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Disney+’s Star Wars ‘Andor’: Fiona Shaw Answers Our Questions About the Series

Fiona Shaw as Maarva in Disney+'s Star Wars series Andor

A rebellion is built on hope, and that idea shines in Disney+’s Andor live-action Star Wars series with characters like Fiona Shaw’s Maarva. A leader, someone on the ground at the start of it all, she’s an important figure in the lives of characters like Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor and Adria Arjona’s Bix, but she also is vital to the Rebellion as a whole. And talking to Shaw about the character was amazing! She is the adoptive mother of Cassian and Maarva Andor is a character who loves deeply and you can see it in their relationship together.

I brought up an interview that Fiona Shaw did with Empire Magazine where she talked about the Trumpian world and how the series can serve as a reflection of that. While the original interview made it seem as if she was saying one way or another, Shaw clarified her quote with me. “I don’t think I said anything quite as pretty but I did say that it could be construed as that,” she said with a smile. “It could also be construed as the opposite. The very good thing about this series is that it stands as a map, it doesn’t take a side. It just stands as a map of the various discomforts that exist in the world.”

Which is to say that it is not a black and white issue but the series is a reflection of that landscape we’re all living through. That’s par for the course with Star Wars, a series that has been historically linked to political issues from the start, and we get to see a lot of that connection with Maarva and her fight at the start of the Rebellion and in how all these characters start to connect together.

One of the things I’ve thought a lot about with this series is its connection to Rogue One but also, almost more importantly, to the Organas. Bail Organa clearly knows Cassian and Mon Mothma by the time we get to Rogue One (and we can assume he knew Mon Mothma from his time in the Senate), but Leia also plays an important part in the Rebellion. And I think that Maarva would absolutely love her.

While she didn’t give anything away, I did ask Shaw about who in the Rebellion she’d like Maarva to meet, though. “I don’t suppose I can answer. What would she—if she was, given if we’re not even in that future,” Shaw said with a laugh. “But I could say that I think she starts the Rebellion not because people—I don’t think people start rebellions heroically; I think they start them in desperation. Because no rebellion comes out that happily. It does eventually lead to some change but change also brings with it, I suppose, split factions. Split factionization is absolutely ignited by rebellion. So rebellion isn’t just goodies against baddies. Rebellion is daring to open up a society and therefore lots of innocent people get hurt. And that is why I think people don’t rebel all the time because you can see what could happen.”

You can see our full interview here:

Fiona Shaw is brilliant as Maarva! You can see Star Wars: Andor on Disney+ on September 21st.

(image: Lucasfilm)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.