Wednesday, October 12, 2022

REVIEW: 'Andor' - The Aldhani Team Carries Out the Mission Against the Empire That Inspires the Rebellion in 'The Eye'

Disney+'s Andor - Episode 1.06 "The Eye"

With cover from a spectacular local festival, the Aldhani mission reaches a point of no return.

"The Eye" was written by Dan Gilroy and directed by Susanna White

This is the start of something. Cassian and the team on Aldhani carry out the largest Rebel attack against the Empire. They storm the garrison and leave with 80 million credits. The mission is successful. It will inspire everyone throughout the galaxy into action. And yet, it comes with devastating loss. Nemik was the true believer amongst the unit. He wrote manifestos about the oppression of the Empire. In Cassian, he found someone with a different perspective. One earned over a hardened life. Cassian proved useful throughout this mission because he could fulfill many different roles. The team needed his skills. It only works because they mapped all of this out as a team. Dread still radiates throughout the heist. Until they reach the point of no return by threatening the Imperial officer and his family, they believe it's a possibility to abandon the mission should they want to. Vel has that fear even after she planted the device to knock out the building's communication system. And yet, they are all devoted to the cause. They can't turn back now. The adrenaline is pumping. They know precisely what they have to do. It doesn't matter what happened leading up to this moment. They have to work with the team and the tools they've got. If anything goes wrong, they have to improvise quickly in the field. Not everyone makes it out alive. They went into the mission knowing that was a distinct possibility. They hoped to plan for every possible disruption. They could only eliminate so much risk. It's ultimately a success because they were each willing to give themselves to the cause. Even then, they each have their own personal motivations. When Cassian first showed up at camp, no one trusted him. He had to reveal what he was truly doing here. They each had to sign off on that being okay. Nemik was still the ultimate idealist. Skeen provided a story of needing to exact revenge. He needed to enact vengeance against the forces that killed his brother. That story proved to be a lie. He simply saw an opportunity to better himself. He saw a kindred spirit in Andor. They were both born at the bottom of a hole. As such, they were taught to do whatever it took to get out of it. It didn't matter who they had to step over to achieve that goal. Skeen still makes a fatal flaw. He reveals himself to Cassian who doesn't carry that same mentality. They aren't cut from the same cloth. Cassian was hired to do a job. He asks to be paid what was promised to him. That's it. He's not trying to make life worse for other people. Again, he holds onto the hope of what this mission can accomplish. He doesn't believe in it enough to join the Rebel forces. He did this one job. It was enough to offer him opportunities elsewhere. He's not loyal to the cause or willing to prop it up at the expense of everything else he cares about.

All of this is stunning to watch as well. The native Aldhanians make the trek every three years to this sacred site to witness the majesty of the comets above. It's a phenomenon that carries great meaning in their culture. The Imperial officers see them as nothing more than simple-minded creatures who don't appreciate what they are trying to accomplish. Nor do they have the common sense to know when they are being laid astray and abused. The Rebellion uses that ignorance and prejudice to their advantage. Cassian is part of a team in disguise as loyal soldiers. They are asked to be faceless warriors meant to fight for whatever their superior officers tell them. They aren't expected to provide anything but protection. The commandant falls into the trap. It all works perfectly. When Gorn reveals himself as loyal to the Rebellion, it's not shocking nor does it occur at a time when anything can change. Enough of the credits have already been loaded onto the ship. Of course, the situation becomes more dire when the communications officers noticed something was off. Gorn couldn't present a viable enough story of a classified mission happening. The Rebellion is supported by Imperial technology. They hope these tools won't be utilized against them. They have deprogrammed them from their original functions. And yet, the signal can still be heard. If people are looking closely enough, they can see the seams that will create the fraying of this world. People don't want to hear about the Empire being in any danger. The animosity towards their rule is very palpable. People are willing to risk their lives just to see it crumble. Some have to live under aliases just to provide more resources to the rebellion. Mon Mothma and Luthen Rael can't be on Aldhani as the start of the Rebellion begins. Their actions helped influence it. They have roles to play that require them elsewhere. This is the end of one specific mission. However, it reveals so much about what's happening across the galaxy. This is more than one threat contained on one planet. People came from throughout the galaxy just to target this specific garrison. It was the perfect way to strike the Empire where they were incredibly pompous and vulnerable. The Empire saw Aldhani as the base to launch all future operations. And now, it's revealed as the inspiration for the Rebellion. Of course, that opposition is still fractured. People still need the inspiration to present a united front. Deception is still out there. No one can ever trust someone's true motives. All of this is in service of something greater. None of these characters can believe in that being a guaranteed outcome. The audience knows better. The losses are still profound. Punishment is delivered to a certain extent. Nemik can't be saved. And yet, his words will live on even though Cassian has no clue what to do with them right now. Nor does he have any interest in building the Rebellion. He did a job. It's over. It's on to whatever comes next. However, these characters are destined to cross paths again. Their stories are intwined no matter what. That's the power of the Rebellion in the face of this great evil. No one can sit on the sidelines and allow the atrocities to continue. They have to fight back and emerge victorious. There are no other options.