Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Episodes 1-6 of Andor.The sixth episode of Andor, “The Eye” brought the second arc of the season to a great close, both graphically and story-wise. Though we’ll have to wait a full week to find out what the future holds for Cassian (Diego Luna) and young rebellion, there are already some clues as to where the show might go next. As the episode ended, the Empire was rocked by the news of the attack on the Aldhani Base, causing the Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) to call an emergency meeting, politicians to walk out of a Senate session, and so on.
Why though? Aldhani is not a large star system, it is just part of a logistics chain in the galaxy’s mid-rim. Surely the Empire could find various alternatives to deal with an incident like this without casualties, especially since there were other facilities on the planet like Alkenzi Air Base. So how come the news of the attack made such a fuss when they reached Coruscant? The answer is simple: because nothing like this has ever happened before.
The Aldhani mission sets the rebels in motion
In the course of this second arc Andor showed us what motivates someone to take up arms and start a revolution. It is important to remember that up to this point in galactic history the Empire ruled sovereign and unchallenged and the Rebel Alliance did not even exist. Of course, there were pockets of resistance in almost every system, but these were mostly the result of the Empire’s colonialist efforts. When a foreign force invades your country, takes your riches and demands your obedience, the first reflex of any resistance is right? There have also been efforts like The Path in Mapuzo (seen in Obi Wan Kenobi) and local villains found on planets like Lothal (seen in Star Wars rebels). Neither was really an organized effort and operated largely independently.
But for some people, the stakes are higher – for most people, really, because it just takes a little research to find out that there’s always a valid reason to fight. Cassian still finds his way in this vast galaxy, but the rebel gang Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) gathered in Aldhani were able to fulfill their mission because all had their reasons for being there. Apart from Arvel Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Naturally. But the others, yes. Nemik (Alex Lawther) was a young idealist, Taramyn (Gershwyn Eustache Jr.) had his problems as former stormtrooper, Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) wanted to fight the Empire’s dominance and prove it could lead, and so on.
So all members of the group had a direct motive to fight the Empire, but what about those who don’t? You don’t have to have your planet attacked to have a good reason to fight oppression, all it takes is a small spark and then it will surely ignite a fire to burn down the empire like Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) argued The Last Jedi. All of this happened far from the galactic core, in a backward world where civilization was still organized into tribes before the arrival of the Empire, but even in Coruscant there are surely people just waiting for that spark to catch fire. It doesn’t take much for resistance and rebellion to start in someone, it can be just a little laugh to see the big bully (like the guy in Luthen’s antique shop) lose once.
Despite the many problems the rebels faced during their operation and the casualties that occurred, it could be argued that the Aldhani operation was very successful. Just listen to Luthen’s laugh at the end of the episode if you’re still in doubt.
What is the Empire’s next move?
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the Aldhani operation will not go unnoticed by the Empire. For them, the whole affair is an embarrassing fiasco. We already took the first steps towards a counterattack as Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) called an emergency meeting at ISB headquarters, underscoring the seriousness of the situation on the intelligence front. As he explained in AndorIn the fourth episode of , it’s the ISB’s responsibility to address the root cause of a disease before it even develops symptoms, and they failed miserably.
She has a few courses of action now, and one of them is already taking shape. In the previous episode, Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) caught the trail of something as she and Nurse Heert (Jacob James Beswick) searched for the whereabouts of their missing Steergard Starpath Unit. Analyzing Imperial logs, she noticed a series of small-scale attacks taking place across the galaxy, none with major consequences, but all involving stolen or destroyed military equipment. Connecting the dots will surely lead them to conclude that the Aldhani attack was part of it, as it resulted in a quarterly payslip being stolen. Let’s just hope (for her sake) that Aldhani falls within her purview and not Lieutenant Supervisor Blevin’s (Ben Bailey Smith).
Perhaps the early news of the attack is already part of a plan to control the narrative surrounding the Empire’s attack. As the dominant force in the galaxy, it’s important not to show weakness or show surprise at what happened, and that’s certainly one of the actions we’re going to take. Part of the colonialist agenda is to blame the locals for any problems, and the Dhanis may end up taking the fall for what happened. One thing is certain: we will see a much more direct approach from ISB from now on.
The attack shocked everyone in Coruscant
One of the scenes showing the aftermath of the Aldhani attack took place in the Imperial Senate when Senator Mon Mothma (Genevieve O’Reilly) introduced a bill on the Ghorman Shipping Lanes. During her speech, most of her colleagues left the session when the news broke, leaving her to figure out what happened in the middle of the room.
Until now, Andor‘s Mon Mothma is far from the strong-willed leader of the rebellion we all know. She still has doubts not only about the future of the movement, but also about herself, as she also encounters resistance and animosity at home. As far as we know, she knew of Luthen’s plans to attack the Imperial base on Aldhani, but found herself too exposed and surrounded by the Empire to be of any use.
The fallout from the Luthen-led operation is perhaps the mark Mothma herself needed, and will reignite her involvement in organizing rebel activities. She will eventually break free from her grumpy home life and be on the run, but more importantly, she will also be a beacon of sanity and hope. She just needed a spark.
https://collider.com/andor-why-does-aldhani-operation-matter-in-coruscant/ Why Does the Aldhani Operation Matter in Coruscant?