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HomeTechnologyGadgetsI Love You, Andor Bell Guy

I Love You, Andor Bell Guy

Image for article titled I Love You, Andor Bell Guy

Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Andor is a present in regards to the messy aspect of the galaxy far, far-off and the even messier people who inhabit it. Angry folks, disagreeable folks, liars and killers in search of any strategy to focus their frustrations at a universe within the grip of totalitarianism. But it’s additionally in regards to 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 break of day on the planet Ferrix day-after-day—possibly 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 possibly they’re headphones, possibly 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 folks right here and there lurking on the market within the early daybreak, however it’s when the bell man that’s probably not a bell man—he’s the bell, I suppose, spiritually talking—rings his hammers that life begins on Ferrix, the bustle of the city under 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 carried out 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 every 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, fairly than yelling folks, 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 break of day day-after-day, to ring the streets awake. No one 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 warfare. We don’t know the bell man’s title, 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.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and the whole lot it’s worthwhile to find out about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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