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Cassian and Luthen’s Final ‘Andor’ Scene Shows They’re More Alike Than They Think

Editor’s Note: The following conatains spoilers for Season 1 of Andor.


“What kind of game is this?” asks Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) as Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) hands him his gun. “No game. Kill me or take me in,” answers Cassian, a defeated look on his face. “Rix Road,” the season finale of Andor, was extremely emotional in many ways, and yet, somehow, the writers still found it within themselves to cap everything off with this tense, yet elegant exchange aboard the Luthen’s Fondor starship. With a simple six-word sentence, our hero revealed the whole of the suffering and trauma he went through along the 12 episodes of the season, and exactly to someone who was just waiting for that.

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The dynamics between Cassian and Luthen, although not something we got to see regularly throughout this first season, was definitely one of its highlights. The duo first met in the series’ third episode, “Reckoning“, as Luthen tried to no avail to recruit Cassian into the Rebellion. Back then, the young man was still reckless and inconsequential, thinking that it would be perfectly possible to live like a rolling stone under Imperial rule, just pulling his schemes and getting by from one day to the next.

After that, the tide would dramatically shift for him as the pair went their separate ways: Luthen went back to his antique shop in Coruscant and continued to articulate the building of a unified rebel movement, while Cassian joined Vel Sartha’s (Faye Marsay) group in Aldhani to deliver the first real blow to the Empire in what is now a civil war. It’s almost as if a whole lifetime went by for them, especially Cassian, but that last line of the season somehow encapsulates all that.


Cassian’s Final Sentence of the Season

Image via Disney+

It’s just incredible how far Cassian has fallen throughout these first 12 episodes of Andor. We first met him in Morlana One, trying to get information on the sister he left behind on Kenari. Despite his best intentions, this innocent mission is carried out so clumsily, it ends leaving two dead bodies and putting him on the Empire’s radar for good. What follows is a spectacular sequence of mistakes on his part. He may have made it out of Ferrix alive, but it was his home planet that was left with the consequences.

RELATED: Unanswered Questions We Have After ‘Andor’ Season 1

Already in Luthen’s net, Cassian had pretty much no other option than to take the Aldhani job. Luthen made a good point when he appealed to Cassian’s despise for the Empire, sure, but the young man wasn’t ready to commit to a cause like that. He spent his whole life running away from commitment, and the Empire does have an intimidating effect on everyday people.

Whether it was Luthen’s intention or not, we may never know, but being a part of Vel’s group was effective to bring Cassian closer to the Rebellion. There he met two people on different extremes: Nemik (Alex Lawther) and Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach). The first was an idealistic teenager that was even writing a manifesto on the importance of the Rebellion and standing up to the Empire, the second turned out to be a schemer trying to score some easy money and vanish. Both wound up dead, with Cassian in the middle. But even after witnessing sacrifices like Nemik’s, he still opted to just get his share and walk out.

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Image via Disney+

That’s not how the Empire plays, though. Cassian may be a little richer than before, but he still doesn’t know how to deal with oppressors, so, even with a fake identity, he still manages to get himself arrested and sent to a forced labor prison in Narkina 5. There, he met Kino Loy (Andy Serkis), who would be a valuable teacher when it comes to leadership skills, and Ruescott Melshi (Duncan Pow), his future ally in the Rebellion. After a whole arc of plotting, they finally orchestrate a prison break, but only Cassian and Melshi make it out.

When Cassian and Melshi part ways in Niamos, Cassian’s mind is already made up. He already has nothing to lose. His home planet is overrun by the Empire and infested with stormtroopers, and now he just lost his mother, Maarva (Fiona Shaw), too. The right thing is indeed to go back to Ferrix and try to fix some of his mistakes, like freeing Bix (Adria Arjona) and getting his friends away from there.

But, at the end of the day, Cassian really has no one else to go back to, hence the “kill me” part of the line. For him, there’s no way out anymore. He finally understands the Empire is everywhere, and that he can’t run from it. So now, his two best options are to die (and he would rather have it done by someone he respects, like Luthen) or be taken in by the Rebellion. He might not know what it has in store for him, and may even be expecting to be arrested by them (which would certainly be better than being arrested by the Empire), but that’s the very start of his journey as a proper rebel.

“Kill Me or Take Me In.”

Andor Episode 12-Stellan Skarsgård
Image via Disney+

On the receiving end of that line is Luthen Rael. By now, we have a very good idea of who he actually is: the mastermind behind the creation of the Rebellion, trying to articulate the actions of many independent rebel cells and, above all, a fanatic for the cause. He identified something worth looking into in Cassian and attempted to convince the boy to join him, but it didn’t work — he was not yet ready.

Unbeknownst to Luthen, parting ways with Cassian when he walked out after the Aldhani job was the best thing that could happen to bring him to the movement. Letting the future spy go through the Imperial meat grinder helped him forge character and further develop skills that would be valuable for the Rebellion. Unfortunately for Luthen, none of this matters at this point in the story, because Cassian is a loose end. When someone knows too much and cares too little, that’s what they become for a movement that depends on secrecy above anything else such as the Rebellion. So the “kill me” part does make a lot of sense for both of them.

But things are different now, as Luthen is about to find out. His monologue about leadership and sacrifice in Andor‘s 10th episode, “One Way Out,” reveals that, under a hard shell and tough words, he really has nothing else. He literally devoted his life to the Rebellion and has nowhere else to go. So he and Cassian do have one thing in common: both have nothing left to lose in the fight against the Empire. And when you have nothing to lose, you are likely the one who has sacrificed everything.


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