Andor’s best new character is the villain’s pushy mom

Rate this post

Someone recruit her into the Rebellion

Even in a Star Wars world consisting of space wizards, laser swords, enormous robot walkers, and small murder bears, the most terrifying thing a person can confront is their mother.

The majority of “The Axe Forgets,” this week’s episode of the Rogue One prequel series Andor, is predictable. The ragtag bunch of Rebels that Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) has joined up with as “Clem” finalize their plans for their big Imperial robbery, work through some nerves, and process their suspicion of the new man who was brought in at the last minute. The episode, however, begins far from them, with milquetoast baddie Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) pouting in his boyhood bedroom.

As the episode begins, Syril is at rock bottom, humiliated and on the outs with his corporate rent-a-cop employment, and his mother, Eedy Karn (Kathryn Hunter), is all than willing to give him a thorough thrashing. She criticizes him for his posture, lack of possibilities and drive, and inability to use family connections to help himself. She is the most prosaic and real-world of things in this fantasy world of flying vehicles and blue milk: an overbearing, demanding, and passive-aggressive mother utterly steamrolling her kid in ways that will very certainly make him a worse person than he already is.

Eedy Karn, though, is more than simply entertaining; she exemplifies what Andor is doing so differently in its furious part of the Star Wars world, and how the show’s more realistic approach is working. “The Axe Forgets” is full of laden dialogues between characters, each of which advances the story while also hinting at individual resentments boiling under the surface. Consider:

  The legacy of Glup Shitto lives on in Andor’s Keef Girgo

Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) fights with her morose daughter over attending a government gathering, as it’s evident that her family is the least important of the dual charades she’s playing.
Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach, aka “Cousin!” from The Bear) and Cassian disagree regarding Cassian’s objectives. “Clem” doesn’t appear to be fighting for anything, which Cassian confirms when he admits to being a mercenary. However, as distrust grows, so does clarity. They’re all terrified, and the only thing keeping them going isn’t some lofty goal. It’s a personal matter. Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) informs Cassian, “Everyone has his own revolt.”

Our favorite Imperial bureaucrats, Dedra and Heert (Denise Gough and Jacob James Beswick, respectively), encourage each other in their suspicions of a brewing rebellion, as the pencil-pushers’ ambition is stifled by the chain of command — but the opportunity to prove themselves as the best little fascists on the payroll exists.
Andor, as a result of all of this, seems more like a costume drama than a regular Star Wars production. It’s much more character-driven — in the epic spectacle of Star Wars, there’s often little time for these sorts of dialogues, for these kinds of resentments and frustrations to air out or emerge in both quiet and loud ways.

That’s what makes a show like “The Axe Forgets” so compelling: By emphasizing all of the emotions at work across its whole cast, no matter where they are, those emotions become kindling, ready to fire at the drop of a hat. Something, somewhere, is bound to go wrong and ignite a fire, and many of these personalities are on the verge of exploding.

  Andor is already one of Star Wars’ very best

Similar Posts