After 12 thrilling episodes, Andor comes to an end this week on Disney Plus with a nail-biting finale that sees its many plot threads collide in an explosive confrontation.

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Tony Gilroy's juggling of the large Andor cast has never been better than in the season 1 finale, which begins with friends and foes from across the season converging on Ferrix for the funeral of Maarva (Fiona Shaw).

Tension builds as the citizens of the town clash with the oppressive force of the Imperial Security Bureau (or ISB), led by the ruthless Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), who is hellbent on capturing fugitive Cassian Andor (Diego Luna).

It's a suspenseful 45 minutes of television that offers a satisfying conclusion to the first half of the Andor origin story, while also setting up several key things for the already confirmed second season. Here's our full breakdown.

Andor ending explained: How it sets up season 2

Andor post-credits scene: The Death Star is coming

The Death Star as it appears in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Death Star as it appears in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. SEAC

While Andor has generally stayed away from the kind of fan service that has been so prevalent in Star Wars as of late, the first season does end with a post-credits sting reminiscent of more typical genre fare.

In a brief but utterly chilling moment, we see that the Empire's nightmarish planet-destroying weapon – the Death Star – is nearing the end of its construction, with only the devastating super laser left to be installed.

That showrunner Tony Gilroy decided to end his first season with this clip is quite noteworthy, as it suggests that the emergence of the Death Star will be a key plot point in the second half of this story.

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This makes sense as we know that Cassian ultimately gives his life to ensure the Rebel Alliance gets hold of the Death Star plans, paving the way for Luke Skywalker's victory at the Battle of Yavin (in A New Hope).

Gilroy has previously confirmed that Andor season 2 will take us all the way up to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with the story set to skip forward one year with every three episodes.

What's next for Cassian and Luthen?

Cassian Andor and Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) have had a complex relationship over the course of season 1, which took a major step forward in the season finale.

After using Andor for an Empire-defying mission, Rael had become increasingly concerned with taking him off the board for good, fearing how much information he could spill if captured.

However, amid the chaos on Ferrix, Rael misses his chance to eliminate Andor and is later shocked to find him stowed aboard his very own ship.

Stellan Skarsgård plays Luthen Rael in Andor
Stellan Skarsgård as Luthen Rael in Andor. Disney

In this moment, Andor is almost unrecognisable from the man we met at the start of the season.

Rather than disillusioned and disinterested by the very concept of resistance, Andor is now actively seeking the guidance of a man he once viewed with great distrust.

In season 2, we'll see him step into the role of committed rebel operative, bringing him closer in line with the character we know from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

What's going on with Dedra Meero and Syril Karn?

Another evolving relationship on Andor is between the galactic villains we love to hate – Dedra Meero and Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) – who seem poised to grow closer in the second season.

Some fans have been hoping for some kind of twisted romance between the duo and they might well get their wish, as Meero seemed to genuinely appreciate Karn's protection for the first time in this finale.

The cold-hearted ISB operative showed a rare moment of vulnerability when she became trapped in a riot of Ferrix citizens, which saw her disarmed and beaten by the storming crowds.

However, she was spared what could have been a brutal death by stalker Karn, who is able to get her out in disguise as a local resident and rush her to safety.

Kyle Soller and Denise Gough in Andor
Kyle Soller as Syril Karn and Denise Gough Dedra Meero in Andor. Disney

They share a quiet moment together in a building slightly removed from the violence, where a dazed and shocked Meero struggles to comprehend her thoughts on what just happened.

"I should thank you," she utters breathlessly, language which couldn't be further from the icy interaction they had when his fascination with her first became apparent.

Tony Gilroy told RadioTimes.com: "You see that she is legitimately and personally and professionally offended and disturbed by what he is doing. At the same time, it's hard to hide that there's something activated about that for her, in a way, there's a hesitation.

"And so the fact that you're questioning it and interested in it... that means it's a good scene, that means it's a good moment, that means that the doors are open, and you're open to all the possibilities that might happen with her. And you'll believe them… wait and see, they’re not done."

Will we see Bix and B2EMO again?

After being tortured by the ISB for days, Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) is freed by Cassian and escapes Ferrix on a ship with trusted friends Brasso and B2EMO.

Despite the droid's insistence, Cassian doesn't go with them but promises that he will find them wherever they end up, a pledge that Caleen seems to believe with great conviction.

It seems likely that the two former lovers will cross paths at least once more before Cassian's tragic demise on Scarif, but it will be interesting to see what state their relationship is in by the time of his final, fateful mission.

Mon Mothma makes a terrible sacrifice

Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma in Andor.
Genevieve O'Reilly as Mon Mothma in Andor. Disney

In our interview with Tony Gilroy, the Andor creator warned of "heavy things" on the way for Mon Mothma - and we saw the meaning of that in this season finale.

The embattled politician-turned-rebel had to pay an awful price to cover up her dodgy financial deals, by partnering her daughter Leida with the son of crooked thug Davo Sculdun.

Tradition dictates that Chandrilans should marry young, but Mon Mothma did not want this for her daughter, fearing she would become trapped in a loveless relationship just as she has been.

Now, not only does a betrothal seem likely, but it will bring Mothma's reputable family in direct link with the altogether murkier Sculdun clan. Expect to see her in even greater peril in season 2.

"We're doing season 2 stuff now," teased Gilroy. "She has to do all the things that everybody else does, but she has to do it under glass.

"She's under observation all the time. I would argue that her path through the show is more rigorous and dangerous and more tension-making than anybody's, really."

What happened to Kino Loy?

Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in Andor
Andy Serkis as Kino Loy in Andor. Disney+/Lucasfilm

A fan favourite character from the second half of Andor's first season, who is conspicuously absent from the season finale, is prisoner Kino Loy (Andy Serkis).

He helped stage an uprising in the barbaric facility that held himself, Andor and many others, but was unable to escape in a devastating twist at the end of episode 10.

Can fans expect to see him show up in season 2? "We’re pretty clear about when people do die and it's left somewhat enigmatic," said Gilroy, leaving the door very much open.

Andor is available to stream on Disney Plus now. New episodes arrive weekly. Sign up to Disney Plus for £7.99 a month or £79.90 for a year.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on.

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