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30th Nov 2022

The latest Andor episode is directly based on an IRA funeral

Dave Hanratty


A galaxy perhaps not so far, far away

Andor has proved a hit with critics and audiences alike during its run on Disney+, and now it’s provided a very strange happening indeed – a Star Wars IRA funeral. Kinda.

Season one of Andor has just concluded on the streaming service – some mild spoilers will accompany this article – and the finale brought with it a pivotal decision for lead character Cassian Andor that further connects him to the events of Rogue One.

We’ve still got another season of Andor to go, but for now let’s get into that whole ‘Star Wars IRA funeral’ thing.

SPOILERS from this point on if you’re not caught up….

During the course of the season, Cassian’s adoptive mother Maarva (played by Irish actress Fiona Shaw) succumbs to illness and passes away while her son was in prison.

Her funeral takes place in the season finale, and, as fate would have it, the procession was directly inspired by the Irish Republican Army. Let’s have show-runner Tony Gilroy explain, per his conversation with the Hollywood Reporter:

“The first comp is somewhere between those epic Provisional IRA funerals. God, there’s footage of some of them, and it’s just incredible what these funerals turn into. And then the other comp is a New Orleans second line funeral procession, the joy and soul of that.

“So those are the two comps. There’s also the idea of civic organisations like the Daughters of Ferrix and a community orchestra of aspirational musicians.

“For anybody who pays attention, there’s a doctor named Dr. Mullmoy [Matt Dunkley], and he’s the lead trumpet player in the band. So you see different people in the town. But that’s where it all came from.”

Sadly, the journalist opted not to press Gilroy on his apparent fascination with “epic” IRA funerals. Proof, though, that literally anything can make it into the Star Wars universe.

As for whether Gilroy – who essentially finished directing Rogue One, albeit in an officially uncredited way, when the project ran into trouble – will stick around in this world once season two of Andor is done, he’s staying coy.

“I literally could not even begin to answer that,” Gilroy told THR. “There’s no way to know that. It certainly doesn’t feel that way to me. It seems like at the end of the five years, I’m going to want to go do something else.

“I mean, I always like to do something else. I’ve never tried to do the same thing again, but I wouldn’t say never or no or anything. But what I know for sure is I don’t know.”

JOE’s own Rory Cashin recently chatted with Gilroy, with Andor, Succession and Al Pacino/Keanu Reeves sleaze classic The Devil’s Advocate all on the agenda:

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