Keep Your Politics Out Of My Star Wars, Andor!
How one scene in Andor summarized what Star Wars has always been about and takes a shot at those who think otherwise.
Andor has been out for a few weeks and settled in the Star Wars discourse with mixed results:
“It’s the best Star Wars series since The Mandalorian.”
“It’s Star Wars, for adults!”
“It feels so fresh!”
AND, OF COURSE…
“It’s boring and slow.”
Yada Yada Yada. As predictable as all this might be, there IS something relatively new for Star Wars that Tony Gilroy and his team have brought to the table: A conversation between a politician and their spouse probably reflects a lot of table conversations in households worldwide today.
In episode four, “Aldhani,” we meet Mon Mothma as she works with Luthen Rael to funnel money for his missions. To be clear, this is not the first time we have met Mon Mothma in Star Wars. She is from the Original Trilogy, known for a single speech in Return of the Jedi, the character played by Caroline Blakiston. Genevieve O’Reilly was cast, then cut entirely out of the Prequel Trilogy, but reprised her role in Rogue One. But we are meeting her for the first time because we learn much more about her life, specifically that she is married.
After she returns home, she is met with her husband, Perrin, getting ready for a dinner party. Mon Mothma looks at the guest list and, to her horror, sees politicians like Sly Moore (an established character in canon). People who are her political adversaries and have made life very difficult for citizens across the galaxy. Mon points this out to Perrin, but he does not want to hear it because of politics.
He is married to a Senator and doesn’t want to talk about politics? Tony Gilroy provides a little more insight into this relationship:
“They were married at 16. That is a very big thing in Chandrila,” Gilroy says. “She has a daughter. It was somewhat of an arranged marriage.”
- Tony Gilroy, Vanity Fair (September 27, 2022)
So neither chose their partner, similar to many family members that are related to people they disagree with politically. People who suddenly cry about politics in Star Wars are either opportunists using a franchise to push their own agenda or willfully ignorant. Politics has always existed in Star Wars, and most often not subtly.
An Empire as a mirror to a fascist regime and a Rebellion constantly at war is the baseline of what Star Wars has been for decades. The First Order and the Resistance are modern iterations. There is now another layer for the alt-right discourse trying to equate adding diversity to politics (and whiteness as apolitical) that should be dismissed for the foolishness that it is. Still, there is an interesting parallel in this scene.
Mon Mothma tries to appeal to Perrin’s empathy for the well-being of people on another planet and finds nothing, only complaining that everything has to be boring and sad with her.
Perrin: “You’re at the boring end of the table. These people are fun.”
Mon: “Oh, are they? Are they fun? We should find some Ghorman guests for tonight and see how amused they are. Your fun friends just cut off their shipping lanes yesterday. Do you know how many will starve?
Oh, perhaps we can laugh about it over the third course.”
Perrin: “Perhaps you should have a rest.”
Translation: Keep your politics out of my dinner party!
Incels finally have the Star Wars character they deserve.