This review of Andor contains SPOILERS, to read last week’s review click here.
We start off in this week’s Andor back on board Luthen’s (Stellan Skarsgård) ship as they discuss along the way how to fight the empire. As they take off into hyperspace to head to Aldahni, Luthen once again convinces Cassian (Diego Luna) to stick around. It’s excusable however because they ended up under fire at the previous iteration, plus Skarsgård just gets to be so passionate, on top of it being a great speech. Luthen offers Cassian a job with a huge payout to steal the quarterly payroll for an entire Imperial sector. He offers up a token for Cassian to hold on to in case he doesn’t stick to his word. It’s a Kuati signet made of blue kyber, from the celebration of the uprising against the Rakatan invaders. This is in fact an easter egg, tying into the Knights of the Old Republic!
Luthen brings Cassian – choosing to go by his stepfather’s name Clem – to Vel (Faye Marsay), the leader of the operation on Aldahni. She’s not happy, but takes him to the rest of the group on the mission. That group is in fact, also not happy. But they don’t know about Luthen, so Vel takes all the heat. Cassian gets the mission brief, and he’s not happy, considering it a suicide run. However the group, particularly Lieutenant Gorn (Sule Rimi), the imperial spy on the base, is able to settle his nerves. We leave off with that group having two days to go before operation commences.
We get to spend the remainder of the episode on Coruscant, between the Imperial Security Bureau, and time with Luthen, who’s apparently an antiquities dealer, and Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly)! Supervisor Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) finds out about Ferrix through a briefing with sector leaders in the ISB. It ends with the firing of the Pre-Mor security commander, sergeant involved , and Syril Karn, with the Empire taking control of the operation. Despite the handling of the matter, Dedra sees more. She finds the starpath box was stolen from a base in her sector. This would typically give her purview over the matter, but she’s denied by the sector leader, as well as Major Patoraz (Anton Lesser). Patoraz is condescending, as his statements to her boil down to “stay in your lane”.
Luthen arrives back on Coruscant, and with the autopilot taking his ship down, he dresses more appropriately for the enigma he is. It’s a lovely 30-second performance by Skarsgård here as well. He dons the wig, jewelry and more importantly, walks around the ship for a few minutes to fully envelop himself. He is the antiquities dealer of Coruscant, and he arrives just in time to meet with Senator Mon Mothma! She’s here to talk about the rebellion under the guise of purchasing an item for her husband’s Day of Days, (essentially the name for Birthday on Chandrila).
They’re both concerned about being overheard by Imperials, to the point Mothma has a new driver and Kleya distracts him because they’re unsure where his loyalties lie. Mothma wants to bring on a new member to their inner circle (potentially Bail Organa?). Luthen isn’t thrilled, but ultimately tells her to do what she thinks is best. She returns to her apartments, and we get to meet her husband for the first time! His name is Perrin Fertha (Alastair Mackenzie), and he’s scheduled a dinner party with some of the emperor’s main posse. Aka, some of the people who hate Mon Mothma the most. Perrin’s clearly a jerk, and Mackenzie pulls it off well. There are clearly some intense issues going on in the household, and I wonder how much that will come to play in the rest of the season.
Andor is 100% stepping outside traditional molds of what people consider Star Wars. It’s original, and the performances in this episode, particularly O’Reilly, and Skarsgård as previously stated. O’Reilly just brings off the intense panic of a woman who’s overwhelmed. The scene in her speeder where she unbuckles her collar just makes your heart jerk. She’s trying to do her best for the Rebellion’s start, but can only do so much. She’s a voice of reason in the senate and needs to stick around. Things could get much worse without her. This is why I love O’Reilly getting to return, because she’s been with the character for 20 years. Playing the character across multiple shows and films, O’Reilly has been able to grow with the character and it shows.
While I’m still a little uneasy with how Andor is going, it’s mainly because of the differences in how they’re going about doing Star Wars. Tony Gilroy as the showrunner has definitively changed the game for Star Wars television in a good way. We’ve been seeing it in the books and comics for a while, and it’s been weird in a good way to see that come to the mainstream. I sincerely love the feel of Andor, especially getting to see Coruscant. It’s so good to see it again, and I can’t wait to continue exploring. It was refreshing to see especially considering how many people took Gilroy’s comments of no fan service the wrong way. – Katie Rentschler
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