While last week’s episode of Star Wars: Andor was jam-packed with action and intensity, we’re now back to the wonders of worldbuilding. The rebels have finally made their presence known to the entire galaxy, but now it’s the Empire who gets to strike back (pun intended). With heightened security and our first look at stormtroopers in the series, the rebels have whole new challenges awaiting them.
This episode was the epitome of a slow burn but in the best way possible. Now that some of the action has concluded for the first half of the show, we get to watch and wait to see how certain characters respond to the rebel theft on Aldhani. The first people to react to the news are Syril and his mother. Still living at home, Syril stops everything he’s doing when he hears about the attack. This show truly sets him up to be the ultimate antagonist. He’s had time to stew in his loss, anger, and resentment against the rebels, which will only make him a fiercer foe later on.
Syril isn’t the only one obsessed with the recent news. At the Imperial Security Bureau headquarters, Dedra (Denise Gough) has been working day and night, collecting relevant information about the theft of imperial technology to prove her case of a surge in rebellion.
The incident on Aldhani steals a bit of her thunder. As new orders are given, Dedra tells her assistant, Heert, that while the Empire is doing what it has to do, this will only help the rebels. She knows that the small rebel cells want this attention to amplify their cause. And now the whole world is listening. There’s no doubt that the word has spread to all corners of the galaxy, and the more people hear of the uprising, the likelihood of all-out war increases.
However, not everybody is disheartened by this news. Back in Mon Mothma’s household, a grandiose party is being held, but that’s just a cover for what Mon Mothma really has planned. Reunited with her childhood friend, Tay Kolma (Ben Miles), she finds out that his political views are in line with her own. In a moment of true confidence, Mon Mothma not only tells Tay but shows the viewer that her life is a sham, a simple lie, all to protect her true hatred for the Empire.
The senate sees her as an annoying lawmaker, set on protecting Separatists, but that’s exactly the type of image she wants to portray. But holding her tongue won’t do for much longer. What she truly needs, is funding, and fast. As a banker, Mon Mothma asks Tay to become chairman of a new “charity” program she’s putting together. This irritating program will mask what she wishes to achieve
As long as everyone thinks I’m an irritation, there’s a good chance they’ll miss what I’m really doing.”Mon Mothma to Tay. ‘Andor’ Episode 7
Let’s just hope that nobody finds out about her true intentions.
The Empire’s Overreach
Even though fans loved seeing the high stakes of the mission on Aldhani, now, we see the brutal ramifications of the rebel’s heist. Viewers learn that the Empire is increasing its security almost tenfold, but that’s not even the most worrying part. With the first mention of Emperor Palpatine in the series, we can already see the damage he’s trying to inflict from inside the senate. By introducing new legislation, the ISB is set to get increased leverage for spying on civilians around the galaxy. They will now be able to search, seize, and survey citizens they think are displaying rebel-leaning politics.
To make up for the money lost on Aldhani, the Empire is also implementing higher taxes on planets that have partisan sectors. In the same way that the rebels are gaining attention from the news out of Aldhani, the Empire also benefits from this as well. They have more protection, more funding, and now, outrage across the galaxy for what happened. This only creates a perfect storm for future fights ahead.
However, one of the more startling parts of the Empire’s atrocities happened before the rebel theft on Aldhani. As we see Cassian hiding from the Stormtroopers on Ferrix, we are brought back to the realm of flashbacks. Ferrix is claimed by the Empire, and a group of bystanders watches as Stormtroopers march through town, but some are not pleased by their presence. Citizens call out for Ferrix to be freed from their authority.
Clem (Gary Beadle), Cassian’s adoptive father, steps up to try and calm the crowd down. But any hope of peace is blasted away, as the Stormtroopers aim their guns at Clem. Later throughout the episode, we see the disastrous fate that awaited the Andor family. Clem’s dead body hangs in a huge courtyard, for all to take note of. This was the Empire’s first warning to the people. Mess with us, you’ll end up like him.
A Dangerous Route Ahead
Beforehand, the rebels had the advantage of secrecy and keeping a low profile, but now that the world knows about the stolen payroll on Aldhani, they face even greater challenges than before, at much higher stakes. Cassian knows all of this, and he plans to leave Ferrix while he still can. There’s just one problem, his adopted mother doesn’t wish to leave.
Her purpose is with the people of Ferrix, fighting the good fight. Running away to a planet that hasn’t been overtaken by the Empire isn’t an option for Maarva. This is another vital scene for Cassian’s understanding of rebellion. Even people who once lived life ignoring the heinous acts of imperialism have now grown sick and tired of the Empire’s handling of their homes. Try as he might, Cassian is determined to get Maarva to leave with him, but her decision has been made. She will no longer sit on the sidelines and watch as the people she loves continue to get hurt
That’s just love. Nothing you can do about that. I’ve never loved anything the way I love you. But I’ve never fretted on anything more, but this time…you can’t stay, and I can’t go.”Maarva to Cassian. ‘Andor’ Episode 7
And so, Cassian leaves by himself, but he better hide well because people are already trying to find him. Outside of Luthen’s antique shop, his assistant Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau), meets with Vel to discuss taking out Cassian. He knows too much about Luthen and his plans, so he must be taken care of. But Cassian might be a little hard to find in his current situation.
Now hiding out on the planet Niamos, Cassian is just trying to live his life with little troubles. But running away from his problems wasn’t going to solve much in the first place. As he’s taking a stroll on the beaches, a few men are running away from some troopers, but Cassian gets profiled as one of them, simply for just looking around.
As the trooper rounds up the other men, we finally get to see a familiar face of K2SO. However, this is not the same droid as before. He nearly chokes Cassian to death, even though he did nothing wrong. Cassian is arrested, and charged with anti-imperial speech and other bogus charges. But because of the new changes in imperial guidelines, Cassian is sentenced to six years in jail for his “crimes.”
This episode showed all of us the darker world of the Empire. They are willing to do whatever is necessary to extinguish the flames of rebellion. Let’s just hope that the rebels can stay out of the line of fire.
Star Wars: Andor airs every Wednesday at 12:00am PST on Disney+. Check out last week’s article about the show, here!
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