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 7: “Announcement”.
Cyril Karn is at home preparing for an interview with the Bureau of Standards that Uncle Harlo has arranged for him. His mother disapproves of his choice of suit (brown and tailored) as it makes him seem individual and she feels that it shows he is desperate for approval. Their discussion is interrupted by a news report of the “terror attack” on Aldhani.
Dedra Meero is present at an ISB briefing led by Colonel Yularen, who has spoken with the Emperor and is detailing new measures to be taken in response to the attack on Aldhani, which includes the ISB taking the lead going forward, giving them greater access to information.
In the back room of the galleria, Luthen Rael listens to a report on the Aldhani heist, but is interrupted by the arrival of Mon Mothma. Under the guise that her present for Perrin was not right and she wants to look at other options, she enters the galleria alone and demands to know if Aldhani was his work, which he admits as he needed funds due to her issues. Mothma is unhappy as it will provoke a response from Palpatine and the Empire. She also informs Rael that she will be speaking to her contact tonight, who she wants to bring into the circle. Mothma takes neither of the pieces “offered” as a excuse to come back and look at new stock arrivals (in truth, update Rael on how things go with her contact) some time soon.
“The Empire has been choking us so slowly, we’re starting not to notice. The time has come to force their hand.”
“People will suffer.”
“That’s the plan.”
At Cyril’s interview with the Bureau of Standards, it is noted that Cyril worked on Morlana One. Cyril explains that due to corruption and laxity in the corporate authority, a rebel murderer is running free, and that he was punished for trying to uphold the law, which he intends to have his name cleared for. Cyril is given the job.
Meero has an attendant confidentially pull data on Imperial Naval bases and repair facilities for all star systems that have lost avionics, comm, navigation and targeting equipment i the last 2 years.
On Alhani, Cinta has returned to the original camp and is preparing to move on when a Star Destroyer passes overhead.
Kleya secretly meets with Vel, who had been expecting Rael to come, chastising her for the danger of such a meeting and sending messages. The money from the heist has already been moved and the freighter has been dealt with. Vel seems to want to talk about the losses the team suffered, but Kleya brushes it off, and when asked about Cinta she replies only that she is doing what she was told. Kleya tells Vel that Cassian is a loose end and tasks Vel with finding and killing him.
“This is what revolution looks like, Vel.”
Cassian has returned back to Ferrix and sneaks his way through town to his and Maarva’s home, where she quickly ushers him inside. She updates him on everything that has happened: Timm’s betrayal and death, Bix trying to warn Cassian, and the Imperial occupation. Cassian tells her that he scored good on a job and has the money for them to leave and set up somewhere new. Maarva appears hesitant to leave immediately, and thinking that she is just tired, Cassian tells her that they will leave in the morning.
Mon Mothma and her husband are hosting an event, where she spends time catching up with an old friend from Chandrila, Tay Colma. Colma notes how Mothma appears to have changed. Mothma asks Colma for a favour, but he stops her when she says that it is political and warns her that his politics may be a bit strong for her taste as he has grown weary of the Empire. This response just encourages Mothma, who secretly tells him that the persona everyone sees of an “irritation” is a front. She explains that she is being watched, but that as they see her an an irritation, they miss that she is actually raising money. She explains that she needs Colma’s help as she can no longer access her family fortune. She plans to form a “charitable outreach program” of which she will make Colma chairman, but she refuses to tell Colma where the funds will truly be going as he is better off not knowing. She warns him that her husband knows none of this and can’t be trusted.
Cassian goes to visit Bix, and the pair argue over whether it is his or Timm’s fault that the Empire is now occupying the town. Cassian asks for info on her contact, but she explains that she just sends and receives messages, but that he already knew details about Cassian. He asks her to pass on a message if she speaks to Rael again, telling him that Cassian held up his end of the deal, so not it is time to forget about him. Before leaving, Cassian gives Bix a sum of credits that should pay off his debts to everyone in town. On his way back through town, the site of a pair of stormtroopers gives him a memory of the Imperials first arriving on Ferrix, and how his adopted father, Clem got caught up in some Imperial trouble as he tried to stop a group of rioters.
“I won’t have peace. I’ll be worried about you all the time.”
“That’s just love. Nothing you can do about that.”
Cassian returns home to find that Maarva hasn’t packed at all. She explains that she is not leaving as the Empire is spreading everywhere, and that she will stay to become part of a Rebellion on Ferrix. She explains that hearing about the attack on Aldhani has encouraged her to stick it out on Ferrix and resist. She tells Cassian that he needs to leave, but warns him not to keep searching for his sister, as there were no survivors on Kenari, so finding her is a fantasy.
At an ISB meeting, Blevin lodges charges against Meero for overreaching her sector again. Major Partagaz remembers the previous discussion that this was relating to Ferrix. Blevin explains that she has accessed everyone’s sector data without filing a request, to which Meero explains that she used the Imperial Emergency Act in the wake of Aldhani to gather data across sectors without official sanction, allowing her to get the information that Major Partagaz had previously said that she lacked. Meero points out that the sectors were artificially created by the ISB, so any rebels will have no care to these lines. She explains that the reports she pulled have given evidence of a focused and organised rebel effort to acquire highly-restricted Imperial military components. To Blevin’s shock, Partagaz sides with Meero and reassigns the Morlana sector to her, though he still does not see any urgent problem.
Cassian is now making a life for himself on the planet Niamos under the name Keef Girgo. Taking a walk to the shops, he is passed by a group who are escaping from shoretroopers. Nervous that the troopers may actually be after him, Cassian rushes up a set of steps that lead in a different direction to the group. However his nervous looking around and the fact that he is sweating attracts the attention of another shoretrooper, who has a K-X security droid arrest him. At his hearing, nobody is willing to listen to his pleas of innocence. He is informed that due to Imperial guideline changes, what used to be a 6-month sentence will now be 6 years. Cassian is taken into custody.
After the thrill of last week, I could have understood if this one struggled to have such an effect on me. Well, no worries of that, as this week was another great episode.
Much like in the previous 2 arcs, this was starting to set up the coming couple of episodes, but each time around the story is getting bigger, with more characters being slowly added as time goes on, while I love the symmetry in how both of the last 2 arcs have started with a response to the events of the last arc’s climax.
What I really loved about this episode was just how we saw so many different viewpoints on how to rebel against the Empire and the level or type of rebellion that is right. Cassian still feels very much like Jyn dd for the first half of Rogue One, not interested in rebellion but just caring for himself and those he loves, while in contrast Maarva has been moved from apathy to action, which I thought was a beautiful decision given that it appears Clem was killed for resisting the Empire when it appears that he was actually trying to calm the rioters and keep the peace, while the flashback appeared to suggest to me that Cassian was sent to prison as a teen for attacking the troopers who killed Clem. But the differences in opinion were even more obvious on Coruscant. Here we meet Tay Colma who considers his politics a bit “strong”, and yet still Mon Mothma is worried to openly admit just how much of a rebellion she is part of. In turn, Mothma is shocked by Rael’s willingness to take militant action, while I also can’t help but feel that Rael will consider Kleya sending Vel to kill Cassian a step too far.
“I’ve learned from Palpatine. I show you the stone in my hand, you miss the knife at your throat.”
This show is truly something we have never seen before in Star Wars, and I am eating it up. I absolutely loved the excuses and feigned acts in the galleria to hid the true conversation, Mothma directing Colma how to react as she brings him into her plan so as not to draw attention to them, and then the secret rendezvous between Kleya and Vel, following subtle symbols. It is everything that you expect to see in the best spy movies and shows, transitioned perfectly into the Star Wars galaxy.
But more than that, everything feels so real. The small unit of stormtroopers in a public area on Coruscant felt exactly like police in a major public transport station. while the inclusion of shoretroopers utilising what appeared to be some form of seeker droid (similar to the ID-9 droids the Seventh Sister used in Rebels or the ID-10 used by Inferno Squad) and K-X security droids to help police Niamos just felt so natural in the way it was shown. And while on the subject of how to make it feel natural, the inclusion of Colonel Yularen without any real pomp rather than a slightly teasing reveal was how to do a cameo correctly.
So what next? Well Cassian is going to be imprisoned, with Vel trying to kill him, so I imagine that Vel will adapt her plan to break Cassian out, with her being told to keep him alive somewhere along the line. But will Cinta join him in the breakout, or will she be captured leaving Aldhani and need rescuing herself? I feel that Maarva’s insistence on joining any rebellion and now his incarceration and the likely prisonbreak from rebel allies will be what makes Cassian reconsider his neutrality and begin to pick a side.
“We can’t hide forever.”
A few final thoughts on the episode:
- I was not expecting to get emotional watching the show this morning, but Maarva’s talk about love really hit the mark in a way that I cannot adequately put into words.
- Though Maarva may have told Cassian to stop searching for his sister, I got the feeling that we have not seen the end of the Kenari storyline, for which I am very intrigued.
- I love that while Major Partagaz sided with Dedra Meero, he still did not believe the organised rebel activity to be of any concern. Had the ISB acted now, they could have potentially stopped all resistance, but this is just another example of the Empire underestimating their enemy.
Moments in Canon
- As mentioned earlier, the ISB colonel leading the briefing on new measures post-Aldhani was none other than Colonel Wulff Yularen. The character originally appeared in a non-speaking role in 2 scenes of A New Hope but is most well known from his role as a recurring character in The Clone Wars and also appeared in a series 3 episode of Rebels.
What did you think of the episode?
Thanks for reading. Rebellions are built on hope….