Andor Celebrates Something We Rarely See In Star Wars: A Random Act Of Kindness

Though it is set in space, "Star Wars" has always been more of a fantasy franchise than a sci-fi one. Several main characters are chosen ones with magic blood, there's space wizards, princesses, emperors, smugglers, rogue knights, and more. Sure, creator George Lucas infused the original and prequel trilogy with some poignant political commentary, but the movies always focused more on people in high ranks than the common-folk of the galaxy. 

Despite war and rebellion being at the foreground of the franchise for over 40 years, most of the times we meet characters who don't have high social status or positions of power, they are either on the background, or die after a few minutes. Of course, this changed with "Rogue One," a movie that defied a lot of what we thought "Star Wars" to be. Not only did that film give us a gritty story with more grounded stakes, but it focused on a ragtag team of nobodies who band together for the greater good — with no regard to social status, or prophecies.

Now, "Andor" is doubling down on the importance common people have for a rebellion and why it's not just the Jedi or the big-name commanders that matter in the fight for freedom — it's also random fishermen (or maybe fisher-aliens?) who offer a simple act of kindness to a stranger.

A galaxy of regular people

"Andor" is doing a lot of things right, but perhaps its biggest contribution to the "Star Wars" universe is how it's changing the face of the Rebellion. First, it argues that dissidence and rebellion is not a choice, but a duty in the face of oppression, by showcasing how cruel and evil the Empire truly is — both in small ways like cultural insensitivity and big ways like sadistic torture techniques. Second, "Andor" is showing us what drives people to be radicalized to the point of dedicating their lives to a rebellion, and the price they pay for their roles in one, like the unsung heroes who give their lives for a dream they know they'll never see.

Indeed, while "Andor" does show that role people with influence and power play in rebellions, like Luthen Rael and Mon Mothma, most of the faces we see are common people united by a desire to see the galaxy free from fascism. Just take the episode where we learn the motivations of the Aldhani crew, or the Narkina 5 prison break, which had many people from all walks of life participate in ways both big and small, such as the new guy who helped fight the guards and died without even knowing there was a revolt going on.

On the latest episode, "Daughter of Ferrix," we see two new unsung heroes of the rebellion come into play. After escaping from the prison, Cassian and Melshi need to find a way off world when they come across two local fishermen. They have no reason to help them escape or put themselves in danger (especially when they could turn the two humans in for the reward), yet they decide to enter the fight and help because they hate the Empire for poisoning their water more than they fear retaliation.

The spark that will light the fire of rebellion

It is a poignant scene in an episode full of emotion. Not because the aliens called Dewi and Freedi sacrifice themselves or reveal themselves to be some known Glup Shitto character we know and love from another part of the franchise, but because they are nobodies in the grand scheme of things. They don't go on to become generals in the Rebellion, they are not related to Palpatine, they don't get some grand send-off. They just show up, offer Andor and Melshi a ride off-planet, and we don't hear from them again (at least as far as we know).

This is an episode where Luthen shows how absolutely ruthless the Rebellion can be when it needs to, an episode that shows the sacrifices done in service of a grand vision, and how easy it is to think of people as simply numbers. But along come Dewi and Freedi to show that individuals matter, and that small acts of kindness can be enough of a spark to light the fire that will one day burn the Empire down. They may not know it, but these two fishermen just inadvertently contributed to the destruction of the Death Star.