Luthen Rael Isn't Just A Dedicated Rebel, He's A Total Badass In Andor Episode 11

This post contains spoilers for "Andor" episode 11.

Rebel middleman Luthel Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) has been goated since he was first introduced on "Andor." Luthen has served as the catalyst for Cassian Andor's (Diego Luna) journey as an emerging rebel, as he helped facilitate his escape on Ferrix and his involvement in the Aldhani heist.

Episode 10 of the show featured quite the profound monologue by Luthen, who spoke about the sacrifices one has to make for the greater good. "I burn my life to make a sunrise that I know I will never see," he lamented, as he has to make difficult choices for the sake of the rebellion. Episode 11 continues to prove that Luthen Rael is as badass as it gets, and the man never fails to steal every scene he's in.

The show's previous episode set the stage for the Empire ambushing Anto Kreegyr and his men, which Luthen got wind of after Lonni (Robert Emm) tipped him off. This situation presents a massive moral dilemma for Luthen, and by extension, every rebel in the position to make tough calls. In episode 11, Luthen both handles the Kreegyr situation and evades an Imperial Arrestor Cruiser in the most effortless way imaginable, further cementing him one of the coolest characters in "Star Wars."

A masterclass in charisma and honest persuasion

Luthen has to constantly lead a double life and orchestrate events from the shadows. The Empire is hot on his heels. Although they're not currently aware that he is the infamous "Axis," it is only a matter of time before they find out. Previously, Luthen had approached rebel extremist Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) about working together with Kreegyr, but the latter refused. After Lonni's reveal about the ISB trap concerning Kreegyr, Saw asks to meet Luthen at Segra Milo and says that he has changed his mind. This, obviously, further complicates Luthen's moral dilemma.

Luthen admits to Saw that Kreegyr will have to be willfully sacrificed, and that it an unsavory decision that needs to be taken for the sake of the rebellion. Those aware of Saw's personality and his brand of rebellion in "Rogue One" and "Jedi: Fallen Order" will know that he is instinctively untrusting and hyper-vigilant, and Luthen's admission of the truth prompts Saw to question his trust in him. Paranoid that one of his men is a mole for Luthen, Saw steers the conversation away from the choice he must make to aggressively questioning the rebel middleman about his true intentions.

Luthen, being the persuasive leader he is, handles the situation deftly and manages to calm Saw down. He does this by asking an honest question: While Kreegyr and his men can be saved, wouldn't their deaths offer a greater chance for the rebellion to prosper in the long run? After some persuasion, Saw begins to understand Luthen's perspective, and he deems that it is best "for the greater good" while acknowledging that some sacrifices are essential in war. Although both parties are still wary of one another, a new sense of understanding is established between the two.

Cool as a cucumber in high-stress situations

After meeting Saw, Luthen comes back to his ship and engages in a conversation with Kleya (Elizabeth Dulau). The conversion is cut off midway after an Imperial patrol ship accosts Luthen's Haulcraft and asks for verification. While Luthen is able to quickly feed the vessel's crew an Alderaan chain code and does nothing to raise suspicion, the Imperial craft still traps his ship in its tractor beam for an unlawful vehicle scan. While the Imperials were solely looking to "practice" their mission to investigate partisan activity in the area, Luthen obviously cannot let this happen.

Working swiftly, Luthen ramps up a countermeasure for the tractor beam and wrecks the antenna of the Imperial ship. The patrollers are taken aback, not expecting high-level firepower from a Haulcraft, and an intense dogfight ensues, TIE fighters included. The contrast between the panicked Imperial officers and Luthen's effortless cool is the cherry on top, especially after Luthen manages to escape unscathed, leaving the patrollers flabbergasted. This is the Empire's first direct contact with the mastermind behind the rebellion, and it is only a matter of time before they are able to connect the dots together. However, the way in which Luthen handles the situation is top-tier, proving that he is adequately prepared to tackle such situations and possesses the wherewithal to single-handedly strike the Empire where it truly hurts. 

This event is not only testimony to Luthen's badassery but also highlights his calm, collected nature during a situation in which he finds himself in a tense, unexpected tight corner. To reaffirm, Luthen is truly goated.

What's next for Luthen Rael?

Judging by the conversation between Luthen and Kleya, the former is probably on his way to Ferrix to intercept Cassian, in case he turns up for Maarva's funeral. This perfectly sets up the stage for the season finale, in which Cassian will potentially cross paths again with Luthen, Vel, and Cinta. Has Luthen already made up his mind to kill Cassian, or is he deeply conflicted about murdering the man who successfully pulled off the Aldhani heist? The pendulum might swing either way. Luthen's personal intentions are often at odds with his duty as a dedicated rebel, leading to complex moral dilemmas and the necessity of swallowing bitter truths (not to mention living with immense guilt).

Meanwhile, Dedra Meero (Denise Gough) is closely monitoring Ferrix, and the Empire is still torturing people like Bix to ascertain Axis' identity. Luthen's presence on Ferrix is a major, major risk for his operation, as a single misstep can undo years of planning, hardships, and sacrifices made in the name of the cause. Vel and Cinta also need to watch their backs, as either of them getting caught could unravel everything they have been working towards, putting important rebel middlemen such as Mon Mothma in grave danger.

Now everybody, including pathetic bootlicker Syril Karn, has their sights set on Cassian Andor, who is unaware of how serious matters really are, and how close the Empire is to boxing him and Luthen in. Hopefully, Luthen and Cassian will be able to meet halfway and work out an astounding plan to hoodwink the Empire in the season finale. However, I would be lying if I said that the odds do not seem to be heavily stacked against them.

Episodes of "Andor" are currently streaming on Disney+.