The following includes spoilers for Andor episode 11. Please watch and then come back to this article.
Andor episode 11, “Daughter of Ferrix,” does not slowly lead into the passing of one important character in the Disney+ series. The show jumps right into the tough realization that life is not infinite and how people respond to death does not always look the same.
Not only does Andor episode 11 give us a devastating death, it does so in a way where viewers will likely grieve with the characters. Maarva Andor, played by Fiona Shaw, had previously shown signs of illness, but there is no final moment where viewers see her pass. There are friends in her home, and “B” is having a tough time coming to terms with Maarva not being present anymore in his life.
Maarva is ceremonially escorted through the streets, being covered on some sort of moving table, and B refuses to leave. Not only are viewers hit with a kick to the heart right out of the gate, it’s clear how emotional attachments and everyone’s response to loss is equally important – even if different.
Andor episode 11 goes somberly into the night
Remember long ago when droids weren’t even welcomed into a bar. How such an innocent passing comment (about a droid) can still be felt today – and, yet, we find real discovery in Andor episode 11, “Daughter of Ferrix.”
"“We don’t serve their kind here…Your droids. They’ll have to wait outside. We don’t want them here.”"
Not only is this quote dismissive of singular important beings in the Star Wars realm, its statement seems to indicate droids aren’t capable of more beyond it. Fortunately, Star Wars has given its fans a plethora of wonderful droids to follow and root for, with B being included as the newest member in this longstanding mix.
When you understand the scope of what droids have been thought of from the original A New Hope, seeing such an impactful response from Maarva’s death is immeasurable. “I don’t want to be alone,” B says, “I want Maarva.” B not only seems capable of grieving, he seems tragically ill-equipped to handle her absence alone. B seems determined to stay in their home, waiting for her return or asking Brasso (played by Joplin Sibtain) to stay so he can avoid leaving home without Maarva.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Cassian learning about his mother at the end of the episode gives us a stark realization: Everyone grieves in their own way. B didn’t want to be alone, but viewers see Cassian go off on his own after simply stating, “Yeah. Everything okay.” Yes, his escape partner is saying they need to separate to make sure people know about the atrocities happening at their former prison, but Cassian isn’t there mentally.
When Melshi (played by Duncan Pow) wonders about how many escapees made it out alive and that they needed to separate to ensure people know the truth about the prison, there’s no argument from Cassian. He doesn’t share the news. Andor doesn’t even hint at a problem. It’s because he’s already alone in his thoughts. He’s grieving for his mother, and in his case, being alone is all he wants. The differences between how B and Cassian grieve is a reality shared beyond the small screen.
Grieving publicly with others nearby or finding solitary moments, one way does not mean the other is wrong. Death is a reminder of what’s to come, and dealing with the reality of losing someone and not having them around in “what’s to come” is a burden everyone feels or expresses differently.
Pacing in Andor and other Star Wars shows have purpose
Andor episode 11, “Daughter of Ferrix,” follows similar pacing like most of its episodes. Much like other shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi and The Book of Boba Fett, this show also uses a methodical pace to highlight many great things.
In Andor episode 11, for instance, a slower pace allows viewers to soak up the pain being felt by its characters. Much like drawn out sequences highlighting the 10-year despair Obi-Wan felt, and what it must’ve been like to endure each and every day with those feelings, Andor provides equal moments to deal with such scenarios like Maarva’s death.
The pacing in this episode, and the show as a whole, represent understanding the stakes in play, while then being able to sympathize with those who are dealing with such grief. Much like real life, things do not always happen at the drop of a hat. When B asks to not be alone, or Cassian says everything’s okay, staying in those moments a bit longer allows viewers to feel what they’re feeling. There’s compassion to be felt in those scenes – and they’re heart-wrenchingly sad to deal with.
Perhaps, that’s the point of Andor’s pacing and why these impactful moments from Maarva’s death mean so much to B, Cassian, her friends and, equally so, the viewers. Grief doesn’t happen and leave at the drop of a hat, and how one feels – mechanical or not – is the way they’re meant to deal. Understanding these differences allows everyone to understand each other a bit better, which in turn makes Andor exceptional.
What did you think of Andor episode 11, “Daughter of Ferrix,” and how did you deal with Maarva’s death? Do you think the pacing of the show helps to emphasize the emotional scope of B and Cassian’s feelings? Share your thoughts in the comments below.