Review: Andor Episode 6 gives a heartbreaking victory to the rebels of Aldhani

Image: Star Wars: Andor/Disney+
Image: Star Wars: Andor/Disney+ /

The stakes, tensions, and cost of victory are high in an edge-of-your-seat episode of Star Wars: Andor. The episode was a serious nail-biter as the rebels of Aldhani finally execute the plan that’s been building up for two episodes, all amid the stunning spectacle of a celestial phenomenon. (Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Andor episode 6, “The Eye”)

Star Wars: Andor review, Episode 6, “The Eye”

The episode opens with Nemik (Alex Lawther) talking to Cassian (Diego Luna) about his nerves ahead of the mission. It’s another chance to talk about Nemik’s manifesto, which he adds to when he can’t sleep, and how “mercenaries” like “Clem” fit into his thoughts about rebellion.

There’s a bit of foreshadowing here about Nemik, who will literally be crushed to death by rolls of credits. Nemik’s death highlights the sad reality of what often happens to fighters who rebel for the “right” reasons and not just for money.

As the crew leaves Aldhani in the transport ship, Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach ) appears just as desperate to save Nemik as leader Vel (Faye Marsay). He implores Cassian to make a detour to get Nemik to a doctor. But to no one’s surprise, Skeen’s motive for taking this detour isn’t exactly selfless. As the four-armed Dr. Quadpaw (Aiden Cook) works on Nemik, Skeen offers Cassian a chance to split the haul of 80 million credits and escape to a nearby vacant moon.

He also tells Cassian that his heartfelt story about his brother last week was a lie. He is a rebel, but one who only serves himself. As a mercenary hired by Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård), Cassian has something in common with him. But something snaps in Cassian and he shoots and kills Skeen with barely a moment’s hesitation.

When he walks into the surgery room to find Nemik dead, Cassian tries to convince Vel of Skeen’s plan to cut and run. She’s not buying it, but she lets him leave with Nemik’s manifesto anyway. Nemik wanted Cassian to have it, which helps fuel Cassian’s smoldering rebellious fire.

Cassian starts to believe in the cause in Andor Episode 6

The core of this episode is the heist in the Imperial garrison on Aldhani, a nerve-wracking 53 minutes that start seamlessly and slowly unravel because of nerves and hiccups. Ultimately, the rebels succeed, but at a heartbreaking cost: Nemik and Taramyn (Gershwyn Eustache Jnr), whom Skeen failed to cover from Imperial fire, lose their lives.

It’s unclear what’s next for Aldhani rebels like Vel and Cinta, who had to stay behind and blend in with the Imperials for a bit. But “The Eye” marks a turning point for Cassian at the halfway point of the series.

Beyond the heist, Episode 6 also has a lot of smaller moments worth mentioning. We see high-ranking officers in the Empire openly discussing their colonization efforts on Aldhani. While the Imperials put on a welcoming front as the Dhanis arrive for the pilgrimage to see The Eye, they also delight in the fact that they continue to stifle the people’s cultural practices by dwindling their numbers. And they excitedly look forward to executing their plans to forcibly take over the sacred cultural site to make more room for the garrison. The Empire’s view of Aldhani — and of countless other systems and indigenous peoples —  is one of disrespect and mockery.

For the rebels, the heist is only one victory, but small victories like this will slowly help planets and peoples take back control from the Empire. All of this is underlined by the beautiful kaleidoscope of celestial colors shooting across the Aldhani sky, watched by a watery-eyed Dhani crowd as Cassian outruns TIE fighters.

The episode ends on a thrilling cliffhanger: Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) tries to address the Imperial Senate while everyone checks alerts on their datapads about the rebel attack on Aldhani. Elsewhere, Luthen cackles with joy after hearing of the attack’s success, and the Imperial Security Bureau scrambles to counter it.

Episode 6 is an electrifying new high for the series. May the momentum continue in Episode 7, coming out next Wednesday.

Episode Grade: A

Next. Andor review: “The Axe Forgets” is a slow, paranoid bridge episode. dark

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