Hyperspace Theories

Across three story arcs in the first ten episodes, Andor has delivered top-notch Star Wars storytelling. In the latest episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester analyze the two-part finale. Written by showrunner Tony Gilroy, who also wrote the first three episodes, the finale brings the first season of Andor to an exciting and dramatic conclusion.

Gilroy started Cassian’s story in Andor on Ferrix, and the finale returns to the planet by bringing almost all of the major characters to the same location for the climactic events. Only Mon Mothma, trapped in her own tightening vise by the Empire, remains stuck on Coruscant. Starting with Cassian himself and extending to the other characters drawn into the gravity well of his story by the events of the series, each of the character arcs in Andor receives a fitting and impactful culmination. Without a doubt, Andor has raised the bar for Star Wars stories on Disney+ in the years ahead.

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Direct download: HT_Andor_Season_1_finale_breakdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am EDT

Episodes eight to ten of Andor center on a common theme: everyone is trapped in a literal or metaphorical prison. In this episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester discuss how writer Beau Willimon used this theme as the keystone for all of the characters in this story arc.

Cassian, of course, spends this arc in the Narkina 5 prison facility, where the Empire uses convict labor in a prison-industrial complex to produce countless components necessary for the military-industrial complex necessary to sustain its galactic tyranny. Kino Loy, played by the amazing Andy Serkis, is both a literal inmate and a metaphorical prisoner of the gamified labor regime within the facility. Others play along too, at least until they realize the game is rigged and they can never “win” their freedom.

Beyond Narkina 5, the theme pervades the other characters’ stories, too. On Ferrix, we see the ways Bix, Paak, Brasso, and Maarva suffer under Imperial occupation. On Coruscant, Syril thinks his connection with Dedra and the ISB are his ticket upward, only to discover how trapped he remains. Dedra perceives her upward trajectory continuing, but she remains bound within an ISB mindset. Elsewhere on the capital planet, Mon Mothma confronts the reality of her seemingly inescapable personal situation, including a demand for a terrible family sacrifice, and her newly revealed cousin Vel faces a similar personal toll. Luthen Rael, the “axis” of the burgeoning rebellion, struggles to unite the disparate factions of the incipient Rebellion, personified in Saw Gerrera’s certainty that he is the only one with clarity of purpose. Despite his machinations and his successful Aldhani heist, Luthen admits that he is trapped by the obligations and burdens of his unbreakable commitment to sacrifice everything for the Rebellion.

Cassian, at least, ends the arc by escaping the prison and swimming to shore. Whether any of the other characters can break free of their confinement remains to be seen.

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Direct download: HT_Andor_Ep_8_-_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15am EDT

After its first three episodes launching Cassian’s character journey, Andor quickly propels him into a plotline drawn from his ultimate fate in Rogue One: a risky heist from a secure Imperial facility that plays a crucial role in the fate of the Rebellion against the Empire. In this episode of Hyperspace Theories, Tricia Barr and B.J. Priester examine the fourth through seventh episodes of Andor and break down what the heist storyline means for all of the key characters in the series.

For Cassian, his interactions with the other six members of the heist team teach him important lessons about himself, the possibilities for his future, and the personal and galactic nature of rebellion. As we had speculated, he ends the heist still unwilling to commit to the Rebel cause – but his return to Ferrix and his tourism to Niamos quickly show him that Nemik was correct: the pace of the Empire’s oppression has outpaced his ability to comprehend it. In the Imperial subplot, the success of the Aldhani heist changes the opportunities and possibilities for Dedra Meero and the ISB. In the Rebellion subplot, it reinforces that the price of rebellion will not only be personal for Luthen Rael and Mom Mothma, but also galaxy-wide as the Empire cracks down. Amid her political struggle against tyranny, Mon faces another kind of oppressive environment at home.

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Direct download: Hyperspace_Theories_Andor_Ep_4_to_7_structure_breakdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am EDT