Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode six of Andor: “The Eye.”
In Wednesday’s stunning new episode of Andor, the highly-anticipated heist on the Aldhani base plays out in its entirety. This high-strung episode seals the fate of many of our beloved rebels, and reveals the true motivations of others.
Throughout this robbery plot arc, the identities of each of the small group of Aldhani rebels has been examined, especially why they chose to join the rebellion. Nemik has his manifesto, Lieutenant Gorn is sick of aiding the Empire, and Cinta has a personal stake in the rebellion because her family was killed.
In episode six, we finally learn the background of the intimidating Tamaryn Barcona. Barcona has been skeptical of Cassian since he set foot in the Aldhani camp. He keeps a watchful eye on all proceedings of the group, acting as a sort of bodyguard. Barcona tends to bark orders and trains the Aldhani rebels in how to “walk like a solider.”
All of these aspects of his personality clues the audience into the idea that Tamaryn has some sort of military background, but it is not until Skeen reveals his past that we understand the extent of his training.
"“They didn’t tell you, did they? He was a stormtrooper… You should have been here when Cinta found out. They slaughtered her whole family.”"
Of course, this reference brings to mind another famous stormtrooper who defects to the Rebellion: Finn. Though we don’t get the full history of Tamaryn leaving the Empire, we can assume that it’s probably something like Finn’s story.
Generally, defectors from the Empire are people who are ordered to do something against their moral code, and decide it’s not worth it. In Finn’s case, he is ordered to kill an entire village of innocent people, losing one of his close friends in the battle. Barcona may have had a similar experience, or it may have been many smaller grievances that showed him the truth of the Empire’s oppression.
Whatever Tamaryn Barcona’s story may be, it is refreshing to see other stormtroopers who have decided to join the Rebellion. This is classic Star Wars commentary on oppression and politics, emphasizing the fact that the people who often have a higher stake in the cause are those who know what it’s like to be on the other side.
Episode six of Andor is now available to stream on Disney+.