The setup has paid off. After several episodes of pure conversation drama, Andor has delivered a fully action-packed episode. And oh my was it worth the wait!
In episode 6: “The Eye”, we witness the first daring feat of the nascent Rebellion. The small partisan group finally executes its assault on the Empire’s vault. The episode focusses fully on this storyline, not disrupting the flow with jumping to the other plots (with the exception of the final part that shows the reactions of the other characters to the news, thus illustrating the impact of this attack on the wide Galaxy). Well done!
A Star Wars-y Episode
The episode has everything. There is a bit of a heist story when the rebels pretend to be Imperial officers. Then there is a proper firefight and a daring starship escape. That is being accompanied by amazing visuals of the meteor shower called The Eye (one would wish to watch this episode of Andor in a cinema!). We witness the locals’ rituals and customs, something that gives the world amazing depth. And the action is developed in such a manner that it really pulls the viewer in; one can quite share the nervousness of the participants. The acting, as always, is just superb and one cannot but marvel at where did Disney pick up such an array of talents. (It is clear, however, that great directing also must be a big part of this.)
The episode also has a full Star Wars feel. Spaceship escape, TIE fighters in pursuit – the “star” part of Star Wars is present. But so is the connection to the films, including among others the Senate. (Here we see for the first time the Imperial Senate – thus marrying the visuals of the prequel trilogy to something that was first mentioned by princess Leia in the first scene of the very first film!) A very little but nice random nod to the pre-Disney canon came in Mon Mothma’s mention of Ghorman, the planet where Tarkin would massacre rebellious locals by landing his ship on top of peaceful protestors – what was considered to be the tipping point of Mothma (in the old canon) for open rebellion.
Many Different Kinds Of Rebels
One last thing deserves to be mentioned; something that has been one of Andor‘s major strengths since the beginning: characterbuilding. Notably this concerns the manifesto-writing idealist Nemik and the mercenary Skeen. By now they are fully fleshed-out characters and therefore we care what happens to them. Andor also does amazing job of presenting a wide variety of Rebel characters. Not everyone is the default freedom fighter that we know from the original trilogy. Nemik and Skeen are two great examples of something else.
Wide-eyed Nemik is similarly idealistic as Leia, if not more; but in terms of practical competence, he is even below the naïve Luke. Skeen, on the other hand, is on the more extreme end from the likes of Han Solo. But Andor shows that we cannot even put everyone into the same simple coordinate system: there may be people motivated by idealism, by personal wrong done to them, but also by pure opportunism, by personal hatred for the Empire, or perhaps by love for another person who happens to be a Rebel.
Whatever the case, we can expect that Andor will now continue to get bigger, as the events of the last episode shake the Empire.