Warning: Spoilers for Andor episode 6
Andor’s Skeen becomes even easier to hate when taking into consideration two previous moments in the Star Wars series. After coming across as a capable member of Vel Sartha’s Rebel group, Ebon Moss-Bachrach’s Arvel Skeen emerged as a traitor in Andor episode 6’s ending. As it turns out, acquiring personal wealth and staying alive was all he really cared about from the start.
Though Skeen was arguably Cassian’s biggest critic since his first appearance in the series, the fact that he was risking his life for the Rebel cause allowed him to maintain some sense of likability as a character. However, his “good guy” image evaporated when it was revealed that he was willing to desert their allies and split the profits with Cassian. This revelation turned perceptions of Skeen and everything he’s done on their head. Earlier in the episode, Skeen expressed a keen interest in getting Nemik to a doctor, when in fact his only goal was to find a suitable place where he could disappear from the Empire’s radar. There’s also the matter of how Taramyn died in the battle. Had Skeen covered him longer, Taramyn may not have been killed in Andor episode 6’s shootout.
Andor Details Make Skeen’s Death Even Better
These circumstances make Skeen’s ending in Andor episode 6 all the more satisfying and also help to justify Cassian’s rash decision to kill him. Skeen’s completely fake concerns about Nemik, lack of effort to protect Taramyn during the heist, and decision to betray his so-called friends destroyed any lingering feeling of sympathy that he might have earned with viewers over the course of his three-episode arc. In the end, it came to light that despite how Skeen had presented himself in the show, he was actually absent of any redeemable qualities, which certainly makes it fitting that his rather short Star Wars story ended in the way that it did.
How Andor Brilliantly Set Up Skeen’s Twist
While the turn Andor took with Skeen was surprising, it didn’t actually come out of left field, nor did it feel unearned, as Andor cleverly set up the twist early on. Now that his despicable nature has been uncovered, his suspicions of Cassian in episode 5 carry an altogether different meaning. Since he wasn’t truly loyal to the Rebels himself, it’s unlikely that he was genuinely upset about Cassian suddenly joining them. But by casting doubt on Cassian’s motives, it was easier to keep others from suspecting him instead.
Skeen actually did more than just fool Cassian and his fellow Rebels. Andor pulled off a brilliant ruse with audiences as well. His lies about his brother’s death, his interest in helping Nemik, and his fierce opposition to accepting a mercenary’s help all served the purpose of creating the elaborate illusion that behind Skeen’s tough exterior, was a dependable ally who would fight for the Rebels up until the bitter end.
Andor releases new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+.
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