WARNING: The following contains SPOILERS for Andor Season 1, Episode 6.
There are many ways to tell an intense, hopefully unpredictable Star Wars story, and the heist is a common favorite among sci-fi fans. In Episode 6 of Andor, Vel and her team finally embark on the dangerous mission they’ve been preparing for.
It’s breathtaking. It’s cruel. It is, at a baseline level, successful.
But the most surprising moments of the episode are quite possibly its final ones, showing Luthen hearing of the “robbery” against the Empire and being unable to contain his joy.
Luthen’s relief could suggest he doesn’t really care about any of the rebels who put their lives on the line to steal from the Empire, and maybe that’s true. Not everyone on the side of the rebellion is morally spotless — arguably none of them are, if you want to get technical.
But his laughter also suggests something else — perhaps that the mission was ultimately successful not because the money was stolen, but instead because the heist was executed in such a way that the Empire could not presumably cover it up.
Meaning that the ultimate goal all along wasn’t the credits; it was to prove to the galaxy that the Imperials are, in fact, vulnerable. That the regime can be penetrated. That the Empire won’t necessarily maintain its hold on its numerous systems forever.
Was that it all along? Did Luthen know that Cassian would play a major role in carrying out the mission as intended whether he lived or died trying, serving the sole purpose of showing the Empire it could be overpowered?
Likely, both of these things are true — that Luthen is relieved about the money (Mon Mothma told him she was going to have to be more careful about moving it around, implying they needed a new source of income, a lot of it, and fast) and that the Empire looks a little less menacing now that the galaxy has seen it’s not wholly invincible.
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