The last time Star Wars pulled a prison break it was 1977. Luke dressed up as a stormtrooper, Han shot a few guards and everyone jumped down the rubbish chute. Unsurprisingly, Andor does things a bit differently – with a cracking escape episode that feels more like the start of a social revolution than a harmless bit of swashbuckling.
Strength in numbers is really the only plan here as Cassian (Diego Luna) knows the Empire can’t afford to keep massacring their valuable workforce on Narkina 5. Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) needs a little bit of convincing, but everything starts moving once he’s fully on board.
Waiting for a window of opportunity when a new prisoner arrives on the factory floor, Cassian floods the loo to try and ruin the electric floors. Jamming the lift with a wrench, he grabs a gun as everyone else hurls their cogs and hammers. It’s a brutal assault, and plenty of prisoners go down, but it’s still a numbers game as the hundred-strong prison ward easily overpowers the day-shift of about five terrified guards.
Making it to the control room (run by a hilariously weak middle manager who doesn’t want the responsibility), Kino grabs the PA system and rallies the whole prison. “We will never have a better chance than this,” he shouts. “There is one way out, right now. The building is ours. You need to run, climb and kill…”
Back on Coruscant, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) is still attempting to pay for the rebellion that’s about to begin. Hobnobbing her way to a meeting with shady banker Davo Sculdun (Richard Dillane) to try and funnel the right offshore funds into her own books, she gets an offer she isn’t expecting – the money, in return for marrying off her teenage daughter to Davo’s 14-year-old son. Understandably, it’s enough to make her cry.
The stakes are getting higher on both sides too. Meero (Denise Gough) is still planning to entrap the mysterious separatist leader Anto Kreegyr with the information tortured out of a captured pilot, and she’s now getting within touching distance of quashing a rebel mission planned on Spellhaus, as well as to uncovering the identity of the man behind it all, Luthen (Stellan Skarsgård). The one thing she doesn’t know though, is that she has a mole.
As Luthen heads to a secret meeting with an Empire informer, we meet the real Lonni (Robert Emms) – Meero’s unassuming second in command who’s been working the other side all along. Spilling the beans on Meero’s plan to trap the rebels during Kreegyr’s Spellhaus mission, Lonni wants out. He’s been working his way up the Empire chain of command for years and he’s given enough.
Hitting back with a monologue about sacrifice that’s epic enough to have probably been the page of the script that convinced Skarsgård to do the show in the first place, Luthen refuses to let his secret weapon go. “We can’t let you go Lonni,” he says, as we see a shot of Cassian legging it across a desert. “We need all the heroes we can get…”
- Kino can’t swim! As everyone else on Narkina 5 jumps for freedom, we don’t know yet if the real hero of the prison break made it. Surely Andy Serkis deserves more screen time?
- Back on Ferrix, Cinta is getting close to Maarva, who is now refusing to take her meds. Is she planning on putting the squeeze on a dying woman to get to Cassian?
- Luthen pretends that he didn’t have anything to do with Aldhani, and he doesn’t seem interested in Lonni’s intel. It’s clear, though, that he still doesn’t trust anyone, even on his own side.
‘Andor’ releases new episodes on Disney+ every Wednesday