Warning: this article contains spoilers from Andor episode eight, “Narkina 5.”
The eighth episode of Andor, titled “Narkina 5,” continues to up the stakes for our major players. Cassian has been imprisoned, Mothma finds it harder and harder to move funds, and Luthen reaches out to a comrade for help. Things are getting worse for everyone, everywhere. With episode eight beginning another epic three-episode arc, the story group stays hard at work adding neat connections for Star Wars fans to enjoy.
At the beginning of the episode, those in Imperial custody are sorted into different labor camps according to their home sectors. The individual in front of Cassian, Tuck Hybecks, is sent off to the planet Belsavis. This planet first appeared in 1995 in the Legends novel Children of the Jedi by Barbara Hambly, and primarily served as a hiding place for Jedi. Belsavis was reintroduced into canon via a brief mention in the High Republic novel Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule, but this on-screen mention is a major leap in notoriety for the ice-covered planet.
2) Saw, Melshi, and… Snoke?
As Andor is a prequel to Rogue One, the return of Saw Gerrera isn’t necessarily shocking. However, the reintroduction of Ruescott Melshi (played by Duncan Pow) was a pleasant surprise! “Narkina 5” reveals that Cassian meets the future rebel sergeant in Imperial captivity. This is a clever bit of character work, as Melshi is the rebel that would later free Jyn Erso from her similar situation on Wobani. Thanks to Rogue One, we know that Cassian and Melshi grow quite close, as he’s the man that Cassian trusts to lead the rebel ground attack on Scarif. His appearance in the prequel series is exemplary of the showrunners’ dedication to fleshing out the solo film.
Also returning to Star Wars is the great Andy Serkis! The franchise veteran who formerly filled the role of Supreme Leader Snoke now portrays an entirely new character, Kino Loy. As Serkis is often utilized for his motion capture prowess, it’s a treat to see him embody a character with his real face. Kino Loy’s obsession with keeping the prison running smoothly is a prime example of how fascist regimes gameify productivity so effectively that even fellow prisoners are eager to join in on the oppression. Andor continues to be a pointed and decidedly angry commentary on the crimes of the capitalist empires of our world.
3) “Luke, we’re gonna have company!”
In a neat bit of production design consistency, a prop from A New Hope makes a return. While Dedra Meero is talking to Syril, several cameras are pointed at the interrogation room. We never see the full front of these cameras, but the side view reveals that they have several square shaped lenses. This means that these are the same model of security camera used on the Death Star—the very ones that are shot out by Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as the storm the detention center!
4) THX 1138
The entire aesthetic of the prison on Narkina 5 seems to be an homage to THX 1138, a movie released in 1971 co-written and directed by none other than George Lucas. The film was his feature-length debut, largely derived from his 1967 student film of the same name. The film depicts a dystopian future world where all citizens are prison laborers, devoid of personality or desires. The world they dwell in is the same, colorless and drab: their environments have white walls, and all workers wear white jumpsuits—just like Narkina 5.
5) A Nabooian Antique
We return to Luthen’s curio shop for a brief conversation between Kleya and the curator/rebel—and his collection always has something to offer for sharp-eyed fans. This time, it’s a traditional Naboo Headpiece similar to one worn by the one and only Padmé Amidala! It can be seen in the middle of the screen at 37:39.
That’s all for episode eight. Bookmark Dork Side of the Force for more Andor news, easter eggs, and more. May the Force be with you!