Rebel With a Cause

Andor theory: One Episode 6 moment just changed the Rebellion forever

Let them see how an insurgency adapts.

Andor Episode 6 was the payoff the first half of Season 1 was leading up to. After Cassian (Diego Luna) escaped his humdrum life and joins the early Rebellion, he’s integrated into a group on the far-flung planet Aldhani planning a heist like no other: stealing an Empire base’s entire quarterly payroll from right underneath their noses.

Most of Andor Episodes 4 and 5 spent time showing Cassian (or “Clem” as he introduced himself to the other rebels) trying to win over the trust of the insurgents. Episode 6 finally brought all these tense conversations to a head. Cassian finds himself torn between the life he was promised and a much more enticing one — one where he actually fights the Empire. A key prop from Episode 6 could be the answer to this dilemma he’s looking for.

Spoilers ahead for Andor Episode 6.

Cassian Andor and Nemik’s manifesto

Andor and Nemik bond before the mission.

Before the heist, Cassian has a heart-to-heart with Karis Nemik, the bright-eyed young Rebel who specialized in the recon and logistics of the plan. He’s unlike any rebel we’ve seen before, more focused on the morals and strictures of a possible new way of living than just overthrowing the Empire.

Unable to sleep, Nemik instead writes about the use of mercenaries in the Rebellion (a direct response to the revelation in Episode 5 that Cassian is paid to be there). At first, Nemik was conflicted, but he quickly changes his opinion.

“Weapons are tools. Those that use them are, by extension, assets that we must use to our best advantage,” Nemik says, reading his own words to Cassian. “The Empire has no moral boundaries, why should we not take hold of every chance we can?”

Andor reassures Nemik he’ll be fine after the mission, which ends up foreshadowing just the opposite.

After escaping Aldhani with Vel, Skeen, and a badly injured Nemik, they switch to a contingency plan and take Nemik to a doctor who isn’t able to save him. After Andor shoots Skeen for suggesting running off with the credits himself (and cutting Cassian in on the deal), Andor approaches Vel with a weapon in hand, demanding his cut so he can leave.

Vel lets Cassian go, but not before giving him Nemik’s manifesto.

A Star Wars martyr in the making

Nemik was a crucial part of the Aldhani heist logistics. Lucasfilm

Nemik is one of the first martyrs of the Rebellion (R.I.P. Taramyn). He was a brilliant mind who paid the ultimate price, but we have a feeling his words will live on. Nemik’s manifesto, now in the hands of a future Rebel leader, is bound to become a founding document of the Rebel movement.

Maybe it will serve as the inspiration Cassian needs to return to the cause. Or maybe it will serve as a rousing speech later in the series. Nemik’s manifesto is perfectly set to become the Declaration of Independence from the Empire, detailing not only how they should rebel but why.

Andor Episode 6 is now streaming on Disney+.