Andor Episode 4 introduces the series’ most compelling character to date, while setting the stage for a new hunt as Cassian takes his first steps into the new Rebel Alliance.
In Episode 1 of Andor, Cassian (Diego Luna) began planning his getaway after killing two corrupt Corpos on Morlana One, hoping to sell an official Empire star path and leave some the money to his mother, Maarva (Fiona Shaw).
In episodes 2 and 3, he managed to convince Bix (Adria Arjona) to put him in touch with his secret buyer: Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), who has bigger and bolder plans for Cassian. Meanwhile, Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) has ordered a violent raid on Ferrix to grab him, only to find himself standing on the flames of his failure.
Episode 4 further demonstrates the practicality of Andor’s atmosphere; the on-location shooting and minimal CGI is far more immersive than anything in The Volume, with TIE fighters moaning through mountainous skies and stunning landscapes.
Spoilers for Andor episode 4 to follow…
Andor Episode 4: Cassian and Luther begin their mission
Episode 4 picks up immediately where we left off: Cassian and Luthen traverse the pale blue atmosphere of Morlana One in an effort to evade any Corpos pursuit and quickly enter hyperspace.
After a sip of Mad Nog, Cassian asks Luthen to explain why he brought him. Luthen gives him three options: he can either go home and face the music, join Luthen’s mission where he can receive “all he wants, all at once”, or kill him and steal his ship.
Luthen says he wants to put a real stick in the eye of the Empire, starting by stealing a quarterly payroll for an entire Imperial site.
“You’ll end up dying fighting those bastards, so wouldn’t you rather give it all at once to something real,” he tells Cassian, who reveals he fought for six months in the frame. rebellious efforts, and “lived because he ran” – nevertheless, he is convinced to help her, instead of another sensible option.
Andor Episode 4: The Empire Prepares to Strike
Meanwhile, in Coruscant, the galaxy’s capital, Syril is being reprimanded alongside Chief Hyne (Rupert Vansittart) and Sergeant Linus Mosk (Alex Fearns) for their calamitous and unauthorized operation in Ferrix.
Lieutenant-Overseer Blevin (played by Ben Bailey Smith, better known as Doc Brown) strips them of their duties and tells them that Morlana now falls under Imperial control, while Syril returns home to his mother, who slaps him before to kiss her.
During a briefing, Dedro Meero (Denise Gough) learns of the stolen stellar trajectory recovered from the scene, which dates back to a reported theft in his sector. We’re also told about “the increase in construction expeditions to Scarif”, referring to the early stages of the Death Star.
Luther and Cassian land on another planet. Before Luthen meets Vel (Faye Marsay), his rebel squad leader, he asks Cassian to choose a new name. He chooses Clem and Luthen continues to convince Vel that he’s worth it.
Vel hesitantly agrees and takes Cassian on a long trek through the mountains to meet the motley group – one of whom is played by Alex Lawther, of Black Mirror and The End of the F***ing World. These are essentially the first seeds of the rebellion that we know of in Star Wars.
Andor Episode 4: Senator Mon Mothma Returns
Luther leaves for his other life. He puts on his royal gladrags, practices a taut smile, and meets Senator Mon Mothma (Geneviève O’Reilly, who played the same character in Revenge of the Sith) in his artifact gallery, acting as a front for secret meetings.
As they indulge in banter for her mate’s sake, they part ways in private, where she reveals to Luthen that she wants to bring “someone else” into the circle. Whoever that is remains to be seen, but they quickly part ways before any suspicions are aroused.
Mothma returns home, where her husband reveals that he has hosted a dinner party with all of his political opponents. She is clearly upset by this, but he is not bothered by her sadness; he thinks she’s boring, they’re fun—despite the cut off of vital shipping lanes—and even has the nerve to ask for the gift he picked up from Luthen’s collection.
O’Reilly’s character stands out from the others; as the mother of rebellion, her anxious politics and silent distaste for the Empire proved incredibly compelling. “She is this figurehead of liberal democracy that will fail, and eventually she will go to the Rebel Alliance,” Tony Gilroy told Vanity Fair.
“We stick to the timeline and major events. But as you can see, we say, ‘You don’t really find out what’s going on with it. Nobody really knew what’s going on with her. She had a lot more trouble than we knew.
Andor Episode 4: A heist in 50 meteor showers
Vel explains the plan to attack the Empire garrison and steal the payroll from Cassian. He thinks it’s a suicide race, but the group hopes to flee during a chaotic celestial event, like “50 meteor showers at once until the window to the galaxy forms on the horizon.”
As they huddle around a fire, Andor is given an Aldhani phrasebook, which he is expected to learn in full the next morning.
Dedra tries to find her stellar trajectory, but runs into a wall with Blevin. When he denies her request for official documents – which she should be allowed to do, as the case is related to her sector – she asks the chief honcho, Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) to intervene, only for him to side with Blevin and insist on factual information.
Partagaz also makes a rather sexist comment about being a woman in the Empire, telling her that there’s a “high bar for her performance” and that she’s “supposed to be more competent and hidden” than the others – so basically, as long as she doesn’t make a fuss, she’ll be fine.
Episode 4 shows Andor going from strength to strength, solidly building one of the most engrossing Star Wars sagas to date with practical production values, well-crafted performances, and a consistent sense of suspense.
Andor Episode 5 will be available to stream on Wednesday, October 5.