Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode five of Andor.
This fifth episode of Andor, titled “The Axe Forgets,” is a revealing and character-driven middle chapter of this season’s second story arc—and now that we’ve grown close to the rebel cell on Aldhani, episode six is bound to be action-packed and tear-stained. While we impatiently wait for next Wednesday, let’s take a look at some connections and details strewn throughout the episode—including a pretty wizard connection to Solo: A Star Wars Story that might have some big implications.
Andor continues the blue food trend
Blue bantha milk has been a franchise staple ever since its first appearance in A New Hope. In this episode, a rather mopey, unemployed Syril Karn pours it as a base for some tasty looking blue cereal that’s definitely not Captain Crunch’s Oops! All Berries. Blue milk’s incidental iconographic status began an endearing trend of turning every-day foods blue when importing them into the Star Wars universe. Recently, this includes Grogu’s blue macarons from Mandalorian Season 2 and a Pre-Mor security employee’s blue take-out noodles in an earlier episode of Andor. Also featured in this scene are some meiloorun fruits, which originated in the Legends novel X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble and appear prominently throughout Star Wars Rebels.
This episode also introduces us to Mon Mothma’s daughter, Leida. Long before the episode debuted, Genevieve O’Reilly told Vanity Fair that the Chandrilan senator had a daughter, but even longer before that, the character appeared in Legends. She was a very minor character—most of the information about her came from reference books—but from what we know, she was a touch more pleasant than her canon counterpart.
Lieutenant Dedra Meero continues her investigation into what she believes to be organized rebel activity. In a back and forth with Attendant Heert, the two rattle off several planets of note in search of connections:
- Hosnian Prime, which will later serve as the capital of the New Republic.
- Kessel, the mining planet featured prominently in Solo: A Star Wars Story. However, this specific mention might be in reference to the Ghost crew’s mission to Kessel, which kicks off the plot of Rebels.
- Jakku, the eventual home of the orphaned sequel trilogy protagonist, Rey. Heert mentions that equipment was stolen from the backwater planet… but why would the Imperials have a presence there? Oh, thats right—Sheev Palpatine’s secret observatory that housed crazy Sith relics and an emergency “destroy-this-entire-planet” button.
Determined to get to the bottom of things, Meero pops some stim pills to keep her sharp for another few hours. Stim has many uses in the Star Wars universe, but here it’s implied to be a sort of prescription medication that is not being used responsibly. Remember, little wamp-rats: if you have to abuse stimulants to excel in the workplace, it’s probably not a great workplace to begin with. Mark that down as another big Imperial red flag.
“By the Hand”
Cassian spent a lot of time with one particular rebel in this episode—Arvel Skeen, played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach. In a scene where the two are cooly evaluating each other, Cassian notices Skeen’s tattoos and recognizes their significance.
On his chest is a “Krayt Head” identification number tattoo—the aurebesh reads “KH 72742647.” Through their conversation it’s revealed that Krayt Head was an Imperial station or camp of some sort. Cassian mentions that he began his Imperial career at Sipo Youth Center at the age of 13, and the two bond over both having served the Empire—possibly in a compulsory servitude situation.
Cassian also identifies Skeen’s forearm tattoo—”by the hand,” he quotes. Not much else is said, leaving the meaning of this a mystery. My first instinct is to say that this is a reference to the Emperor’s Hands. We don’t know much about them in canon, but in Legends, they were an Imperial operative group that reported directly to Palpatine—and the most well known Hand? Mara Jade Skywalker. Here’s a quote from the character that summarizes their function:
"“I served him all over the galaxy, doing jobs the Imperial Fleet and stormtroopers couldn’t handle… I exposed traitors for him, brought down his enemies, helped him keep the kind of control over the mindless bureaucracies that he needed. I had prestige, and power, and respect.”-Mara Jade, Heir to the Empire"
Now, I don’t think that this is any indication Mara Jade will be brought into canon—but I do think that an inner-circle of Imperial fascist thought police would be something that Tony Gilroy would be keen to explore.
Someone on the Andor set really likes Indiana Jones
Towards the end of the episode, we get a clearer look at the back room of Luthen’s gallery. On a shelf in the background are some Sankara stones—Andor’s second Indiana Jones reference so far. These stones were featured in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
Solo connections: Could Luthen be working with…?
Right next to the stones are two holocrons: one Jedi, and one Sith. However, the Sith holocron is no ordinary artifact—it’s the exact holocron featured in the private showroom of the yacht belonging to Crimson Dawn baddie Dryden Vos.
Andor takes place after Solo, meaning that Dryden is… not around anymore, and Crimson Dawn is being run by Maul, with Qi’ra as the new “face” of the organization. The recent Marvel comic series Crimson Reign expanded on their master-and-apprentice type relationship, and even featured Qi’ra in possession of the exact same holocron.
Could Luthen be in league with Crimson Dawn? Could we see Emilia Clarke make a brief appearance as Qi’ra? The character’s recent spotlight in the comics certainly leads me to have a healthy suspicion… maybe I’m getting way too far ahead of myself, but the presence of that specific holocron has the gears turning.
Tangentially related (but with far less implications) is the return of the C-PH patrol bike, also from Solo: A Star Wars Story. It’s always nice to see such characterful designs utilized across projects!
That’s all for this week’s episode. Visit Dork Side next week for more analysis, easter eggs, and opinions on Andor. May the Force be with you!