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Andor's Horrifying Torture Scene Wasn't In The Script

Since its premiere in September 2022, the Disney+ original series "Andor" has established itself as perhaps the most mature "Star Wars" project to date: exploring much darker, more complex themes than its adventurous predecessors. Specifically, the series spends a great deal of time exploring the tyrannical rule of the Galactic Empire, and the ways in which this oppressive regime forces its enemies into submission. 

One particularly grisly example of the Empire's brutality is the gut-wrenching torture scene found in Episode 9, in which Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) is sharply questioned by Imperial Officer Dedra Meero (Denise Gough). Meero and her allies strap Bix to a chair and force a pair of headphones over her ears — forcing her to listen to the dying screams of an alien species from the moon of Dizon Fray. A cheerful lab technician explains that this entire species was massacred by the Galactic Empire in order to construct a fueling station on said moon, and it was discovered that the aliens' death screams were so horrific that they actually induced madness in several Imperial Officers.

The casual way in which this genocide was repurposed for torture helps to emphasize the sheer cruelty and evil of the Empire's regime, and listening to these alien death throes for only a few moments is enough to send Bix into a screaming fit. Ironically, although this incredibly horrific scene would no doubt seem extremely out of place in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, director Toby Haynes claims that this scene was actually an homage to "A New Hope" — one which did not originally appear in the script.

The ending of was unscripted, and a direct homage to A New Hope

In a recent interview with The Ringer, director Toby Haynes confessed that the ending of this particular scene (in which the door to Bix Caleen's cell slams shut, and we hear her screaming in pain) was actually a direct homage to a scene from "Star Wars: A New Hope" in which Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) is tortured by Darth Vader (James Earl Jones).

"I sat next to Kathleen Kennedy on that day, and I said, "Look, I've absolutely got a moment here I'm going to have to do for myself. I don't know if it'll ever make the edit, but this is really calling back one of my favorite shots from 'A New Hope,'" Haynes explained "And I remember the first AD was looking at it going, 'What is he going for now? ...This isn't written in the script.'"

A side-by-side comparison posted on Twitter by @clonehumor shows just how clever this homage really was, as Andor's torture scene actually follows the same exact camera movements and pacing as the original scene from "A New Hope." In any case, it's extremely interesting to know that this scene was constructed simply due to the director's love for the original "Star Wars" trilogy — especially when you consider how much darker and more mature Bix's torture scene is compared to Leia's brief scream.