‘Andor’ episode nine recap: Star Wars has never been so dark

**Spoilers for 'Nobody's Listening!' below**

You have to hand it to Disney for stepping out of their comfort zone. Where The Mandalorian, The Book Of Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi all felt snuggly at home in the same family friendly Star Wars universe as the films, Andor is now literally torturing people with the screams of dying children.

Rebel Bix (Adria Arjona) is in Imperial nasty Meero’s (Denise Gough) clutches and she’s having a pretty horrible time of it – subjected to a new audio interrogation device that leaves her sobbing on the floor in pain. “The very worst thing you can do right now is bore me”, says Meero, now less a Star Wars villain than an actual Nazi, treating the torture like another business transaction.

Meero wants Cassian (Diego Luna), and she also wants the name of the buyer that Bix was talking with on her secret radio, but she has no idea how deep the rebellion is really running. Back on Coruscant, just around the corner from her own office, Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) is still struggling to keep up the fight in the senate. Struggling even more at home, she gets a surprise visitor from her cousin, Vel (Faye Marsay).

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Meero (Denise Gough) goes full tyrant in this week’s episode. CREDIT: Lucasfilm/Disney

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“Just be a spoiled rich girl for a while,” Mon tells Vel, trying to keep her cover. We don’t know yet how much she knows about Vel’s mission on Aldhani, or of her secret pact with Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau) to hunt down Cassian (or even if they’re even really cousins at all), but Mon’s future role as the leader of the rebel alliance is hanging in the balance here as she finds herself pulled in a few different and dangerous directions at once.

Karn (Kyle Soller) gets a quick look in again – now flirting creepily with Meero outside her office, desperate to get back on the team – but the real meat of the episode is saved for the prison. Cassian is now a model worker on Narkina 5, even if he is secretly filing away a bit of the wall every time he goes to the loo.

When he’s not building giant cogs for the Empire, Cassian is trying to work out how many guards are on each level, which platforms need special shoes to stand on, and when moments of weakness might be exploited long enough for a prison break. The problem is, he hasn’t been there long enough to have all the information he needs. Kino Loy (Andy Serkis) seems to be the key to unlocking the plan, but he’s not interested in anything but barking orders.

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Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) and Vel (Faye Marsay) in ‘Andor’. CREDIT: Lucasfilm/Disney

Until Ulaf (Christopher Fairbank) dies, that is. Literally worked to death, the old man of the work gang draws a doctor who spills a few slightly distressing bits of information. Rumours that the guards massacred 100 men at once prove true, and all because a riot in another wing broke out when the prisoners found out no one ever really gets to leave when their sentence is up. Now Cassian has a plan, an angry mob and Andy Serkis. Next week on Andor: it’s time to get out.

Extra credits

  • Dizon Fray is a new planet in the Star Wars universe – never mentioned before in or out of canon – but the “screaming of the Dizonites” is now the most horrific bit of backstory we never want to see in a spinoff.
  • Mention of a captured rebel pilot using stolen tech from an old heist on Lozash opens up a lot of questions for next week. Could the Empire have their hands on Luthen?
  • Another question mark hangs over Davo Sculdun, a shady financier being brought in by Tay to help paper over some holes in Mon Mothma’s books. Is she trusting the right people?

‘Andor’ releases new episodes on Disney+ every Wednesday

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