Happy Andor day, for all who celebrate! Andor episode 7, ‘Announcement’, had a big job. It’s really no exaggeration to say that last week’s Andor episode 6 was the best 50 minutes of Star Wars since Empire Strikes Back. The episode was the culmination of hours of build-up, acting as a bombastic climax filled with action and dazzling adventure. It was a huge release of pent up tension, executed to perfection.
So, it’s no surprise that Andor episode 7 brought the pace down a notch. It needed to, because it was necessary to establish the new direction for the Star War series and the characters after such a big conclusion to the heist on Aldhani. It also tied up all those pesky dangling loose ends.
The most notable among those was what was going on in Ferrix, after Andor left the settlement in a state of upheaval. He learnt of Timm Karlo’s betrayal, and found Bix Caleen unreceptive to his apologies and enthusiasm, after everything he’d brought upon the town. He also learnt that Ferrix blamed him for the events – something that is both unfair and understandable.
He had expected his return to be met with celebration, not apprehension, and that left the character scrabbling to adjust his expectations, and his plans. So, he pivoted, and asked his adoptive mother Maarva to flee the planet with him, using his new found wealth to go somewhere far away from Imperial control.
However, unbeknownst to him, the events on Aldhani have ignited inspiration for rebellion and resistance across the Galaxy. Maarva, who’s personal history has fermented a hatred of the Empire, tells Andor that the rebels on Aldhani were heroes. The heist has inspired her to stay on Ferrix, and resist rather than retreat.
A lesser sci-fi series would have abandoned the story of Aldhani now, but here it gets the resolution it deserves, being cemented into legendary status among the civilians of the galaxy. The BBC news-style report on the attack on Aldhani was a lovely bit of worldbuilding (there are TVs in Star Wars!), with its Huw Edwards-style reporter. And, while we don’t see what happens to the native citizens of the planet, with the news and the whisperings we can make some educated guesses.
There’s also the enormous Imperial Star Destroyer that we see blast into orbit on Aldhani – we know that whatever happens to the natives of the planet, it isn’t going to end well. This all feeds into the episode’s main goal: the exploration of the oppression of the Empire. Andor episode 7 brings the consequences of the Empire’s oppression to the fore in a way that hasn’t happened since Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru were slaughtered by stormtroopers.
When the ship arrives on Aldhani it’s just like the first appearance of a Star Destroyer in the first Star Wars movie, A New Hope: a symbol of the size and might of the Empire. With this, and many other more subtle moments in the episode, Andor makes the Empire two things that it has never really been before: scary, and recognisably evil. Above all, it shows why this Empire is worth rebelling against.
But, that rebellion won’t be easy. Mon Mothma tells Luthen “People will suffer.” and the undercover antique dealer replies “That’s the plan.” It’s the best example so far of the moral greyness with which the TV series has been playing with. The villains; Syril and Dedra especially, are sympathetic. Meanwhile, the heroes are detestable.
In case there was any confusion, Andor isn’t one of those heroes yet. He has no desire to get involved in any more rebellion, or do anything that will help anything but his own interests. He leaves Maarva behind and escapes to – what appears to be – the party planet of Niamos. However, what starts out as a party ends up being anything but.
Andor gets into the wrong place at the wrong time, and is arrested by a stormtrooper (with what looks like a very swanky new design). Without any delay, he’s forced into a kangaroo court and sentenced to six years for damage to property and anti-Imperial messaging. The disdain of the judge, the blatant corruption, and the lack of hope is all exactly as it should be, and forces Andor to confront the reality of the Empire that he’s trying to avoid.
As the episode ends, Andor’s prison sentence is juxtaposed neatly with Syril Karn, who now has a new job at the Bureau of Standards. For the man who wanted nothing more than to standout and impress his bosses, this new anonymous desk job is his own prison sentence.
There’s something to enjoy in every single second of Andor episode 7. The performances, the sets, the costume design, the score, and the constant tension. On more than one occasion, such as in the courtroom scene, all of these things combine to create something that is so compelling, and so well executed, that you just have to sit back and admire how such a simple scene can be so perfect.
So where does Andor episode 7 leave us then? We know there’s a time jump coming, and that time jump could span the six years that Andor has been sentenced to. It would make sense as his motivation to join the rebellion for more personal reasons, as we know happens in the character’s future. That would be bold, and would be a big gamble for the second half of the season.
But, Andor has kicked into such a high gear now that gambles don’t feel like they’d be a risk. The team knows what they’re doing. If it wasn’t burdened with the label of a ‘Star Wars series’, Andor would be being discussed as one of the best shows on TV right now. For more, dive into our guide into the Andor season 2 release date.
Andor episode 7 review
Andor episode 7 concludes the events on Aldhani and gives a springboard to the future of the series with expert precision.