Movie & Television Show Reviews

A Covert Operation To Take An Imperial Payroll | “Star Wars: Andor” Season 1: Episode 4 “Aldhani” Review

Picking up where Episode 3 left off, Episode 4 sees Luthen (Alex Ferns) convince Cassian (Diego Luna) to join the Rebel Alliance, at least for one mission. Luthen convinces Cassian to help out a monthslong operation on the planet of Aldhani with the promise of pay, in which a small group of rebels is trying to take out an Imperial payroll base.

See my initial thoughts on the episode down below. This written review will go more in depth.

The rebels already there are bristly towards Cassian, admitting that they do need another hand, but are very skeptical of his commitment to the cause and how he will get acclimated to the mission, given that he arrived only three days ahead of it. Given this, we learn of their plan — it hinges on a brief natural phenomenon that happens only once every three years to cover them — but we will have to wait until next episode to see it executed.

We also get to see the aftermath of Luthen and Cassian’s incident on Morlana One, as the Pre-Mor Authority (the corporation that oversaw its security) has been relieved of its duties; its sector is regulated entirely by Imperials. This seemingly puts Syril Karn (Kyle Soller), who tried bringing Cassian to justice, out of a job. Ironically, his efforts to be a real space cop exposed the years of corruption and incompetency Pre-Mor had up until this point hidden from the Imperials. However, I have a feeling that we’ll see more of Cyril in future episodes; I think the Imperials will try to recruit him.

We’re introduced to Dedra Meero (Denise Gough), an officer at the Imperial Security Bureau who is trying to piece together the rebels’ patterns. The Pre-Mor incident shook things up, and we see some procedural drama from the Imperial point of view. Really, this show is about the people on the ground both from both sides that have to deal with the conflict in their daily lives; it’s not about evil emperors or space wizards with laser swords.

The one exception to this is Luthen’s business with rebel leader and Imperial Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) who meet after Luthen drops off Cassian, as Luthen takes on the identity of a high society Coruscanti artifacts collector. We learn that the rebels’ funding is fickle with Mothma under constant surveillance. So far this works, despite the fact that it does have hints of the prequel politics that fans have hated so.

If you came into this episode not sold on the show, it won’t change your mind. For such an expensive show, it is dedicated to telling the smaller tales in the original trilogies Empire vs. Rebellion conflict, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, though it is a departure from the loud spectacle recent “Star Wars” has made its norm.

For that reason, it won’t be every fans’ cup of tea, but it doesn’t need to be, and I know this show will find its own dedicated fanbase. How big though is yet to be seen — I am still convinced that this is on track to be a very expensive cult hit that might not penetrate the general public’s radar.

“Star Wars: Andor” Season 1: Episode 4 “Aldhani” gets a 7/10

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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