In many ways, Andor is anti-Star Wars—and not in the same sense that many seem to think Rian Johnson’s 2017 sequel, The Last Jedi, is anti-Star Wars. That film is subversive, sure, but Andor, by comparison, seems downright heretical. Gone is the clear sense of good and evil that defines the moral compass of the films. Gone are even passing references to the Jedi or the Sith. Forget the will of the Force, consider the willpower of the average, everyday folks just trying to make it through life under the oppressive thumb of a lazy and bureaucratic Galactic Empire. These sorts of complexities are certainly new to Star Wars, which has traditionally been bent more toward a black-and-white (i.e., light side vs. dark side) morality scale. But Andor wrinkles this, suggesting instead that the true rebels are the ones who are willing to get their hands dirty. Due to its exploration of the morality of warfare, Andor presents a unique opportunity the Christian apologist or military ethicist looking to interact with a pop culture artifact. The just war tradition is particularly applicable to the discussion, helping to frame the motivations and actions of characters on both sides of the conflict. War is all too frequently dehumanizing, and few things rob a human being of their own humanity than taking another’s life, regardless of whether the act is state-sanctioned—otherwise firing squads would never have to retain unloaded or blank-firing weapons to mitigate the psychological and emotional trauma to the trigger-pullers. Andor, being interested in these traumas, gives viewers uncommonly complex, multi-dimensional characters as civil war looms. Andor represents the property’s first confident steps out from under the shadow of George Lucas. Star Wars is something different now, the galaxy a more complicated place. But, true to form, the property has given Christians yet another artifact to interact with in the public sphere, and this is an opportunity not to be wasted.
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