Is There More Of A Bootlicking Weasel In The Star Wars Universe Than Andor's Syril Karn?

"Andor" is a story of galactic reckoning. Week by week, we've been watching the slow construction of the Rebel Alliance through the eyes of a young and disillusioned Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) caught in the middle of it. It largely succeeds in its departure from the "Star Wars" status quo by focusing on the political power plays of the galaxy. While Mon Mothma (Genevieve O'Reilly) bravely seeks financing and diplomatic support within a corrupted Coruscant senate, Luthen (Stellan SkarsgÄrd) is making cold and calculated moves to martyr the lives lost in Aldhani.

Meanwhile, there's yet another recurring thread that we've been following over the course of the last eight episodes of "Andor," and that's the pathetic chase for Imperial validation by Syril Karn (Kyle Soller). After his complete failure to capture and apprehend Cassian for his murder of two Imperial officers on Ferrix, he's been typing away at his job at the Bureau of Standards on Corsuscant, which he got through his mother, completely consumed with obsession over Cassian's record ever since.

In this week's eighth episode, Imperial Lieutenant Dedra Meero (Denis Gough) confronts Syril for his six different false inquiries on Cassian. Though his bloodlust for revenge might be something useful to her own agenda in near future, for Syril, his needs to clear his name and seek Imperial validation come first.

"Andor" (refreshingly) has its fair share of morally dubious characters, but when it comes to pure smarminess and desperation, Syril Karn might just be the biggest, bootlicking loser in the "Star Wars" universe to date.

Syril and Dedra are two sides of one Imperial coin

Though they are both candidly deplorable Imperials, there's a fascinating contrast between Syril and Dedra that has been slowly building throughout the entirety of this season. "Andor" has given us the most context for how the Imperial infrastructure and chain of command works than any "Star Wars" project yet, and following Dedra's arc throughout her duties for the Imperial Security Bureau, it's clear the respect she gets doesn't always match her hard efforts.After being constantly undermined by her fellow co-workers, such as Inspector Blevin (Ben Bailey Smith), she was finally given clearance in the seventh episode, titled "Announcement," to continue her investigation into the growing rebel sentiments in Blevin's sectors.

In direct comparison to Dedra's "take no prisoners" determination, Syril's entire journey thus far has been informed by his general incompetence. His failure to contain the chaos of Cassian's escape on Ferrix continually haunts him. Though he's been fired and humiliated in the form of going back to live with his non-empathetic mother, he still maintains an Imperial position at the Bureau of Standards due to pure nepotism, a safety net that is privilege he didn't truly earn. Even when he's no longer in a position of power to arrest and pass judgment, he's still doing everything he possibly can in his situation to rat Cassian out.

It's been constantly theorized that Dedra and Syril would be teaming up by the end of this season, but in this episode, Dedra does not express much interest in Syril's playbook. She gives him the access to the reports he desires, but seeing these two characters working eye-to-eye does not seem likely at the moment.

If Syril does defect to the Rebel Alliance, don't expect a pure heart

In classic "Star Wars" fashion, there's been lots of discussion about our Imperial antagonists and if any of them have any potential for "redemption." When it comes to Syril Karn, there's definitely some points that could be made in favor of taking his character to that direction.

One of the more interesting aspects of Syril's character is his emotionally fraught relationship with his mother, Eedy Karn (Kathryn Hunter). We've seen Eedy absolutely steamroll her son at the dinner table. In a universe of laser swords and space wizards, nothing has cut quite as deep as the way Eedy scorns Syril's incompetency, lack of ambition, and posture over a bowl of blue cereal and milk.

Returning to his childhood bedroom in shame is one of the most humanizing moments Syril has had in the show thus far, the abusive dynamics of the Imperial hierarchy directly mirroring his living conditions at home. Though it is driving Syril down a path of anger and revenge right now, who's to say Syril's dissatisfaction with his place in life might not lead him down a path of rebellion instead? Once Dedra gets what she needs from Syril, she's definitely someone who wouldn't be afraid to pay him dust.

However, "Andor" is much more complicated than "redemption" arcs. Even our key players in the Rebel Alliance so far have their own agendas and ideologically oppositional ways of executing their goals. If we are to see Syril go against the Empire, it's important to realize that might not come in the form of a pure change of heart. Yes, Syril Karn is a pathetic, bootlicking weasel, but he's a self-obsessed opportunist above all.