Andor Episode 8 review! This episode was another fun one, however I’ll say this, Imperial prison sucks hard. Read on to find out why? I’ll be staying SPOILER FREE within this review, so have no fear there. With that all out of the way, let’s discuss what I thought about Episode 8 of Andor. Oh yeah, Supreme Leader Snoke looks a lot younger here in that image doesn’t he? Okay, that’s not s spoiler unless you find a casting choice a spoiler.
Last week we left Cassian under arrest for walking past a trooper for no reason. The Empire may be after Casian Andor, but we also see how corrupt the organization is and that carries through this week. One one hand we see Senators discussing whether stricter rules and controls are a food thing for their safety. On the other, we see that the Empire is really imprisoning people in vast numbers simply to have a supply of slave labor for whatever they are building. That is the crux of the plot this week, and I won’t go any further than that.
There are four stories being told this week. Andor and what happens next to him is the most prominent. However we also have Mon Mothma on Coruscant and see more of her political life, which is a hell of a juxtaposition to where Cassian finds himself. Additionally we have Dedhra and Sylas meet for the first time as Dedhra continues to investigate Rebel activity. Lastly, we see a little of Luthen and his next steps he takes.
Once again I loved Episode 8. The story is almost like a painting on canvas in terms of show not tell. We experience events from different sides and we are able to compare and contrast everything happening which the characters cannot do. Again, this is really great TV and those Imperial prisons are somehow more horrific by their efficiency and methodology. In many ways we are seeing similar threads from the likes of The Shawshank Redemption. Prisoners are no longer prisoners, they’re work slaves, and ultimately completely expendable to those outside who either don’t know, or don’t care.
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Andor is showing us why the Rebellion grew naturally throughout the Galaxy in response to the Empire’s increased measures of control. Of course, as far as I can see, this is exactly what Luthen has planned. At least that’s verbally what Luthen seems to indicate he’s after. Luthen wants the Empire to tighten their grip so that more star systems will fall through their fingers, to use Leia’s quote (kinda) from A New Hope. However, for now, Luthen is also scared of being caught. From Luthen’s point of view we also get to see where there are issues with this Rebellion. Not all those who oppose the Empire are aligned in their causes. This is a concept we glimpsed a little of in Rogue One. However given we are farther back in time in Andor, these cracks are more like chasms.
I love it.
I have one, finally this week. There is a moment during the Mon Mothma part of the story (no spoilers) where we actually see some alien species for the first time I think in this show. It’s actually remarkable how out of place they felt, and I think that’s because we’ve so far seen too little of non-human species.
So far I’ve told myself there are reasons for the lack of aliens. Cass’s home planet may just be a Human world and it doesn’t look desirable for visitors. The Empire were prejudiced against non-humans in their ranks, one of the reasons Thrawn is so unusual to climb so high. This week I can even get my head around where there is not one single alien in the prison. I assume prions would need to cater to multiples species and have many more issues than if you separate prisoners by species. The feeling I got was that this was a prison build specifically for humans.
However, where I think we do need to see more aliens is in the Coruscant scenes, or travels to other worlds that are a bit more cosmopolitan. Coruscaant should have a mix of everything even if the Empire itself is predominantly human. so whilst it was good to see Mon Mothma doesn’t share the Emperor’s prejudices, I still feel like someone needs to remind the showrunners that most planets are multicultural in Star Wars. Perhaps that’s a point they’ll get a bit more right in Season 2. I think the show really need a non-human main character at this point to be added in Season 2.
I still feel like there should be more effort to included more non-humans in certain locales. That’s despite all my head canon reasons above. It’s not a big criticism, because I can actually understand why it’s happening. However this is Star Wars, and as such there’s only so much you can do with a purely human cast. Hopefully the alien quote gets a 10-15% bump for Season 2.
Still, I can’t say this small criticism has any solid effect on my enjoyment, maybe like 2-3% it works at the back of my mind. However if the show was less than it is, I think it would be become a more noticeable fault. However overall I do think Episode 8 is a story split in two with Episode 9, as such I never feel quite satisfied and likely I’ll enjoy next week more than this.
It’s still great drama, great TV and great Star Wars content though. Oh and Imperial prison sucks, I aint up for that.
Grade: A –
What did you think of my spoiler free Andor Episode 8 review? Leave your own review of the eighth episode below. Tell us what you think, were you as positive about Andor as I am? The Cantina Reviews will be recording later today, hopefully for your viewing pleasure tomorrow. Catch last week’s review in the link above.