Andor has always been about the hidden costs of the Rebellion. Whether it’s the funding secured by Mon Mothma, the sacrifices of regular citizens and their on-the-ground resistance, or the mental and moral toll that decades of planning has taken on Luthen, Andor wants us to know that every victory for the rebels has a price, even if we can’t see it.
But for as much as Andor’s characters have sacrificed to resist the Empire already, the show’s 11th episode is also a reminder that there are far greater sacrifices being paid by characters we’ll never see all around the galaxy. In no place is this more clear than the conversation between Luthen and guerilla-rebel Saw Gerrera discussing the fate of an unseen character named Anto Kreegyr.
[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for episode 11 of Andor.]
Kreegyr’s is a name we’ve heard a few times on Andor, uttered by Imperial and Rebel forces alike.
In Andor’s eighth episode, Luthen tries to convince Saw to meet with Anto as a fellow rebel leader, but Saw refuses, on the grounds that they belonged to different factions during the Clone Wars — a reminder that even for the desperate Rebellion, old grudges aren’t easy to see past.
But Anto is a key figure for the Empire at the moment too. In episode 11 they’re holding Bix, Cassian’s friend on Ferrix, prisoner, and torturing her for information on Cassian’s whereabouts. But they focus on Kreegyr, who they (incorrectly) suspect Bix introduced to Cassian. Since the Empire refuses to see the vastness of the Star Wars Rebellion, its size and confusion turns into a tool that can be used to the Rebels’ advantage. And that’s a fact that Luthen is well aware of.
When Luthen returns to Saw in episode 11, he brings some new and very different information about Anto: Luthen’s going to let him die. The plans for Anto’s latest operation have fallen into Imperial hands. Rather than burn his man on the inside of the Empire’s operations, Luthen has decided the sacrifice of Anto and his 30 men is a price worth paying.
Even an experienced rebel like Saw is taken by surprise at the coldness of Luthen’s actions, but no one should be. Luthen has always been upfront about himself when he’s among fellow rebels: He’s resigned himself to doing whatever it takes to stop the Empire, no matter the cost.
But while the coldness of Luthen shouldn’t come as a surprise to viewers, especially after Stellan Skarsgård’s excellent monologue at the end of episode 10, the Anto moment still stands out as a reminder of how much of the war we aren’t seeing.
While Luthen is clearly concerned with operations like the Aldhani job and securing funding for the cause through Mon Mothma, he’s also a puppet master with dozens of plans in the works across the galaxy at any time. His casual mention of Anto as a small price to pay lets us know just how big the scope of his rebellion is. And Luthen is far from the only rebel leader in the galaxy, even if there’s going to be one less after Anto’s last job.
This small scene about the cold-but-critical culling of a few dozen men for nothing is just as key to show as any of Cassian’s actual missions. For all the focus on the heroism of regular people that Andor has brought to the Star Wars universe, and its emphasis on the small moments, individual lives, and tragic sacrifices that build the myths of characters like Luke Skywalker, it’s equally important for it not to let us forget that Cassian isn’t that special. He’s one of thousands of rebels across the Star Wars galaxy with stories worth telling.