The prisoners know there is no way the Empire will release them from this penal colony, so the prison break is on. Meanwhile, Mon Mothma continues her battles with the Senate to try to slow down the Empire’s progress. And Luthen Rael is trying to sway more people who may be wavering to join the Rebellion. In the end, Andor is free, Kino Loy faces a truly sad realization and Luthen Rael reveals he is sacrficing everything.
Let’s begin with the best bit of writing in any “Star Wars” property, in my opinion. Luthen Rael’s “sacrifice” monologue is beautifully terrifying. We see how much this Rebellion is costing him. In the end, he has become very similar to the Empire in his efforts to thwart him. If he were fighting for the Empire, we would recognize him as one of the most brutal villains of the series. But, as he’s fighting for the Rebellion, he’s a complex antihero. And that speech is expertly delivered by Stellan Skarsgård. The way his eyes dart back and forth between the person he’s addressing and looking off into space as he remembers everything he’s given up is incredibly powerful. We see people die in “Star Wars” all the time and the people around them rarely react. In this speech, you see the toll of rebellion and war.
Meanwhile, the prison break is carrying the action of this story. Kino Loy and Cassian Andor are rallying the troops. They are breaking everyone out of this prison, come hell or high water. And high water is exactly what they get. From the Empire trying to flood their work stations in an effort to electrocute them to having to jump from the station to an ocean below, it’s all about water. Almost as heartbreaking as Rael’s speech was when Loy, who had only been 100 days from what he thought was release when Andor arrived, realized they had to swim and he didn’t know how. We see a sad realization if he stays, he’s dead, but if he jumps, he’s probably also dead. Plus, Andor is knocked off the penal colony platform, so he can’t help Loy anymore. It has me very intrigued about what will happen going forward.
“Star Wars” is at its best when is shows some of the harsh realities of war. Good guys don’t always win. And, even when they do, they often suffer heavy losses. War isn’t a fairytale where everyone lives happily ever after when it’s over. This is why films like “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Rogue One” have worked so well. And this is the strength of “Andor.” Even when he wins, someone on his side loses. The more he accomplishes, the further behind it appears he is. This is my favorite episode of the series. This is my favorite “Star Wars” Disney+ Original Series. It may not have the episodic nature of “The Mandalorian,” the expanded universe cameos of “The Book of Boba Fett” or the nostalgic appeal of “Obi-Wan Kenobi.” But this is the best story we’ve gotten so far.
Rating: 5 stars
What did you think of this episode of “Star Wars: Andor?”