The following contains spoilers for Andor Season 1, Episode 12, “Rix Road,” now available on Disney+.

The inclusion of Fiona Shaw in Disney + Star Wars The prequel series proved to be the best casting decision the producers made, except for bringing back Genevieve O’Reilly as Mon Mothma. The end of season 1 of Andor it does a lot of things, including including Maarva in the conversation about the most “important” hero of the Rebellion.


In the grand scheme of the Galactic Civil War, the insurrection on Ferrix doesn’t matter. The Empire technically “won” that fight. Even if he hadn’t, give him a few hours headroom and a freshly arrived legion of Stormtroopers would. Still, Maarva’s posthumous holographic message of dissent represents a crucial cog in the machinery of the Force, specifically getting Cassian to that beach on Scarif so Luke and Leia can do the rest. All Andor Season 1, but especially the finale, underlines the important people They are for Ferrix. They know each other’s names. They know each other’s business. When the Empire came after Order 66, her husband was killed as an example. Maarva’s memorial was an indictment of that murder and all the pain the Empire caused since. The only tragedy here is that she doesn’t know that it was her adopted son who inspired her act.

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Maarva Andor was a mystery to both viewers and Cassian.

In the flashback of Cassian’s adoption by the Andors, Maarva indicates that the Republic will arrive on the planet and “massacre” the local indigenous people. Later in Season 1, he speaks sympathetically of the Separatists, who to the galaxy as a whole are still villains. So, it’s unclear if Palpatine had death squads or if Maarva was just repeating Count Dooku’s anti-Republic propaganda. For much of the time viewers see Maarva, Shaw plays her at the end of her life. However, in those flashbacks, she seems like a fierce and vibrant woman.

In Ferrix she participated in the community and was elected president of the Hijas de Ferrix organization. Like the rest of the town, she kept her head down for most of her life. As she said, the Empire would appear, but they would always leave. When Cassian last saw her, she refused to leave Ferrix because Aldhani’s heist made her believe in fighting back the demons that killed Clem and the others. The episode almost played it off as a tragic joke, that this old lady would think she could make a difference. Yet every moment of rebellion matters in the larger fight.

Cassian is to blame, in a way, for Maarva’s actions. Not because of Aldhani, but because he left her. He loved the woman he saw as her mother, but she revealed in her death a side of her that Cassian didn’t believe existed. It’s lovely that the result has allowed him to free his loved ones and help them escape.

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Andor Season 1 Shows How Radicalization Happens Over Time

Maarva Andor sits under the watch of the Pre-Mor Authority in Andor

The most canonically significant moment of radicalization comes not from Maarva or Cassian, but from Luthen. His cold calculation of how to fight the Empire is a key moment in the radicalization of Saw Gerrera. He breaks up with the rest of the rebels at the time of Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyhowever, the first cracks occur in Andor. Season 1 is about how each character becomes more threatened by the oppressive force of the Empire with each passing day. However, all that radicalization requires for characters like Cassian or even Mon Mothma is the permanent interruption of their normal lives.

Luthen’s character understands this best. He knows that in order to inspire the galaxy to defeat the Empire, he must first make them hate him. Ferrix’s people can survive their encounters with the Empire and its proxies, the corporate authority Syril Karn worked for before he radicalized (to be even more authoritarian). It wasn’t ideal, but they could live their lives in peace for the most part. If it weren’t for Cassian’s murder of two guards, they would still be. Yet when Maarva learned that Cassian could never truly return home until the Empire itself was defeated, that is what she vowed to.

Maarva’s insurrection was important because it committed Cassian to the cause. However, it is also important because these small flashes of resistance and rebellion are what weaken the foundations on which tyrants build their empires. The simple act of resistance reveals to everyone in the galaxy that the upcoming “battle” may be more even than either side realizes.

Andor season 1 is streaming on Disney+ and season 2 is expected in 2024.

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