Star Wars: Andor - 1.06 - The Eye

ctg

weaver of the unseen
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With cover from a spectacular local festival, the Aldhani mission reaches a point of no return.
IMDB score: 9.3 Runtime: 52 minutes (-4 for intro and credits)
 
Here we are at the climax of this lot of three. There are 6 more episodes to go that follow the same trend, with the season split in four three part slots that have a certain beginning, middle and the end, while the long arcs play at the background. In the first set of three, it was Luthien AKA the Buyer, and in this one it's him and Mon Mothma, waiting for the rebellion to have enough of cash to start serious operations.

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Andor in disguise. Man, that hat tickled me. I get that it's a traditional piece, but on Andor he both looks out of character but also in it as the set suits him, minus the hat. With one of them wearing a red one, I'm certain that the Imperium is going to be talking about the robbery of the century being done be elves or garden gnomes.

Karis Nemik, the one with the red hat, couldn't sleep on the big job and went on to write a galactic info-piece on the mercenaries. I loved that he put an academic edge on the issue of them conducting a clandestine operation under the nose of the Imperium. Only he is a civilian and he hasn't seen war, slaughter or even Emperor purges.

What did strike me was his opposition of the Imperium darkness. The need to live a better life and not submit to oppression. The Imperium sees their planet and Aldani culture nothing more than a primitive one that they can exploit, by offering nothing and gradually dwindling their numbers down. It's what they've always done in the Imperium era.

I was slightly surprised that one of the rebels, Tarwani, turned to be a former stormie. Giving up on his job, "...after they slaughtered his whole family."

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This is new, rebel scuba gear. I don't think I've seen any of them, even though we've had plenty of underwater scenes, but everytime they've had Jedi gadgets to help, while the kit girls were carrying were definitely designed for the colder climate swimming.

I also don't get why the Imperial were massing around the worshippers. To my eyes, it looked as if the Imperium were gearing up to take them in for some concentration camp. The commandant certainly acting as if he'd been dumped into the smell place, and he were above everyone else and all he was there to do was exploitation.

The thing that I absolutely loved was the squad following the leader all the way inside the facility, without having much of a problem. All thanks to the rebellious officer, allowing them to infiltrate the dam base completely without raising an alarm. After that, it was a simple enough to conduct a tiger kidnapping and force the commander to open the vault.

Even capturing the transport vessel was relatively easy, because the troopers were thinking they were having an easy night. All they ended up doing were being mules for the imperial credits. Billions of them.

It was a problem because there were so much, and they had not eliminated all the opposition. It's almost like it happens in every bank job, the greed and having too much loot. That's why the Tie-fighters got in the air and the outside patrol found their way into the vault.

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That is so crazy. Travelling in the atmosphere, while a cloud of meteorites skims through its out layers on their way towards the Eye. Any one of those big rocks could have taken out the cargo ship quite easily. The tie-fighters had no chance of surviving the collision.

After they got into the space, the first port of call was the four-armed doctor to fix Mr Nemik's spine. Lucky that they'd a plenty of cash in the boot to pay for the cybernetics. A spinal implant is not a big deal in the SW universe.

Funny thing was that while they were waiting for the doctor to finish the op, Skeen suggested Andor to split the loot and rob the rebellion from the loot. It'd have been an easy escape and nobody would have been wiser, except they'd have got bounty hunters after them pretty soon after. For that traitorous activity, he ended up at the receiving end of a plasma bolt in the chest.

Well done Andor. The Rebellion has no room for the traitors.

Too bad doc couldn't fix Nemik and Cassian decided that the Buyers missions were too dodgy for his liking.

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8/10
 
Not exactly a well-oiled rebel machine, this conflicted group seems barely able to camp together, much less pull off a monumental robbery. That makes it all the more believable to me.

I feel the same about Cassian's lethal force response to Skeen's two-way split proposition. In a less realistic show, Cassian would have disarmed Skeen and exposed his treachery, not simply shot him without warning.

The TIE fighters are much more impressive making a high-speed, low-altitude pass over planetary terrain than they have ever been in space. I thought it was funny how these fighters are literally hanging in their hangar.
 
Having just watched all three episodes of this arc in one go (which I definitely enjoyed), I'll leave my thoughts for the trio here:

I liked that there were no flashbacks in this arc. Everything moved forward, and every plotline was gripping. The flashbacks were the slowest part of the first three.

The introduction of Mon Mothma I thought was very well done. She's a fairly familiar character, but nothing about it felt like fan service. She was part of the story, and clearly has her own stuff to deal with. Interesting to see her family life. I liked to see Luthien in his cover as the Buyer, and his rapport with his assistant (although when they were alone, he acted more like her assistant).

The ragtag group was fun to follow; the plan itself was a tad skeevy but I would argue a lot of that was intentional. None of them seemed experienced enough to pull off a job of that magnitude without a hitch, and so it was always expected that things would go pear-shaped. And go pear-shaped things did, although the deaths of the Lufftenant and Tarwani were rather sudden - I didn't even realize the Lufftenant was dead until halfway through the firefight. The heist very nearly ends up like the end of Rogue One, and I'm a little curious what Cena(?) is going to do on Aldhani: hide out? Die? They didn't tell us what her endgame was, but it appears she was always going to stay behind. Maybe we'll see her again.

I agree that Cassian's reaction to Skeen's suggestion was 100% believable: he likely figures that if he tries to tell on Skeen there's not really a chance he'll be believed with his word against Skeen's. Killing Skeen and running was really the best option, from his perspective.

Was surprised to see Doc Brown in Star Wars. His character had a Tarkin-esque supercilious nature and was a great foil for the lady sub-Moff. This is probably personal taste, but I'm enjoying seeing the middle management aspects of the Empire. It really gives the world a depth and reality that sometimes lacks, and it shows that the Empire has a ton of power and reach but it is far from a well-oiled machine. This makes it even more believable that the proto-Rebels and Andor can slip under the radar, so long as they don't do anything to draw attention. The sub-Moff is a bit of an Imperial Karn (which makes Karn feel even less necessary now), she clearly has a hunger to make a name for herself - she's decently competent, but a bit too driven to do things beyond her job description and not at all good at office politics.

Karn, I guess, is going to do something in the rest of the season because he sure as heck didn't do anything in these three. The only aspect that I appreciated from his arc is that he's clearly suffering from some amount of PTSD, and the actor does a decent job of showing that.

I like the "three episode arc" structure: it feels like there are more payoffs instead of endless building to a season finale that then has to jam eight episodes worth of plot into one hour - although it should be said that each third episode did have more to do than the first two.

All in all, I'm still enjoying this show and I'll check back in when I've watched the next three episodes.
 
Enjoyed this one, despite very high expectations! :D

What really surprised me is that I was expecting a bank heist-type plot, but it played it more like a WWII espionage thriller, which was welcome. There was nice tension once everything got moving - I especially liked how it showed how scared everyone was - and the Eye looked great.

Was somewhat surprised by the ending, though - wasn't expecting such a bitter parting. But interesting to see Cass now effectively holds what could end up being the manifesto for the Rebel Alliance (and, of course, numerous rebel groups were mentioned before - only now makes sense that in the original trilogy it's not a single rebellion, it's an alliance of groups).
 
Great episode. I loved the low-key score (one of the failings of Rogue One for me was the use of John Williams music, which undercut the different feel they seemed to be going for) and the realistic fighting, and the horrible G-force related accident that befell Nemik. The only thing I wasn't sure about was the mechanics of how they got through the Eye -- the whole thing seemed far too random for a path to have been calculated in advance. But this only stood out because everything else was so realistic. (And anyway, maybe I missed the explanation.)
 
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I think it's this episode where an Imperial official is talking about the locals going to their sun-ritual. A lesser script would have him laughing madly at the prospect of murdering these peasants: instead, this guy is just patronising and vaguely contemptuous. It's that sense of nuance that makes Andor really good, of the characters existing on a sliding scale of villainy.
 
The only thing I wasn't sure about was the mechanics of how they got through the Eye -- the whole thing seemed far too random for a path to have been calculated in advance. But this only stood out because everything else was so realistic. (And anyway, maybe I missed the explanation.)

I think mostly just a neat piece of hand-waving. Nemik tells Cass about the old-school analogue device (can't remember what he called it) that would help them plot the course - I'm not sure he explained how, exactly, but the inference was that the Imperials relied too much on modern tech, and eschewed anything old and seemingly outdated.

And since you mentioned it, as well - this show has such a killer score (although I love the Rogue One score score as well....). Nicholas Britell did such a great job with some unexpected tracks but it all just works so seamlessly to complement the visuals and the script.
 

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