Andor Season 1 Episode 8, Narkina 5, kicked off a new three-episode story arc, so while it lacked some tension and the feels, it offered up some key world and character building scenes that not only pushed Cassian closer to his destiny, but also started to sow some Rogue One connections.
Head on down below to check out the full review and top moments breakdown!
Andor has returned to its 3-episode story arc structure after last week’s Announcement, and due to that narrative delivery shift, it may have felt like filler to some of you, but it surely was not.
While it may have been the least tense and exciting episode to date, it still did a great job at fleshing out its world and characters after the fallout of the Aldhani mission and the renewed hunt for Cassian Andor by multiple factions. If anything, it continued to showcase this series’ excellent writing and nuanced scene delivery that has made it feel unique amongst other live action Star Wars shows.
This episode really excelled at world and character building via its insights into prison life and the effects of the PROD legislation on the galaxy, in particular those already incarcerated. It also did a fine job featuring different perspectives of the legislation and aldhani fallout through the lens of the elite on Coruscant at Mothma’s party, who clearly aren’t as effected as regular citizens, and through the denizens of Ferrix, who seem to be losing liberties by the day thanks to their ties to Cassian and the additional crackdowns due to Aldhani. Andor has really left a mess in his wake for those he loves, which makes his situation so sad in prison because he’s helpless now and will suffer the consequences from his past inactions.
Speaking of Cassian and those after him, this episode finally merged the Meero and Syril storylines, which needed to happen sooner than later thanks to Syril’s end getting a bit stale over the last few episodes. Don’t sleep on Mr. Do Gooder either, he will more than likely figure out a way to screw up Metro’s investigation.
This episode did lack the palpable tension of the previous seven, but again it did its job well in setting up the next story arc and continues to add more meat to this period of Star Wars than any other show before it. Now that the groundwork has bee laid, Cassian’s inevitable breakout/rescue mission will be loaded with stakes that will make watching the next two episodes very emotional and important to the future of Cassian’s rebel career and connections.
And now for the top moments.
As previously mentioned, I was glad to finally get Syril and Meero together. While they’re talk didn’t seemingly lead to anywhere besides Cassian becoming a bigger target than he already was, it at least finally established their connection. It may seem like Dedra is done with him and wants him to quit, but we all know Mr. Eagle Scout won’t let it go, so it’ll be interesting to see if he gets in her good graces, or reaps her wrath. Both outcomes will clearly shift Syril path moving forward.
This scene also led into a cool relevatory moment when we learn that the Empire has been aware of Luthen’s movement, and that he’s been dubbed Axis due to his central connection to all of the suspected Rebel activity. It goes to show how big of an error he made on Ferrix with Cassian, and that the ISB is getting closer and closer to flushing him out due to said error, which also highlights why Luthen and Kleya also want Cassian off the board due to their Ferrix folly.
Some may have found the Prison scenes to be boring, but I loved how they showed how broken Cassian felt after getting locked up. Up until this beat he’s never felt like a beaten or broken man, he always felt like he had what it takes to survive, and nothing could shake him, but day one on Narkina 5 nearly broke him. It’s as if he finally realized the consequences of trying to run from the Empire, which at this point in time is impossible thanks to his actions on Aldhani. You could finally sense that he is starting to realize how dire things are getting with the Empire’s new approach to governing, and it appears that after this experience and how the other prisoners react to the news from the outside world, he will be closer than ever to realizing his true destiny.
The prison scenes also yielded a great connection to Rogue One via Melshi, who we now know first met Cassian on the line in prison, so it was awesome to see Cassian meeting someone who will play a role in his Rebel career moving forward, and who will ultimately make the greatest sacrifice possible for the galaxy when he volunteers to go to Scariff in Rogue One. Seeing where Melshi came from only helps to understand why he’d do what he did in Rogue One, and one can only hope he’s one of the reasons Cassian finally gets with the program.
The meeting between Vel and Cinta wasn’t necessarily overly exciting or an episode standout, but it is a key moment thanks to the information Cinta reveals about Vel when joking about her background story. She says she will be a rich girl running from her family, which was a clear dig at Vel. On the Star Wars Time Show this week we speculated that Vel had to come from money after we saw her on Coruscant and we wondered who could be her rich benefactors. It’s clear now that she definitely has them, but what family is she apart of? We guessed Luthen’s, but it could be any rich family on Coruscant. Either way, that bit of knowledge wasn’t dropped for fun, so it’ll be interesting to see how Vel’s past and family ties will affect her journey moving forward.
It seems every week a scene featuring Luthen and Kleya makes this list, and this week is no different. Kleya more now than ever seems to be more than just Luthen’s assistant. She really feels like an equal because no one else can talk to him the way she does, not even Mon. She is steadier than Luthen, and seems more clear on their purpose, so I do wonder what her actual deal is. Is she the brains, or is she connected to a larger force within the Circle or an underworld faction like Crimson Dawn? Anytime these two talk we get great insights into the burgeoning rebellion and how it was jumpstarted, so Kleya theories aside, they’re always good for world and character building.
Finally, Luthen and Saw’s discussion was fantastic. Everything from how they still can’t even be honest with each other due to the nature of rebellions to seeing that no one could ultimately get Saw to play ball with other Rebel cells. Saw isn’t full on loony toons yet, but it’s already clear that he’s not willing to compromise his beliefs for the shared goal of toppling the Empire. To him, he is the only answer, and his method of Anarchy is the only path forward. This is the beginning of him becoming too extreme for the future Rebel Alliance, and it’s kind of sad to see him remain ignorant, knowing that he’s been fighting the good fight since the Clone Wars, and that like Luthen says, he only cares to argue with people who agree with him. He truly is a very tragic Star Wars character, which is why the cave scene was choice and another example of detailed character and world building courtesy of Lord Gilroy and the Andor series.
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Nick and I will talk more about Narkina 5 on next week’s episode of the SWTS, so don’t forget to tune into the Star Wars Time Show on a weekly basis via our podcast platforms or via YouTube if you prefer the livestream angle.