The Old Guard: Why Andy Loses Her Immortality | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Posted: July 17, 2020 at 8:46 pm

A surprising development in The Old Guard sees a character stripped of their powers - here's why it happened and what it means for the future.

Warning: SPOILERS forThe Old Guard.

A twist in the third act of The Old Guard sees the leader of the immortals, Andy, lose her powers - here's a breakdown of why that happened and what it means. Based on the titular comic book series by Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernndez, The Old Guard was released via Netflix in July 2020. Rucka returned to pen the film adaptation and Gina Prince-Bythewood served as the director. Charlize Theron starred Andy (aka Andromache of Scythia), alongside a cast that included KiKi Layne and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The Old Guard centers on a group of immortal mercenaries that have spent varying centuries fighting on the behalf of humanity. When they are approached by James Copley (Ejiofor), they begrudgingly accept a mission to rescue a group of kidnapped children. Unfortunately, the mission turns out to be a trap that ultimately leads to Joe (Marwan Kenzari) and Nicky (Luca Marinelli) being captured by the ruthless Steven Merrick (Harry Melling). As her friends are experimented on to determine the source of their powers, Andy leads the charge to rescue them. To that end, she eventually teams up with a new immortal named Nile Freeman (Layne). Andy and Nile also enforce the assistance of Copley and Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts) as they seek to atone for their respective betrayals. Andy's efforts, however, are further complicated when it's revealed that she has been rendered mortal.

Related: The Old Guard Ending & Sequel Setup Explained

The new development was first revealed when a stab wound she received didn't heal as it traditionally had. Andy's newly vulnerable state was also hammered home when she was shot by Booker. Though several characters questioned how it was happening, The Old Guard refrained from offering a definitive answer. In fact, the film didn't delve much at all into the technicalities of the immortality - both in terms of what caused or what removed it. The scientists experimenting on the immortals to unlock the secrets drew a blank. As far as they could tell, the subjects seemed entirely ordinary. The immortals themselves believed that each of them just had a set, preordained time and that their powers would fade the moment they'd reached it. The comics also offer little illumination on the matter, with Andy never facing such a power loss in the issues already released. Nor was there much interest in the idea of exploring what makes the immortality tick. As Rucka told Polygon:

"[The mythology] was something that I had no interest in exploring in the comic. In the first The Old Guard story, I didn't want to waste time or real estate, because comic book pages - that's your premium, that's what you're spending to tell your story."

Rucka was much more interested in exploring the personal and emotional toll that such an extended life has on people. The detail of the characters eventually losing their power was simply a device used to add some stakes to the action. Though they are functionally immortal, they can eventually die. As a result, the characters of The Old Guard still go into every battle with it potentially being their last. The removal of Andy's power is likely a more visceral extension of that, serving to visually increase the tension going into the final showdown. Furthermore, the stakes will already be high from the outset when Andy is finally confronted by the vengeful and still-very-much-immortal Quynh. That being said, Rucka did concede that "when you're making a movie, you're a little more obligated to at least promise answers to questions." As such, definitive answers regarding Andy's power loss and the overall source of their abilities could come in future The Old Guard installments.

In the meantime, much of why Andy lost her immortality can be found in the themes of the film. At the start, Andy was losing faith in humanity and questioning the purpose she'd held onto for centuries. Believing that the world was moving too fast and now beyond saving, she was ready to lay down arms and quit. After losing her immortality, however, a monumental shift occurred. Firstly, in line with an element of destiny conveyed as being in play, her new fragility led to her being reminded that a more compassionate side of humanity exists. It also reminded her of just how tenuous and precious life actually is. As such, she was left at the end of The Old Guard more determined than ever to fight for and protect innocent lives.

More: What To Expect From The Old Guard 2

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John Atkinson has been a news and feature writer for Screen Rant since late 2018. Before that, he had articles published across a number of different outlets. A graduate of the University of London, John was raised on a small island by television and movies. As such, he pursued a career in screenwriting and film journalism when it became apparent that actually becoming Spider-Man was impossible. John's fondest wish is to one day produce a film of his own. Until then, he's more than happy to spend countless hours just talking about them. John's love of film and television defies genre and sometimes even logic. Nothing is off-limits to his passion - be it Marvel, DC, Rian Johnson's Star Wars, or Tommy Wiseau's latest cinematic offering. Away from screens, John can often be found in a park reading mystery and/or fantasy novels, jumping up and down at various music events, or thinking too deeply about Keanu Reeves' career and why Edgar Wright doesn't have an Oscar.

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The Old Guard: Why Andy Loses Her Immortality | Screen Rant - Screen Rant

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