted to being like, wait, why did the empire build something that you could destroy so easily with this, like, one loophole? And the answer is, Oh, because this guy did it as like an act of ultimate revenge against the empire. Like, that’s, you know, in the same grand tradition. Like, why does and it can show up in episode three as, like, sort of a psychopath. And the answer is, you know, he’s been frustrated for the Jedi order for years. They unfairly expelled his Padawan. You know, there’s all this stuff that gets filled in that helps make the narrative richer and make more sense. And I think Andor, you know, both Rogue One and Andor gives us that. Well, what happened before episode four? Um, you know, what happened to it? How. How was the rebellion built? It gives us these answers in a way that I think is extremely satisfying. Building on, you know, not just the, the, the, not just the good parts of the old universe, but even the bad part. Yeah, I mean, that’s one of the great things is that you could take a plot hole as big as why is why is destroying a Death Star so as easy as, you know, shooting a torpedo into an exhaust port and spin like a beautiful explanation out of it that is emotionally compelling. And it’s like, again, this is a plot hole. This is the flaw in the original storytelling. And, you know, and they somehow made a great story out of it. And that’s, you know, that’s that’s part of the magic of the universe for me.


Jason Concepcion Adam, thank you so much for joining us. Do you have anything to plug?


Adam Serwer You know, I’ll plug our World Cup newsletter right now. The World Cup is going on. This is a whole other aspect of of my nerd life. But the World Cup is going on. The Atlantic has a World Cup newsletter, The Great Game. I’m not the only person writing it. There’s a lot of other people writing great writers Clint Smith, Adam Harris, Frank Foer, and I highly recommend it, especially if you are not a super soccer fan. This is like more for people who tune into the World Cup every four years. And that’s it Thank you so much for having me on the show.


Jason Concepcion One last thing. Do you want to this is your this is your opportunity, a perfect opportunity to to talk trash about Shea Serrano, our mutual friend, Shea Serrano in a context that that he that might get back to him. And so any any burns, any roasts of Shea that you’d like to share on the program today?


Adam Serwer You know, if you had prepared me, I would have I would have got one.


Rosie Knight Made a Google doc of all the best zingers.


Adam Serwer I would have made it I would have made an Excel document with all my possible Shea zingers. But it’s hard, though, because we’re both like, you know, we’re both like bald, high yellow hobbits. So, like, you know, it gets to like anything. I said, what am I going to say about Shea that isn’t also true about me. But yeah, I’ll just. So I guess that’ll count as my burn. I wasn’t going to look like that.


Jason Concepcion Yeah.


Adam Serwer Okay, how about that?


Jason Concepcion Adam, thank you so much for joining us. Please come back.


Adam Serwer All right. Take care guys.


Rosie Knight Have a great day.


Jason Concepcion In today’s Nerd Out where you theorize about your favorite fandoms and tell us what you love and why, Liz theorizes about the big man’s possible force sensitive nature in Andor.


Liz Hey, everybody. Friend of the program, Liz, here with a wild Andor theory for you. I’m here to talk about the top ten ish reasons that I think that the force sensitive character that we have been introduced to is Brasso. Just going to throw this out here off the top. I am obsessed with this show. It is the best Star Wars I have seen in years, maybe ever. I don’t know. Got to wait some time for that recency bias to clear. But I’m obsessed with it and I’m obsessed with it, particularly because it does not follow the same Star Wars, formulaic space, magic, whatever heroes trope that we all come to know and love. So I don’t want or need a force sensitive character necessarily. However, there are some huge indicators that I have noticed and I want to share them here. So right off the bat, number ten, probably not the strongest, but hey, if you look at his outfit, he is wearing pretty much the same outfit as one of our other favorite Jedi, Ezra Bridger. That’s right. Take a look, folks. Orange jumpsuit, kind of a weird thing. And he’s also not wearing the same clothes as the rest of his friends in his working group. Number nine, he is kind to droids. I know that that’s not a uniquely Jedi characteristic. However, it is almost universally true within the Jedi that they are kind to droids and other sentient beings in ways that regular humans are not. Number eight The word force is used incredibly sparingly in the show, I think just a handful of times. And one of those times is Brasso. Yes, he is relaying a message from Maarva. However, you cannot ignore the fact that that word is only used a handful of times, and one of those times coming from this man’s mouth. Number seven. There is something so force poetic about using a brick made of an antifascist loved one to beat fascists straight up, period. Number six, he has an incredible sense of knowledge and timing that I think is a little suspect. For example, in episode three, it’s implied or I inferred that he is the one who tied the corpos ship down while they were trying to grab Cassian. And he is the one who affects that ship to it, causing the pilot to die. That pilot was the one who killed Tim. Now, to be clear, fuck Tim. He fucking ratted on Cassian to the corpos. All corpos are bastards. Whatever. Whatever. However, Tim did not deserve to die like that. Fuck that, corpo. Awesome that Brasso seemed to know that this is the dude and this is how to get him. Number five. His sense of timing is also pretty incredible. Thinking about the fact that he started that funeral with his own sort of emotion. That funeral was supposed to take place several hours after it. It actually did. And the timing ended up being such that all of the Imperial Guards were away from the hotel when Cassian needed them to be away so that he could rescue Bix, just throwing it out there. Very coincidental timing. Number four. That man knows when to go and when to fight. Look at episode 12. He is in the thick of that riot. He fuckin started that riot. Rightfully so. How dare that imperial piece of shit kick beat you emo. My favorite droid that maybe chopper but very strong contender for favorite droid. But he knows when it’s time to go. And that’s also a uniquely Jedi characteristic. Number three knows what people are doing and feeling. He knows that Cassian has turned a corner when he meets with him in that tunnel. He knows that he is going to go and rescue because he knows that Cassian is not going to go with them at the end of episode 12. He knows that Pegula is not going to go with them. He just seems to know things about people. I think that’s very interesting because we don’t know anything about him. We don’t know where he came from. We don’t know if he has family. We don’t know what his background is like. And that also lends credit to the theory that he is force  sensitive, because the question, of course, arises this man isn’t like 50 years old. Where were the Jedi when he was born? How come they didn’t detect his force sensitivity if he is more sensitive, truly? Well, we don’t know anything about him, and Anakin didn’t get detected. So there’s a possibility that there are other force users out there that didn’t expect it. We now come to probably the two biggest components to my theory. Number two, that man shook an imperial detail to go and meet with the most wanted man on Ferrix on episode 12 and give him vital information from above, basically bolstering him up, allowing him to go and be the hero that he needs to be for the day. I think that’s pretty Jedi. And number one. The Imperials nicknamed him The Big Man. This large target calmly walked through heavy blaster fire to pull out Wilpak and take him away from danger. Didn’t get hit. Didn’t really even see him flexed. That’s to me, pretty indicative. There we go. Those are my top ten. Bite me. Whatever you want to do. But that’s my I thought I am going to close, just gushing a little bit. Like I said at the top, I’m obsessed with this show. It brings the Star Wars themes that I’ve been so desperate to see right to the forefront without using any of the tropes that Star Wars has come to rely on. I am deeply invested in these characters, knowing that most of them are doomed and I cannot wait for next season. I’m sure you guys are right there with me.


Jason Concepcion Thanks, Liz, for submitting. Thank you. Everyone who submitted to Nerd Outs this year. And stay tuned for the return of the segment in 2023. Huge thank you to Adam Serwer and of course, Rosie Knight. Rosie plugs, plugs, plugs. Can you give us one other very vague clue about an upcoming secret project that you have?


Rosie Knight You know what I can actually say? Because this is true of a few different things. Yes, I am working the project I’m working on at the moment also has art by the incredible Oliver Ono. So I can say that. So it’s a it’s a it’s a reteaming and that’s a couple of different things. So that’s very exciting. Plugs Rosie Marx on Instagram you can find me and Letterbox under the same thing. My biggest plug would be that we are going to be at we’re going to be L.A. Comic-Con. If you listen to this on Friday, we will be there on Saturday. Come and see us.


Jason Concepcion Come through.


Rosie Knight We will be there tomorrow. It’s going to be our first live Comic-Con recording. You should come. It will be really fun. And yeah, we’ll just be it will be a blast. And L.A. Comic-Con is pretty chill compared to the other Comic-Cons.


Jason Concepcion Catch our next episode on December 9th. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on YouTube and follow @XRVpod on Twitter. Who knows for how much longer? And check out the Discord to need to hang out with other X-ray Vision fans. Rosie and I are there. We are interacting and communicating with everybody there and it’s really fun community, of course, as Rosie said, L.A. Comic-Con tomorrow, December 3rd, Saturday, December 3rd, at 11:30 a.m. in room 402. Come, come through and see us. Five star reviews. We love them. We need them. We got to have them. Here’s one from Hot Jake: A show I never miss. Jason and Rosie have such great chemistry together. When they make each other laugh, you can’t help but smile as if you’re all sitting at a table with friends nerding out.


Rosie Knight Thank you.


Jason Concepcion Thank you Hot Jake. That’s so awesome. And Thanksgiving’s over. But we want to special thank you to everybody who’s been listening to the pod and everybody who’s been sharing your Spotify wraps, your year end wrap ups. Of all the stuff you’ve been listening to on that platform that have included X-ray Vision and have tagged us in it. That’s so nice of you. Thank you so much.


Rosie Knight Thank you.


Jason Concepcion Wanted to quickly share a note with you about someone who’s added a lot to X-ray Vision, Brian Vasquez who composed and produced the music to X-ray Vision to Takeline to various other Crooked pods and also composed the interstitial music has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. It’s very unfortunate that we live in a country where people who fall ill then have to ask for money. But here we are. His family has set up a Go Fund Me if you want to support him and give best wishes to his family. You can find information about that on the show notes. We’re wishing the best for Brian and he’s in our thoughts. X-ray Vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Saul Rubin. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound design is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support. Alex Reliford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. See you next time everybody.