With This Dangerous Mission and Shocking Death, ‘Andor’ Shows the Reality of a Rebellion
Quite frankly, the way that Star Wars: Andor has changed the world of Star Wars should be noted. While the Disney+ era of shows set in a galaxy far far away have been consistently amazing in my opinion, there’s something special about Andor that sets the tone for the future of the streaming platform and makes me excited to know that we have two seasons of writer Tony Gilroy’s work ahead of us. And 24 episodes of Diego Luna as Cassian Andor is what I, personally, deserve.
In the most recent episode of Star Wars: Andor titled “The Eye,” we got to see how the team on Aldhani works together when the stakes are incredibly high and it highlighted the reality of what the Rebellion means for everyone in the Empire. Andor brings us straight into the heart of the beginnings of the Rebellion, showing the dangers and consequences we haven’t seen before during eras where the Rebellion was long established.
**Spoilers for Star Wars: Andor lie ahead**
Star Wars: Andor has been slowly building the Rebellion to be what we remember it was from things like the original trilogy and even Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Movie viewers came into this fight when the Rebellion was relatively strong, organized, and knew what they were doing, and we’ve slowly seen in Andor how that isn’t yet the case. In “The Axe Forgets,” we got to see Cassian point out how ill-prepared they were for the fight and they worked together to organize themselves to steal the payroll from the Empire base. But in “The Eye,” we were thrown into a different sort of Rebel fight.
At the end of “The Axe Forgets,” the team on Aldhani were preparing for what was being labeled as a suicide mission. It was dangerous, no one knew if they’d be successful, but they were doing it together. And in “The Eye,” we got to see what that mission was like from the inside and it was messy and chaotic and not planned well and there was even a moment that felt like Han Solo saying everything was fine to Stormtroopers.
This is what a rebellion is
When it comes to the Rebellion as we know it, we have only really seen it when they’re organized, with rebel bases and structure and leaders and an established reputation. We’ve never seen the pitfalls or the struggles of kicking off a real insurrection. Even in Rogue One where they’re successful but at an enormous cost to the main characters, they still have an idea of what they’re doing and a clear goal. But Andor is something else. This is the reality of the fight. This chaos, this mismanagement, and the fear.
One thing about the Rebellion in A New Hope onward and even, by extension, in Rogue One, is that there isn’t that much of the idea of fear guiding them. In both Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi, we got to see the Rebels as they’re struggling to make it out alive and fight back against the grasp of the Empire. This is the first time we’re seeing the fear that started this fight and it is obviously hard to watch, but it is so necessary in understanding how the Rebellion came to be what we know it as in later years. I’m grateful to Andor for giving it to us as a sort of origin story.
The Empire wasn’t ready
Another part of “The Eye” that is so good is that the Empire shows their inability to see past their own “ass,” as the phrase goes. Dedra (Denise Gough) can sense that something is happening prior to this episode but no one listens to her and so when the news breaks that an Imperial base has been attacked and stolen from by Rebels, the world seems to collapse in on those who stand by the Empire.
We see it in the Senate as Mon Mothma is speaking about her bill and suddenly no one is listening to her, they’re all running out and running to figure out what to do next. It leads to a scene with Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård) smiling because his team was successful.
In this case, the Rebels probably won because the Empire didn’t think they’d do it and so it will be interesting to see how the balance shifts in future episodes but this is how the Rebels begin to win, and I loved every second of it.
Betrayal runs deep
One of the things about this episode that really did shock me was Cassian shooting Skeen (Ebon-Moss Bachrach) when he admitted to “Clem” that he wanted to steal the money and go live somewhere away from this fight. It felt dramatic and aggressive to shoot him but in a way, Cassian was right because Skeen was willing to betray those closest to him in the thick of it in order to make his own life better.
That kind of betrayal ruins a rebellion. If you’re in it for just yourself and your own well-being, you’re not going to win. If you’re all in it together for the greater good? That’s how the Rebels succeed and so it set the tone for the future that Cassian will do what he has to to make sure the Empire doesn’t win, but it also was an important lesson for the future success of the Rebellion.
Star Wars: Andor is everything I wanted it to be and so much more and I can’t wait to see how the Rebellion continues to grow throughout the series.
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