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'Andor' Episode 7 Explained: Empire Heaps on Brutality in Star Wars Heist's Aftermath

Recap: The rebels kicked the hornet's nest, ensuring that no anti-Imperial activity -- or activity in general -- goes unpunished in the Disney Plus series.

Cassian Andor looks uncertain in Andor
It's time to dive into episode 7 of Andor.
Lucasfilm

We're beyond the halfway point in gloriously refreshing Star Wars series Andor. Episode 7 landed on Disney Plus last Wednesday. After stealing millions of credits from the Empire as part of a major rebel heist, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) turned down an offer to betray his new allies and run off with the money.

The eighth episode lands on Disney Plus this Wednesday.

Distraught after killing his would-be partner in crime, he goes it alone again. We know he'll be back with the rebels eventually though, since this is all part of his journey to becoming the morally questionable hero we meet in Rogue One.

On galactic capital Coruscant, Cassian's past crimes have also drawn the attention of Imperial Security Bureau Supervisor Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), who's been dragged into work after hours as the Empire prepares for a horrible totalitarian security crackdown following the heist. Disgraced ex-security officer Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) is also nursing a grudge against our hero.

None of them know that the rebellion is being quietly run by Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) and recruiter Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård).

Andor takes place five years before Rogue One, which revealed what happened immediately before original Star Wars movie A New Hope. Continue if you're willing to join Cassian on his journey into episode 7 SPOILERS.

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Homecoming

FERRIX -- Reunites with his adoptive mom Maarva (Fiona Shaw) Cassian tries to get her and lovable droid B2EMO (AKA Bee) to flee the damp industrial world with him and use his cut of the heist money to live a life of luxury. Given the increased Imperial presence, it seems like the best move.

However, Maarva has been energized by news of the heist (though she's unaware of Cassian's involvement) and the sense that someone is finally standing up to the Empire, so she decides to stick around and help the rebellion somehow.

A crowd watches lines of clone troopers on a muddy street in Andor

Clones march through the streets of Ferrix in this episode's flashback.

Lucasfilm

We also get some harrowing flashbacks to 13 years ago, in the era immediately after the Empire's rise in Revenge of the Sith. Cassian's adoptive dad Clem tries to calm a rebellious situation, and apparently like it got him killed by the clone troopers. The image of him hanging in the town square (as Luthen alluded to) is rather dark and sad.

Cassian attacked the troopers in the aftermath, and that's what got him sent to prison as a teenager. Maarva is clearly haunted by the incident, and it seems like a proper rebellion is exactly what she needs. Hopefully, it doesn't get her killed.  

Our hero also has a brief reunion with friend/former flame Bix Caleen (Adria Arjona) to pay off all his debts to people on Ferrix, reminding us that he's a fundamentally decent guy before he gets the heck off the planet. He also asks her to let Luthen know he held up his end of their deal

The Empire Strikes Back

CORUSCANT -- Emperor Palpatine is deeply unhappy about the rebel heist, and Imperial Security Bureau Col. Wullf Yularen (Malcolm Sinclair) announces the Public Order Resentencing Directive (PORD, which is fun to say), which cracks down on rebellious activity, ensures harsher sentencing for all kinds of crimes and pretty much empowers the agency to do whatever the heck it likes. Bad times ahead.

"The only question we need to answer is how tight to close our fist," he says ominously.

You might remember Yularen for his brief appearance beside the guy Darth Vader chokes in the Death Star conference room in A New Hope (he meets his end when the Imperial superweapon is blown up). He was also a regular ally of the Republic heroes in The Clone Wars and showed up in Rebels too. 

Dedra reckons they're playing right into the rebels' hands, since the bigwigs are still treating it like a typical robbery rather than a rebellion. The harsh response is likely to drive more ordinary people to resist.

Dedra Meero looks cautious as she walks through a white room in Andor

Dedra Meero seizes power.

Lucasfilm

Her ISB rival ultimately calls her out in a tense meeting, she admits to using the new law to gather data outside her jurisdiction and prove it points to an organized rebellion. Her gambit works; the Morlana sector is reassigned to her so she can take a closer look at Ferrix.

"Well played," her boss Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) says afterward. "Watch your back."

We've got some tasty Imperial backstabbery ahead methinks. They're all so awful and I love them -- please give us a Disney Plus "Mean Imperials" show.

Rebellion's dark side

When Mon Mothma visits rebel co-conspirator Luthen Rael in his antique shop, we learn that he set the heist in motion without her knowledge. The money was only one benefit; a brazen campaign was also designed to force the Empire to react in the only way it can: with harsh totalitarian means. 

"The Empire is choking us so slowly we've started not to notice," he says, flipping back and forth between his foppish persona and his real self to avoid making Mon's driver suspicious.

Luthen Rael and Mon Mothma chat in Andor

Things get heated between Luthen Rael and Mon Mothma.

Lucasfilm

He wants to wake ordinary people up to the regime's evil, which will likely bring more recruits to the rebellion. The suffering these methods cause is acceptable.

It turns out that Cassian is another acceptable loss when his former heist buddy Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) arrives on Coruscant. She's a true believer in the rebellion, and Luthen's assistant/confidant Kleya Marki (Elizabeth Dulau) tasks her with killing Cassian because he can identify Luthen to the Empire. Seems like the kind of practice Palpatine would engage in, well done rebels.

Strong politics

During a lavish gathering at her apartment, Mon hangs out with banker buddy Tay Kolma (Ben Miles) and expresses her wish that he head up a charitable foundation. This is part of her plan to access her family fortune, but it's unclear why she was cut off.

In a scene dripping with subtext, Tay confesses to harboring major anti-Imperial sentiment, and Mon hints that they're on the same page without revealing the depths of her rebellious endeavors. She reveals that her whole political persona is a facade designed to misdirect everyone.

Mon Mothma smiles as she attends as party in Andor.

Mon Mothma is playing a dangerous political game.

Lucasfilm

"I've learned from Palpatine. I show you the stone in my hand, you'll miss the knife at your throat," she says, alluding to the Emperor's legislative machinations in the prequel trilogy. "As long everyone thinks I'm an irritation, there's a good chance they'll miss what I'm really doing."

'Hang'

NIAMOS -- The episode's final major moments find Cassian on this lovely beach world, where he's got a sweet pad, a lady friend and is going by Keef Girgo (a name so forgettable he fails to respond to it multiple times). 

Unfortunately, he's soon reminded that escaping Imperial oppression is impossible. On his morning stroll to the store, a shoretrooper falsely accuses him of being part of some anti-Imperial activity and orders a passing KX security droid to "hang onto this one" for him.

Unable to grasp the trooper's casual phrasing, the imposing droid hoists Cassian into the air and pins him against a wall by his neck.

A KX droid looms over Cassian on a beach promenade in Andor

Cassian's first encounter with an Imperial KX droid is anything but pleasant.

Lucasfilm

"Hang," the droid says darkly. 

Aside from the inability to breathe, it likely strikes an additional nerve for Cassian since his adoptive father Clem was hanged by the Empire years ago after he tried to defuse a rebellious situation.

This close encounter with a KX unit will probably inspire Cassian to reprogram K-2SO, the former Imperial droid he's buddies with in Rogue One, but that won't happen for another few years. Their first meeting is depicted in Marvel Comics' 2017 Cassian & K-2SO Special.  

For now though, Cassian finds himself sentenced to six years in prison for civil disruption, anti-Imperial speech, fleeing the scene of anti-Imperial activity and attempted damage to Imperial property. This would've been a six-month sentence prior to the post-Aldhani heist crackdown, the bored judge notes, but our boy gets hit with a six-year sentence. Ouch. At least he'll have time to read Nemik's awesome manifesto.

Should've done without the Peezos and Revnog.

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The Jedi Temple Guard wore awesome armor.

Lucasfilm

Rogue thoughts, unanswered questions and Easter eggs

  • If this show's music is stuck in your head, composer Nicholas Britell's moody soundtrack for the early episodes is available to stream.
  • A Jedi Temple Guard's helmet -- which we saw regularly in The Clone Wars -- is visible on a shelf to Luthen's left when he's talking to Mon. A Gungan shield, previously seen in The Phantom Menace, can be seen at the back of the store.
  • Malcolm Sinclair, who portrays Yularen, played corrupt MI6 section chief Dryden in Casino Royale's opening sequence. He was James Bond's second kill on his path to becoming a 00 agent.
  • We check in on Syril at the beginning and end of the episode. His mysterious Uncle Harlo gets him a crushingly dull job at the Bureau of Standards, whose offices have major dystopian sci-fi future vibes.
  • Maarva tells Cassian to stop searching for the sister he left behind on his homeworld Kenari because there were no survivors on Kenari. It's unclear what happened there after Maarva and Clem fled with Cassian.
  • This episode includes a few brief glimpses at rebel Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu), who stayed behind on Aldhani after the heist. She's making her escape, but the Imperial Star Destroyer's arrival in the planet's atmosphere is pretty ominous.
  • Tay's robes is similar to the ones Obi-Wan wore in Ralph McQuarrie's concept art.
  • Mon confirms that her deeply unlikeable husband Perrin is totally in the dark about her true purpose and can't be trusted. Sounds like a healthy marriage.

Come back for more Easter eggs and observations Wednesday, Oct. 26, when episode 8 of Andor hits Disney Plus. Tales of the Jedi, a series of shorts in the same style as The Clone Wars, is landing that day too.