This article contains major spoilers for Episode 10 of Andor: “One Way Out.”
Episode 10 of Andor blessed us with one of the best episodes of Star Wars television to date. High stakes and action-packed scenes underscored by Nicholas Britell’s gorgeous music left us stunned after watching.
The greatest impact of Episode 10, however, comes from the two monologues delivered by Kino Loy and Luthen Rael. Played by Andy Serkis and Stellan Skarsgård, respectively, these two men understand what it means to fight for freedom, both on a small and large scale.
“One Way Out”
Arguably nothing has felt closer to the twin triumph and heartbreak of Rogue One than Kino’s speech halfway through Episode 10 of Andor. Encouraged by Cassian, Kino announces to the entire prison that the guards are no longer in control. This is the final curve of Kino’s character arc – finally stepping up to be the leader that Cassian has seen in him all along.
Serkis’s delivery of this powerful speech communicates all the fear and desperation of the prisoners as he tells them to “run, climb, kill.” His voice breaks–which breaks our hearts–on the line, “If we can fight half as hard as we’ve been working, we will be home in no time.” His shuddering breaths and wide eyes at first seem to simply be a symptom of the stressful nature of a prison break. It isn’t until they finally break free that we finally understand why Kino was so reluctant to break out, why he wanted to serve his time and be released by the Imperial guards.
Those two words clear the fog of Kino’s motivation. The “one way out” he chanted at the end of his speech is an exit that leads to the ocean. They are in a floating prison in the middle of a vast body of water. And Kino knows even if he is able to break free, he won’t survive it.
“I burn my life to make a sunrise that I know I’ll never see.”
In the scene immediately following the prison break, we see Lonni, an undercover ISB agent, secretly meet with Luthen Rael. Lonni wants to stop his work for the Rebellion now that he has become a father. In a moment of frustration, he asks Luthen, “And what do you sacrifice?”
Stellan Skarsgård proceeds to deliver yet another incredible monologue about sacrifice and what it means to be a part of the Rebellion.
"“What is my sacrifice? I’m condemned to use the tools of my enemy to defeat them. I burn my decency for someone else’s future. I burn my life to make a sunrise that I know I’ll never see. And the ego that started this fight will never have a mirror or an audience or the light of gratitude. So what do I sacrifice? Everything!”"
This brilliantly written speech could act as the manifesto for the Rebellion (along with Nemik’s, of course.) The mentality of sacrificing not only physical items but personal morals and peace as well. Devoting your entire life, no matter the cost, to a cause that you may not even survive. That is the Rebellion.
Two Sides of the Same Rebellion Coin
It is no coincidence that Kino and Luthen both have powerful speeches about fighting and sacrifice in Episode 10. Screenwriter Tony Gilroy sets them up as parallels in this episode: two men who understand what it means to be a leader and fight against injustice.
The effect of having Luthen’s speech right after the prison break is that Kino’s sacrifice is that much more painful. We understand exactly what Luthen means about giving up your life for a new day that you won’t even see, because we just saw a concrete example. While Kino may not have been aware he was fighting for the Rebellion, his willingness to lead and fight when he knew he wasn’t going to survive makes him a part of a bigger war.
It will be interesting to see how the influence of these two men will shape Cassian into the full-fledged rebel he becomes. How much of their sacrifice influences his own sacrifice in Rogue One? The best character arcs are when someone is changed by other people and their ideas. Kino and Luthen are two of the most influential people in Cassian’s life so far, and seeing their own stake in the Rebellion helps us understand the trajectory of Cassian’s own role.
Andor is streaming now on Disney+.