Rebel With a Cause

Andor Episode 8 is about to feature a major Con-Air-inspired twist

After a heist, it’s clear what comes next.

Andor may be a new kind of Star Wars show, but its multi-genre take is par for the course. Just as The Mandalorian can go from a Western to a pirate tale to a martial arts mentorship story, Andor is morphing from high-octane escape tale to classic heist. We know this show is structured in a series of arcs, and Episode 8 is set to launch the next one.

What will the tone of this arc be? Once you look at the clues, it’s obvious — and exciting.

In Andor Episode 7, we see Cassian as he lays low on Niamos, which appears to be Space Miami. But when he looks at an Imperial trooper the wrong way, he gets arrested and sentenced to six years in prison for “civil disruption, anti-Imperial speech, fleeing the scene of anti-Imperial activity, and attempted damage.”

Cassian comes face to face with a security droid on Niamos.Lucasfilm

Earlier in the episode we see Vel, the revolutionary Cassian worked with in the Aldhani heist, being told she must track him down because he knows too much. She seems reluctant, but agrees to the plan.

So where does that leave us as we head into Andor’s next chapter? It’s the perfect setup for one of the oldest Star Wars tropes: The prison break. Star Wars usually focuses on rescuing a key character from an Imperial ship, like Princess Leia in A New Hope or Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian. Andor appears to be setting up a style of prison break that’s new to live-action Star Wars, and will give us a glimpse of what the Imperial penal system looks like.

Vel talks with Kleya about Cassian.Lucasfilm

We’ve seen glimpses of the Empire’s many prisons in other Star Wars media, like the prison break scene in Jedi: Fallen Order and the Season 3 Clone Wars episode “The Citadel.” But we haven’t seen an elaborate live-action plot to break someone out of prison yet, and Andor’s grounded story is the perfect setting. Is Val going to bust Cassian out? Or is she going to try to eliminate him?

Vel needs to reconnect with Cassian to see where his loyalties lie, and Cassian needs a push that will turn him against the Empire forever. Being wrongly imprisoned is certainly a step in that direction, and becoming a fugitive is a great way to confirm his destiny.

Considering how Andor has artfully handled the grittier elements of the Star Wars galaxy so far, a peek into what it’s like to be incarcerated not for rebellious behavior but for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time is an intriguing — and terrifying — next step.

Andor is now streaming on Disney+.