I’ve been really looking forward to this week’s episode of Andor, which marks the first time in a long while that I’ve been excited for Star Wars. Last week saw our heroes continue making plans to rob an Imperial outpost on the remote planet Aldhani. We learned more about the wild bunch and even saw Cassian deliver a pep talk that was more honest vomit than rah-rah rallying cry. At least now everyone knows he’s only in it for the money.
We also learned that there’s some mysterious ceremony called the Eye of Aldhani that will hopefully be distracting enough to allow our team to infiltrate the rebel base and make off with the necessary documents without too much fuss. Naturally, since this is Star Wars, I expect everything to hit the fan, but let’s stop wasting time and see for ourselves what becomes of our bad batch in Episode 6, “The Eye.”
What Happens in Andor Season 1 Episode 6
We open with Andor dressed like he’s about to invade Russia. Our heroes have set up shop atop a mountain on a particularly foggy morning. Karis arrives with some Star Wars coffee and a laundry list of worries. He believes in this cause, so why is he so scared? Cassian, by contrast, got a full night’s rest and is seemingly calm, cool, and collected. Karis spent the night writing another dissertation about the nature of the rebellion.
“The Empire doesn’t play by the rules,” Cassian grumbles. “You mean nothing to them.”
“So, you think it’s hopeless,” Karis asks. “You think we should just submit, be thankful and give in?”
“Do I look thankful to you?” Cassia replies with a scowl. The dialogue on this show is fire. “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. You’ll sleep when it’s done.”
We cut to a group of Imperial commanders (including double agent Lieutenant Gorn) discussing the Dhanis (who look like extras from Willow) — a simple race of beings that cannot deduce when they’re being played for fools. “If you give them enough choices, they won’t be able to tell you’ve given them nothing at all,” one of the men sneers. As an example, he notes that the Empire set up shelters and taverns along the long trek the Dhanis traverse to reach the Eye ceremony. As such, the 500 pilgrims that started the journey have dwindled to 60 (which is also a clever way for the showrunners to keep the extra count small).
Of course, the Dhanis biggest problem is their pride. They would rather suffer than submit.
The Empire plans to build a brand new kick-ass facility in the Dhalis sacred valley, which is why they’ve gone to great lengths to distract them from the Eye Ceremony. Apparently, 12,000 Dhalis would show up for the event back in the good old days, but interest has waned as they’ve been introduced to modern pleasures.
Nearby, Cassian’s crew fumbles with an Imperial radio and locks Vel’s signal. (She’s tucked in with Cinta closer to the military base.) We learn that Taramyn used to be a Stormtrooper. At least, that’s what Arvel tells Cassian. (Though, considering he’s a white male on a Disney+ Star Wars show, I have my doubts about him.) “You should’ve been here when Cinta found out,” Arvel says. “They slaughtered her whole family.”
A light shoots through the sky, marking the beginning of the show to come. Dhanis arrive and the Imperial officers scowl at their arrival. Cassian’s group slides in behind the ragtag extras with Taramyn barking orders. “Remember,” he says, “we belong here.”
Elsewhere, Jayhold, one of the high-ranking Imperials from earlier, contends with his wife and “always sick” child. She wants off the planet, so does the kid. As such, he needs the Eye ceremony to go perfectly in order to please Colonel Petigar — the one who decides which families get to leave this stinking planet. (These bits show us both sides of the coin. The Imperial army is comprised of real people, not just one-dimensional villains, you see? We also understand Jayhold’s motivations, which will surely come into play later in the episode.)
More lights streak across the sky.
Gorn orders his men to play nice with the Dhanis. Then commands Cassian’s small unit to follow him back to base. Everything is going well so far. In fact, Vel and Cinta are in the water and proceeding without any problems. They pop up next to the facility, and Vel attaches a doohickey to another doohickey and runs back to Cinta. Now she just has to give the order to go. Except, she hesitates.
Outside the base walls, Jayhord exchanges smelly goat hides with the Dhanis as part of the ceremony while Taramyn and Cassian’s crew linger nearby disguised as an escort. Taramyn gets nervous. Vel is late.
After more stalling, Vel finally gives the okay to proceed with the mission. (I love character beats like this. These are real people who are putting their lives on the line for a cause. Why shouldn’t they be scared?) She and Cinta Goldeneye down the side of the base.
Jayhord, done with the ritual nonsense, heads back inside to watch the show. Gorn orders Taramyn and his men to follow. They enter a room guarded by a single officer, and the mission commences. Cassian locks the outer door. Everyone pulls a gun. Jayhord is outraged — his wife and kid are here as well. Petigar pulls his sidearm and orders Cassian to let the young boy go. Things get tense, but Cinta arrives and kills Petigar on the spot. She’s all business all the time.
“What are you doing,” Jayhord asks. “Where are we going?”
“The payroll vault,” Vel snaps.
Jayhord insists he can’t open the vault. It’s controlled remotely, but they know this is bullshit. “One path, make your choice,” Vel orders as the others bind Jayhord’s wife and child. (This is Rogue One levels of good right here.)
Outside, Gorn orders the last remaining men down to the valley. “Enjoy the ceremony,” he says with a smirk.
Nearby, the doohickey Vel attached to the other doohickey starts beeping. Apparently, that means the device is scrambling communications.
Cassian, Taramyn, Vel, Cinta, Arvel, and Karis infiltrate the base with Jayhord and his family as hostages. “If you don’t help us, your family will die,” Vel snaps.
“You’ll kill us anyway,” Jayhord retorts.
“‘Cause that’s what you’d do, right,” Vel says. “No. If we get our shit, everyone walks away.”
Cinta remains behind while the others head to the vault. A group of soldiers plays Star Wars poker, but our team easily casts them aside. Jayhord orders the men to cooperate then uses his hand to open the vault. Explosives do the rest. Cassian’s team starts loading the moola onto the trawler.
Outside, a rather determined radio comms operator tries to fix the communications malfunction. He overhears Vel’s group chatting over the airwaves. Shit. He assembles some men — “But we’ll miss the Eye!” — and heads to the vault.
Cinta flips off the lights.
Elsewhere, the Dhanis are neck deep in their ceremony but stop as more lights appear overhead.
Gorn joins the crew in the vault. “You?” Jayhord moans when he sees the Lieutenant. “You’ll hang for this.”
“Seven years serving you,” Gorn replies, “I deserve worse than that.”
We cut briefly to Alkenzi Air Command, where tie fighters are assembled for a counterattack. Shit.
Inside the vault, the pesky radio comms operator arrives and demands to know what the hell is happening. Gorn orders him to leave, but then Jayhord falls over and all hell breaks loose. Laser fire erupts. Gorn is hit. Cassian enters the escape craft but his efforts are thwarted by an Imperial soldier. The two men fight until Karis shoots the bad guy from afar. Taramyn is also hit.
The remaining party boarded the craft. Cassian punches it. The thrust throws his mates (and the large containers of money) off their feet. Karis is crushed. Vel tends to him. Cassian’s like, “Where the hell am I going? I need a flight path!”
Tie fighters arrive and open fire, but the Eye ceremony disrupts their tracking; their tiny ships are too weak to handle the various meteors zipping by. It’s a glorious sight.
“Climb,” Karis shouts. “Climb now!”
In an act of faith, Cassian pulls back on the controls and the ship soars through the colorful meteor shower and manages to reach the safety of space.
Cinta remains on the planet and does her best to blend in with the Dhanis.
As a four-armed Maz Kanata operates on Karis, Cassian and Arvel eyeball the loot. “There are 80 million credits in there, give or take. Forty million apiece. Don’t tell me you haven’t thought about it. I can’t fly the trawler, but I know a good place we can hole up.”
“So, no rebellion for you,” Cassian asks.
“Oh, I’m a rebel, it’s just me against everyone else,” Arvel replies. “Oh, and I don’t have a brother.” Shocking.
“So, just leave them here,” Cassian says.
“We were both born in a hole and know that the only way to survive is to crawl over somebody else. So, come on, let’s head out, split the winnings —”
Cassian blasts Arvel with his sidearm. A bit impulsive, but I get his reason for doing it.
Nearby, four-armed Maz Kanata covers Karis’ corpse with a sheet. “I did all I could.” Damn. Everyone just died! Cassian appears, gun drawn. Vel’s like, “WTF?”
“I’m only taking my cut of the cash and I’m leaving you the freighter,” Cassian says. “I did my part and now I’m done.” He hands over the Kyber crystal. “Give this back to your friend.”
“Wait,” she says. “Karis’ manifesto. He said to give this to you.”
Cassian, confused, takes the document and leaves.
Meanwhile, on Coruscant, Major Partagaz orders his crew to prepare for a presentation later that night.
We cut to the Galactic Senate Chamber and see Mon Mothma delivering a speech. She’s interrupted, however, by chartering from the other delegates. She picks up her iPad and sees the news.
Elsewhere, Luthen hears the news as well: “Big rebel attack on Aldhani.” He heads to the back of his shop and laughs.
Final Thoughts on Andor Season 1 Episode 6
Damn, that episode was amazing! Aside from Arvel’s predictable treachery, I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish. This is good Star Wars, people. This is how it’s done and I hope enough people tune in so that we can get more of this type of show in the future.
We’re officially halfway through the first season and I’m completely invested. Obviously, Cassian must return to aid the rebellion, but how his quest shakes out is anyone’s guess. He’s an interesting hero — a rugged mercenary with Han Solo’s ideals, thrust into a precarious situation that’s far bigger than he ever imagined. There are two rules of thought in this universe: keep your head down and hope the enemy doesn’t see you or fight back. Up until now, Cassian has happily done the former, but the success of this mission will hopefully convince him that drastic measures are needed.
What’s crazy is how well-established supporting characters are dispatched without much thought. Karis, Arvel, Taramyn, and Gorn die rather unheroically as common soldiers rather than legends of the Republic. I find that interesting unless this is all a ruse and the show plans to bring them back in future episodes.
At any rate, I’m really digging Andor. With just six more episodes left, there’s plenty of time for the series to bottom out, but the first half-dozen chapters have been amazing.