Welcome to my weekly review of Andor, where I will be walking us through each episode and giving my thoughts on the show. My reviews will follow my usual format: an overview of the plot (so be aware, there will be spoilers!), my review of the show, then a few “Moments in canon” – references that link to other media and the galaxy as a whole. Today, we’ll be looking at episode 2: “That Would Be Me”.
In a flashback, Kassa and the group of children make their may through the forest on Kenari, which takes them past an area where the forest opens up into a large abandoned mining operation.
As the day shift ends on Ferrix, Bix reads something on a monitor, which she quickly shuts down as Timm approaches. Timm invites her out for a meal but she turns him down. Timm tells her that he will close down the store but when she leaves, he turns on the monitor to see what she had been reading: a bulletin from Pre-Mor wanting any information as they are seeking a Kenari male on Ferrix for questioning.
Cassian arrives at Maarva Andor’s. Cassian begins making excuses to Maarva about where he has been and why he looks like he has been in a fight, but Maarva has B2EMO read the bulletin. Maarva worries about who knows that Cassian is from Kenari as they always officially say that he is from Fest, but a lot of people know the truth in private. Maarva worries that someone has told authorities about Kenari, but Cassian realises that it must have been him. Bee tells Cassian that Bix has just tried contacting him but could not get through. Cassian meets Bix in a bar and tells her what happened on Morlana One. Cassian offers to change plans and sell his item to Bix, but she tells him that her buyer is already on the way and will be there in the morning. Neither of them realises that they are being watched from a distance by Timm, who appears to get jealous of their closeness. Drinking, Timm makes the decision to contact Pre-Mor Security.
“Corporate Tactical Forces are the Empire’s first line of defence, and the best way to keep the blade sharp is to use it.”
In the Pre-Mor security office, Karn’s team pulls up Cassian’s details, noting that he is from Fest and that there is no mention of Kenari. His record shows a history of destruction of Imperial property and assaulting an Imperial officer, and it also contains an old image. Confident that this is his suspect, Karn summons Sergeant Linus Mosk, who suggests they move in as soon as possible with a team of 12. Mosk feels that not acting on this case would be a dereliction of duty at minimum, which spurs Karn on and states that a stronger hand is needed with the affiliated planets as there are pockets of fomenting, calling Corporate Tactical Forces the first line of defence.
Cassian returns to the ship that he hides out in and retrieves the item Bix’s buyer is coming for, while also arming himself with a blaster.
On Kenari, the group find the crashed ship. The leader goes to investigate, while the rest of the group watch from higher ground.
A ship approaches Ferrix, piloted by Luthen Rael. He picks a landing spot, which for safety is 2.3 kilometres from his destination. Landing, he makes his way to a nearby public shuttlebus system.
The next morning, Cassian finds some communicators that he had collected, giving one to Bee and keeping one for himself, so that he can hide credits for Maarva before he goes and tell Bee where they are if he can’t retrieve them himself. Cassian sends Bee back to Maarva, who has just entered Cassian’s room at home and realised that he is not there.
As the leader approaches the crashed ship, she finds the bodies of crew members, who appear to be dead, while yellow fumes emerge from the ship. However as she nears the ship, the first body stirs and comes around behind her. With no warning, he draws his blaster and shoots her. The rest of the group eventually subdue him with blow-darts and rush to help the leader, but she is dead. As the group carry her away, Kassa hesitates and turns back to the ship.
Cassian makes his way into town to speak with Xanwan, who is arguing with his co-worker Granik about the bulletin and looking up Kenari. He eventually finds details (“Mid Rim. Abandoned after Imperial mining disaster. Everyone died. Abandoned and considered toxic. Imperial prohibition”). Cassian haggles for a run to Tassar that day, while keeping details of any cargo a secret.
Karn, Mosk and their Tactical Forces unit make their way to Ferrix, while Rael makes his way into the city.
OK, now I think I can see why the full first arc has been released on the same day, as this is such a slow build that those early seasons of Game of Thrones seem positively rushed. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as, aside from Cassian, everything so far has been new to us, but I can imagine that it may put some people off if future arcs have the same feel, leading to people waiting 3 weeks until full arcs are out to binge.
The characterisation I looked at from episode 1 continued in this episode, and I liked how finding an officer whose views matched Syril Carn’s appeared to work as a positive reinforcement to make him even more driven in his mission, which was obviously blinding him to the fact that the men he was leading were actually just the ones looking for a reason to start a fight.
This will probably be a shorter review to last week as it really does feel like a continuation of Episode 1, and I wonder if it would have been better to just air this as one longer episode, as it now leaves us at the point where all the pieces are falling into place for a thrilling part 3. You could have cut these first 2 parts into 2 pretty much anywhere in the story, or played them as a long episode, and it wouldn’t have changed the feel at all.
This really continues to feel like a story that could be told absolutely anywhere and anywhen, and I love that as it is relying on the universe to make it Star Wars rather than having to throw it in our faces. For example the way that ships are reminiscent of ones we’ve seen before (the ship Cassian borrowed had nascelles like a Y-wing and both a Y-wing and a t-47 airspeeder were visible in the shipyard, while the Imperial cog was visible on the part Cassian is selling) is enough to give us familiarity, while the story of a thief being hunted by corporate security and being helped by his friends could work in almost any franchise.
One thing that really interests me right now is Cassian’s (or should we say Kassa’s) past on Kenari. It looks like Cassian’s past of being in the fight since he was 6 years old may have been slightly changed, but then he never specified it was the fight with the Empire, and the fact this group of kids carry rudimentary weapons could be a way around that statement. But I’m interested to find out more about the planet and the group, as we hear that a mining disaster killed everyone and see only kids and teens alive, but how did these kids survive when nobody else did and what was the ship that crashed there for (not to mention why did it crash)? I do wish that these flashbacks had subtitles for the Kenari being spoken just to give us more understanding, but that’s a nitpick, as much of it can be gleaned from actions.
“There comes a time when the risk of doing nothing becomes the greatest risk of all.”
A few final thoughts from the show:
- I’m really enjoying the variety of alien species we are seeing, especially on Ferrix, compared to the Pre-Mor security who are all human, as you would likely expect from a corporate entity that wants success in the Empire
- With so many characters being introduced in a short space of time on Ferrix, I am struggling a little bit to keep track of names, especially as they aren’t always being used when actually with the character. While it’s much more natural and real-life, it doesn’t make it easy on the viewer—by watching again with subtitles and also using Wookieepedia for reference writing these, I’m only now happy with who the people of note are
- It was very odd seeing a translation of the bulletin looking for leads about a Kenari male just popping up forus to read in English. I appreciate why this was done as it allowed us to see the authentic aurebesh, but as they chose to present it this was rather than have someone read it to someone else, it was something different to what we have previously seen, and I just need to get used to the fact that this show will be different to what we are used to.
Moments in Canon
- Vehicles seen at the mine on Kenari are also found on Kashyyyk in the videogame Jedi: Fallen Order
- The crew of the crashed spaceship on Kenari are wearing the Confederacy of Independent Systems (Separatists) patch
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Rebellions are built on hope….