How Andor Episode 6 Foreshadows A Future Star Wars Friendship

This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of "Andor."

Most of those involved with "Andor" have stressed that the series will be light on Easter eggs and references to other "Star Wars" projects. But seeing as "Andor" is still a prequel at the end of the day, it still manages to allude to future events where appropriate. While the references up to this point have been few and far between, it's getting harder to ignore the parallels between "Andor" and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" — especially where the series' explosive Aldhani arc is concerned.

It's fitting that one of Cassian Andor's first missions for the Rebellion mirrors his very last. Both involve infiltrating Imperial bases, sure, and end with disappointing casualties, but so many of the rebels on the Aldhani mission also share traits with the rebels of "Rogue One." Take Taramyn (Gershwyn Eustache Jnr), who, like Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), was an Imperial defector. Arvel Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) also shares a pragmatism with Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen) — though Baze is far and away more loyal to the cause. And then there's Nemik (Alex Lawthor), whose devotion to the Rebellion and its ethos mirrors the faith of Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen).

Of course, that's not where the parallels end, especially not after the events of the series' sixth episode, "The Eye." The Aldhani heist offers the most overt parallel to Cassian's future yet; it even manages to foreshadow one of his closest future friendships. And surprisingly, it all begins with Nemik.

Nemik's last words

As far as rebels go, we've not seen one quite like Nemik in the "Star Wars" galaxy. He approaches the concept of rebellion much like a college student discovering Marxism for the first time. He's writing a manifesto, for crying out loud. His passion is contagious, even endearing, and not even Cassian is entirely immune to it. Though he's likely met dozens of freedom fighters just like Nemik, there's clearly something about this particular rebel.

It's nice to see Cassian gelling with Nemik and the other Aldhani rebels after his rocky introduction to the crew, but the sense of dread looming over their mission hints that it's just the calm before the storm. While the rebels manage to steal a good chunk of Imperial payroll, their success comes at a hefty price. Taramyn and Lieutenant Gorn (Sule Rimi) are killed in the midst of a firefight, and as the remaining rebels escape, Nemik is crushed by one of their payloads.

Nemik's injury throws a bit of a wrench into the rebels' escape, especially with Cassian flying blind and a trio of TIE fighters on their tail. With the help of some space adrenals, Nemik manages to fulfill his duties as a navigator. He tells Cassian to direct the ship into the path of the meteor shower above them in order to shake off their pursuers. Cassian, ever the glass-half-empty type, doesn't see the merit in using their limited power to climb into the Eye. But "climb" is exactly what Nemik insists he does. In fact, it's one of the last things he ever says, to Cassian or to anyone else.

A rebellion built on hope

Nemik's last words might not carry much weight on their own, but paired with the words of another fan favorite in "Rogue One," it actually gains a lot of significance. During Cassian's last mission on Scarif, he ends up cornered by Imperial forces along with Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and his droid, K-2SO. K-2 essentially sacrifices himself so that Jyn and Cassian can transmit the Death Star plans off-planet — and just like Nemik, he too instructs Cassian to climb.

That Cassian's closest friend in the end is an Imperial droid that he reprogrammed himself says a lot about his tenure as a rebel spy. It's possible that Cassian is unable to trust anyone (or at least, any human) again after the mission on Aldhani. After Skeen reveals how willing he is to leave the team for dead and take the money for himself — and Nemik dies, despite Dr. Quadpaw's best efforts — there's no way the already-wary Cassian is going to let his guard down again any time soon.

Still, not all is lost. Cassian takes Nemik's manifesto at Val's insistence. And sure, he probably won't think much of it now, but knowing what we know about Cassian, it's clear that Nemik's principles will imprint on him one way or another. Cassian's relationship with K-2 takes on a whole new dimension in this context: Nemik's own faith helped radicalize Cassian, however marginally, and will even help Cassian to bring others to the cause — droids included. It's a clever way to foreshadow one of Cassian's closest connections, and show just how much Cassian really does care ... try as he might to conceal it.

"Andor" streams Wednesdays on Disney+.