Andor Episode 4 review: Cassian meets the Rebels

Diego Luna in Andor on Disney PlusDisney+

Andor Episode 4 introduces the show’s most fascinating character yet, while setting the stage for a fresh hunt as Cassian takes his early steps into the new Rebel Alliance.

In Episode 1 of Andor, Cassian (Diego Luna) hastily began plotting his getaway after killing two corrupt Corpos on Morlana One, hoping to sell an official Empire star path and leave some money for his mom, Maarva (Fiona Shaw).

In Episodes 2 and 3, he managed to convince Bix (Adria Arjona) to put him in touch with her secret buyer: Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård), who has grander, bolder plans for Cassian. Meanwhile, Syril Karn (Kyle Soller) ordered a violent raid in Ferrix to catch him, only to be left standing over the flames of his failure.

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Episode 4 further testifies Andor’s practical sense of atmosphere; on-location shooting and minimal CGI are far more immersive than anything in The Volume, with TIE fighters wailing across mountainous skies and gorgeous scenery.

Spoilers for Andor Episode 4 to follow…

Andor Episode 4: Cassian and Luthen begin their mission

Episode 4 picks up immediately where we left off: Cassian and Luthen are jetting across the pale blue atmosphere of Morlana One in a bid to escape any pursuing Corpos, and quickly go into hyperspace.

After a sip of Mad Nog, Cassian asks Luthen to explain why he brought him along. Luthen gives him three options: he can either return home and face the music, join Luthen’s mission where he can be given “everything he wants, all at once,” or kill him and steal his ship.

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A still from Andor Episode 4Disney+

Luthen says he wants to put a real stick in the eye of the Empire, starting by stealing a quarterly payroll for an entire Imperial site.

“You’ll ultimately die fighting these bastards, so wouldn’t you rather give it all at once to something real,” he tells Cassian, who reveals he fought for six months as part of Rebel efforts, and “lived because he ran” – nevertheless, he’s convinced to help him, in lieu of another sensible option.

Andor Episode 4: The Empire prepares to strike

Meanwhile in Coruscant, the capital of the galaxy, Syril is reprimanded alongside Chief Hyne (Rupert Vansittart) and Sergeant Linus Mosk (Alex Fearns) for their unsanctioned, calamitous operation in Ferrix.

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Lieutenant Supervisor Blevin (played by Ben Bailey Smith, better known as Doc Brown) strips them of their duties and tells them that Morlana now falls under Imperial control, while Syril returns home to his mother, who slaps him in the face before embracing him.

A still from Andor Episode 4Disney+

During a briefing, Dedro Meero (Denise Gough) learns about the stolen star path recovered at the scene, which dates back to a theft reported in her sector. We’re also told about “increased construction shipments going to Scarif,” referencing the early stages of the Death Star.

Luthen and Cassian land on another planet. Before Luthen meets with Vel (Faye Marsay), his Rebel squad leader, he asks Cassian to choose a new name. He decides on Clem, and Luthen proceeds to convince Vel he’s worth their while.

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Vel hesitantly agrees, and takes Cassian on a long hike across the mountains to meet the ragtag group – one of whom is played by Alex Lawther, of Black Mirror and The End of the F***ing World fame. They’re essentially the first seeds of the Rebellion we come to know in Star Wars.

Andor Episode 4: Senator Mon Mothma returns

Luthen heads off to his other life. He puts on his regal gladrags, practices a strained smile, and meets Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly, who played the same character in Revenge of the Sith) in his gallery of artifacts, acting as a front for covert meetings.

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While they engage in pleasantries for the sake of her companion, they move aside privately, where she reveals to Luthen that she wants to bring “someone else” into the circle. Whoever that is remains to be seen, but they quickly part ways before any suspicions are aroused.

Mothma returns home, where her husband reveals he’s organized a dinner party with all of her political adversaries. She’s clearly upset by this, but he’s unbothered by her sadness; he thinks she’s boring, they’re fun – despite cutting off vital shipping lanes – and even has the cheek to ask for the present he picked up from Luthen’s collection.

O’Reilly’s character stands apart from the rest; as the mother of the rebellion, her anxious politicking and silent distaste for the Empire has proven to be incredibly compelling. “She’s this figurehead of liberal democracy that will fail, and ultimately, she’ll go to the Rebel Alliance,” Tony Gilroy told Vanity Fair.

“We stick to the timeline and the major events. But as you can see, we’re saying, ‘You don’t really know what’s going on with her. Nobody has really known what’s going on with her. She’s had a much harder time than we knew.'”

Andor Episode 4: A heist in 50 meteor showers

Vel explains the plan to raid the Empire garrison and steal the payroll to Cassian. He thinks it’s a suicide run, but the group is hoping to flee during a chaotic celestial event, like “50 meteor showers all at once until the window to the galaxy forms over the horizon.”

As they huddle around a fire, Andor is handed an Aldhani phrasebook, which he’s expected to learn in its entirety by the next morning.

A still from Andor episode 4Disney+

Dedra tries to track down her star path, but hits a wall with Blevin. When he rejects her request for official records – which she should be permitted to, as the case is tied to her sector – she asks the head honcho, Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) to step in, only for him to side with Blevin and insist on factual information.

Partagaz also makes a rather sexist comment with regards to her being a woman in the Empire, telling her there’s a “high bar for her performance” and she’s “supposed to be more competent and tucked away” than the others – so basically, as long as she doesn’t make a fuss, she’ll be fine.

Episode 4 shows Andor going from strength to strength, sturdily building out one of the most gripping sagas in Star Wars to date with practical production values, well-pitched performances, and a constant sense of suspense.

Andor Episode 5 will be available to stream on Wednesday, October 5. You can sign up to Disney+ here.