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Andor’s Bell Man Is Star Wars Worldbuilding at Its Most interesting


Image for article titled I Love You, Andor Bell Guy

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Andor is a present concerning the messy aspect of the galaxy far, far-off and the even messier people who inhabit it. Offended individuals, disagreeable individuals, liars and killers searching for any method to focus their frustrations at a universe within the grip of totalitarianism. Nevertheless it’s additionally concerning the bell man.

The bell man in Andor doesn’t even actually have a bell. It’s extra of an enormous steel slab. He will get up on the daybreak on the planet Ferrix every single day—perhaps he has the one functioning Star Wars equal of an alarm clock on the town—and climbs his tower. He selects his two hammers off the wall, from their well-worn holders. He prepares, adjusting his ear guards—or perhaps they’re headphones, perhaps he’s a fan of classical jizz—so he’s not about to be deafened by his work. His ritual. He locations the hammers down on his slab to do that, then picks them again up. He assumes his pose, the pose he assumes each morning, in preparation for this second.

Image for article titled I Love You, Andor Bell Guy

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

And he hammers. Bong-bong, one after the opposite. He permits the sound to reverberate. Bong, this time each without delay. He goes once more, Bong-bong, bong. There’s individuals right here and there lurking on the market within the early daybreak, however it’s when the bell man that’s not likely a bell man—he’s the bell, I assume, spiritually talking—rings his hammers that life begins on Ferrix, the bustle of the city beneath starting to blossom as his hammers ring out, again and again. The sound fades, the day begins, and bell man presumably goes on along with his life, his job completed till the morrow.

These chimes and ringing drones are clearly considerably essential to Ferrixian tradition, so far as we are able to inform after the bell man’s each day ritual opens Andor’s second episode. When the Morlana corp-sec forces arrive on the town, it’s a system of chimes and bells, reasonably than yelling individuals, that alerts the residents of the city to close up store and scarper. There’s this ritual of this man and his hammers, up on the daybreak every single day, to ring the streets awake. Nobody ever clunkily states this in dialogue, we don’t be taught that in 527 BBY somebody rang a victory bell with their warhammers in some legendary Ferrix civil conflict. We don’t know the bell man’s identify, we don’t know his deal aside from the truth that he will get up and hammers that slab each morning.

We don’t need to, and hell, Andor didn’t need set the scene for its sophomore episode by following this character. But it does, and it’s important that it chooses to do so, both drawing our attention to it but not yet drawing it enough that we know the ins and outs of this person’s life. They’re largely unimportant to the grand scheme of things, and yet they’re also incredibly important. Bell guy probably has a Wookieepedia page already. It’s probably two sentences long. He deserves it. I don’t know how I’d find it, because it probably won’t help if I pull the site up and put “bell guy” in the search window.

Image for article titled I Love You, Andor Bell Guy

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

The bell guy represents one of the most wonderful things about Star Wars worldbuilding at its best: seeing, and not telling. The bell guy gets us to ask questions. What’s his deal, how did this town decide this is what they needed to get people in the mornings? Why isn’t it a droid? Was it a droid and then it stopped being one because it was awkward during the Clone Wars? How do you apply for the bell guy job? Do the people in a galaxy where Faster-Than-Light capable starships are commonplace really not have that many alarm clocks? They’re questions we should probably never get the answers to, although we can forever live in fear that contemporary Star Wars might eventually give him a comic book one-shot or a chapter in a novel, because that’s just how it is sometimes. But it’s enough that we are compelled by this tiny bit of detail, this little thread in the larger tapestry Andor weaves, to ask the questions anyway.

Andor’s view of the Star Wars galaxy is peppered with these little details in the way that the franchise’s capacity to overexplain itself at times rarely is lately—the payphones Timm uses to narc on Cassian, that little step-droid at the spaceport Luthen arrives on Ferrix at that exists literally for people to step all over it. The bell guy and his hammers, hammering away every morning. None of them are really important to the plot, and they don’t need to be: they make Andor’s slice of the galaxy far, far away feel lived in and textured beyond its primary narrative thrust, and make it feel like we are being guided into a world that exists beyond the metanarrative edge of its scripting.

Image for article titled I Love You, Andor Bell Guy

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Hammer away, bell guy. You’re what makes Star Wars’ worlds go round, and not just because you get everyone up every day.


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