• Star Wars: Andor’s season finale, “Rix Road,” had a powerful moment that surprised even the series creator Tony Gilroy.
  • The scene where Brasso used a brick made from Maarva’s ashes as a weapon was not planned in the original script.
  • The organic development of unexpected moments, like the brick scene, is a testament to the excellent storytelling of Andor.

Star Wars: Andor is well-regarded by viewers to the point where even newcomers to Star Wars have been singing its praises. But despite seeming so meticulously put together, one powerful moment even surprised series creator Tony Gilroy.

The Andor season finale, “Rix Road,” saw the culmination of several storylines and the boiling point of tensions building throughout the Star Wars series. The episode revolved around the funeral of Maarva (Fiona Shaw), who had been the adoptive mother to Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) for nearly as long as he could remember. Ask any fan about their favorite moment, and they’ll likely pick one from this episode, including one scene that almost set a profane new record for Star Wars. But there’s one other part during the riot that breaks out at the funeral that gets the blood pumping, and it got a reaction from more than just the audience.

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Speaking with Vanity Fair, Andor creator Tony Gilroy revealed his first reaction upon experiencing the scene where Cassian’s friend Brasso brained an Imperial lackey with the brick created from Maarva’s ashes (a funeral tradition on her homeworld of Ferrix). “I wasn’t there when they shot the riot sequence,” he explained. “But I’m watching dailies every day. When Brasso [actor Joplin Sibtain] swings that brick and he hits that dude, I don’t know if that’s on the page. That’s when the moviemaking takes off past the script. That Maarva could become a weapon of such energy is just from obsessive detailing. I remember being really surprised when I saw the tape and going, ‘Holy… look what they did!'”

As impactful as that scene was (in several ways), the brick moment seemingly came about organically after the script was well past complete. It wouldn’t be the only time that’s happened, as it likely wasn’t planned for fans to fall in love with Andy Serkis’ Andor character Kino Loy as much as they did. But Gilroy also explained how even the scriptwriting involved surprising moments he didn’t expect. “I don’t think in the very beginning I was aware of how many characters I was going to put into play, or how complicated we were going to make it for ourselves,” he said of the decision to bring all the main characters together for the finale. “But once you get them up and running, you want to have everybody colliding at the end. You want to have everybody there. The happy thing is that everybody’s there for a different reason. The motivations are a real mixed bag, and they all represent aspects of the show.”

Andor proved itself as the perfect rebellion story, showcasing Cassian’s radicalization in the face of fascism via the Galactic Empire. But it also hit at the perfect time, where many oppressive tactics seen on the show reflected things happening in the real world. Combine that with a cast of endearing characters, and baby, they’ve got a stew going. It became its own driving force as it went, which is the mark of excellent storytelling. That’s how moments like the brick smash surprised even Gilroy. They came about as a product of the living, breathing story he and his team created.

When Andor was first announced, the prevailing sentiment was, “Really?” But by the end, viewers had fallen in love with new and old characters while praising the show’s additions to the Star Wars mythos. This is no small feat, and it would be nice to see it accomplished again in season 2.

Star Wars: Andor is available to stream on Disney Plus.

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Source: Vanity Fair

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