How the ending of Andor episode 11 adds far more weight to the ending of Rogue One

As a prequel series, Andor has the challenge of creating an interesting story that keeps audiences engaged despite knowing where its main character winds up. The show has been excelling at that, and it has been adding depth to Rogue One in some fantastic ways.

One such way that we saw recently, as I wrote about before, is that both Luthen Rael and Kino Loy demonstrate a commitment to a cause despite knowing they likely won’t make it out alive – the very thing Cassian does in the mission to Scarif. It is cool seeing how he is influenced by people like that, as he will later come to embody it too.

Or, as another example, take the repeated theme of “climb!” that has shown up this season. It showed up during the heist on Aldhani: as Cassian piloted the ship in the escape, Nemik shouted at him to “climb!” as the computer plotted the route. It showed up during the prison escape on Narkina 5: as the prisoners broke free, Kino Loy exhorted them to “climb!” And it will show up during the mission to Scarif: as Cassian and Jyn attempt to steal the plans and escape, K-2SO uses his final words to tell them to “climb!”

But there’s yet another example that showed up in the most recent episode, “Daughter of Ferrix.” The episode ends with Cassian learning about the death of his mother, Maarva. He contacts Ferrix with a message for his mother: “Tell Maarva I’m ok. Tell her I’m thinking about her. She’d be proud of me. And I’ll get back as soon as I can.” But he then learns that Maarva is dead. We then see that he’s calling from the beach on Niamos, and as he and Melshi part ways at the end of the episode, Cassian is left alone staring out over the sea, as the sun rises.

It presents an obvious visual parallel to the final moments of his life, where he and Jyn Erso sit on the beach on Scarif looking out over the ocean as they await the looming destruction wrought by the Death Star. Visually, then, we could see this as bookending Cassian’s days as a rebel: we could view his experience in prison and subsequent escape as the final impetus to his joining the cause, and it leads to him giving his life for it.

Furthermore, the fact that this episode leaves him alone on the beach, having just learned of the death of his last (known) family member, contrasts with the reality that on Scarif he’s not alone. He’s together with Jyn at the end, a picture of how he gains a new family through the rebellion.

Another visual parallel is connected to Luthen’s speech in episode 10, as Luthen says he’s fighting for a sunrise he will never see. But here Cassian is looking out over a sunrise, because even though he will not live to see the freedom the rebellion is fighting for, by Cassian getting involved we’re seeing yet more glimmers of sunlight burst onto the horizon. It’s a bleak, dark time for the rebels, but with every passing moment, as more people rally to the cause, more rays of light trickle into the picture. Cassian fully embracing the fight is another ray of light on the scene of the galaxy.

But I want to mention one more parallel, one that I think is the most beautiful of them all and really adds a lot more weight to the scene from Rogue One. In this scene in Andor, Cassian is on the beach looking at this sunrise as he sends a message to Maarva, telling her that she would be proud of him. It’s a message that never gets to his mother, but he knows she would be proud, because she always wanted him to fight back against the Empire. And remember what Cassian tells Jyn as they sit on the beach on Scarif? “Your father would have been proud of you, Jyn.” I think that in that moment, Cassian was thinking about Maarva, and how she would be proud of him, and he then shared with Jyn how her father would be proud of her as well.

It’s a beautiful moment, made even more beautiful by this series.

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