Saw Gerrera's Best Scene In Andor Episode 11 Foreshadows His Paranoia In Rogue One

"Andor" has only one episode left in its stellar first season, and it's showing no signs of slowing down. The Disney+ series has time and again broken new ground in telling a "Star Wars" story, creating a moody and atmospheric spy show that happens to take place in a galaxy far, far away. However, upon its initial conception and announcement, there was always the concern that fans of "Star Wars" wouldn't get invested. The reason is that Cassian's character and fate are already pre-determined, as the show is a prequel to "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," where the show's characters meets his demise. However, rather than letting the preexisting future of its title character be a detriment to "Andor," series creator Tony Gilroy opted to use it to his advantage.

If anything, the story of "Andor" strengthens "Rogue One" as a film, adding more emotional weight to an already strong story. It isn't just with Cassian that "Andor" keeps its great synergy with "Rogue One," either. Saw Gerrera (Forest Whittaker) plays a minor role in the series, leading up to his appearance in "Rogue One." A standout scene from the character in this week's episode engages both the context of the character in the series so far and also lends credence to the character's paranoid nature in "Rogue One." With this crucial scene, "Andor" shows us the true potential of interconnected stories between television and film, not just for the sake of gratuitous cameos to finger-point-at-your-television like Rick Dalton, but to serve the larger story.

A dangerous back and forth

Late into the penultimate episode of "Andor," Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard as the MVP of the series) visits Saw Gerrera to prevent him from aiding a fellow rebel advace after receiving word from his Imperial mole that the Empire is aware of the upcoming attack. In a tense and well-written scene, Luthen ominously rocks Gerrera's world as the soldier realizes that Luthen would go to great lengths to protect himself, the rebellion, and his secrets. In what feels like a shift in character for Saw, Whittaker delivers a fantastic performance, angrily questioning everything Luthen has told him, now unsure if there are moles within his own cell of soldiers. Luthen gleefully plays into Saw's insecurities as the two powerhouse actors go back and forth, with Luthen falsely saying Saw's right-hand man "Two Tubes" is his mole.

This intensely acted and cleverly written scene serves two distinct purposes: First, it highlights the supporting characters of "Andor," showing that the series can create tension and get audiences invested despite having a predetermined outcome. Second, it foreshadows a key character detail for Saw Gerrera in "Rogue One." We know what becomes of Saw, given his explosive exit in the "Star Wars" film, but watching the character slowly develop his distrusting and paranoid nature was an absolute joy.

The best of both worlds

Upon first watching "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," it's easy to get taken aback by Saw Gerrera's extreme distrust. Despite having valuable information pertaining to the Empire's ultimate weapon, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) is still tortured by Saw, who uses an alien creature he calls "Bor Gullet" to read Rook's mind. We as an audience didn't need to know why Saw is so distrusting, but "Andor" takes the plot point as an opportunity to exemplify its own story and themes. Everything in "Andor" feels like it's there for a reason, with no wasted space. It's even better for fans who may not have even seen "Rogue One" yet, seeing Luthen and Saw's interactions in "Andor" and watching the character grow into a paranoid extremist in "Rogue One." 

When you have a timeline as extensive and detailed as "Star Wars," it can be very easy to fall prey to being uninteresting, given that most fans already know what direction the overarching story is heading depending on the story's place in the timeline. "Andor" avoids these pitfalls expertly, playing into the stories that came before it to build better its atmosphere and tone. Moreover, the entirely new characters introduced in the show are so well-written, fates of characters like Luthen Rael become new points for stakes and tension. The series feels like the best of both worlds, using and mentioning characters from other series and movies in a purposeful way that moves the story of "Andor" forward.