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Andor is taking Star Wars fans into Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) past, showing how he ended up in the Rebel Alliance — and going further back to his childhood. Andor Episode 3 explains how Cassian went from living on Kenari as a child to residing on Ferrix — a situation that has to do with Maarva. Maarva is portrayed by actor Fiona Shaw in Andor, and the character is essentially Cassian’s adopted mother. Viewers might recognize the actor who plays Maarva from the Harry Potter movies, as well as a beloved BBC series.
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Andor Episodes 1-3.]
Andor‘s three-episode premiere on Disney+ is unpacking Cassian Andor’s backstory in two ways: by showing fans how he joined the Rebel Alliance and by digging deeper into his history. The latter involves showing us how he grew up on Kenari — and what took him off of his home planet (or rather, who).
Episode 3’s flashback scenes see a young Cassian exploring an Imperial ship, one that crashes on Kenari in the previous episode. The crash leaves numerous Imperial soldiers dead. And the one who survives meets his end at the hands of Cassian’s clan after killing their leader.
As Cassian explores the ship, he runs into two smugglers looking for parts: Maarva and her husband, Clem (Gary Beadle). Upon finding Cassian, Maarva decides that they can’t leave him on Kenari. She suspects the Empire will destroy the place once they find the wreckage of their ship. As such, she drugs Cassian and brings him to Ferrix — a questionable choice, if well-intended.
In the future, Cassian lives with Maarva on Ferrix, and it’s clear the two have developed a strong bond. Maarva covers for her adopted son when the Pre-Mor Authority comes knocking. And viewers may recognize the actor who brings Maarva to life in Andor.
After all, Star Wars isn’t the only major franchise she’s appeared in.
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Those thinking they’ve seen Maarva actor Fiona Shaw prior to Andor are probably correct; Shaw’s acting career goes all the way back to 1983, and she’s appeared in a number of well-known projects over the years.
One of the most recognizable roles Shaw has held is Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter movies. That’s right, Shaw played the woman who serves as a guardian to Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) — though her Andor character makes for a far more compassionate parent.
In addition to her Harry Potter role, Shaw also played Carolyn Martens in BBC’s Killing Eve. The beloved series came to an end this April, and Shaw saw it through to the finale.
Shaw has also appeared in a number of other noteworthy films and shows, including Baptiste, Enola Holmes, Fleabag, True Blood, Persuasion, and Channel Zero.
With so many well-known projects under her belt, Andor is far from Shaw’s first rodeo. But will we see her character, Maarva, in future episodes of the Disney+ series?
Actor Fiona Shaw makes quite an impact as Maarva during the early episodes of Andor. Her sentiment, “That’s what a reckoning sounds like,” left many fans applauding the character. But will we see Maarva again during Andor Season 1? It’s hard to say for certain, but there was a finality to her last scene, which sees her crying as Cassian departs from Ferrix.
Cassian does vow to return to Ferrix one day — but knowing how the Empire works, it might crack down on the planet before he gets the chance. After all, Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) was not happy with the results of his raid. The Pre-Mor Authority may take that out on the people living on Ferrix.
IMDb only has Shaw listed for two episodes of Andor, so we may have seen the last of the character. However, there’s a chance the Star Wars series will surprise us. With 24 episodes in total, we’ll have to keep watching to see if Cassian ever gets a reunion with the woman who took him in.
New episodes of Andor arrive on Disney+ every Wednesday.
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