"The axe forgets, but the tree remembers."
―Arvel Skeen, to Cassian Andor[4]

"The Axe Forgets" is the fifth episode of the first season of Andor. The episode is directed by Susanna White and written by Dan Gilroy.[1] It aired on October 5, 2022.[2]

Official description[]

Cassian must carefully navigate the distrust inherent in being the new member of a secret operation.

Expanded description[]

Being a team player does not come naturally to Cassian, but the daring mission to infiltrate the Imperial garrison requires it of him. The operation has been in the planning stages for months. As the newest member of the mission, Cassian must overcome the prudent distrust of his teammates.

Plot summary[]

Mother and son[]

On Coruscant, a despondent Syril Karn spends time with his mother, who counsels him about the challenges of leadership. When Karn asks his mother Eedy Karn why she didn't visit him, she replies that an open invitation is no invitation. Eedy observes that her son lacks job prospects for the future due to the Ferrix incident. Eedy tells Syril that she will contact Uncle Harlo to call a favor for him. Syril is skeptical and asks what Harlo will take him on for. Eedy says that Harlo can put Syril in touch with someone who would hire him and reassures her son that Harlo knows what is best.

The reluctant recruit[]

Elsewhere on Aldhani, Cassian Jeron Andor ("Clem") awakes in his hut to find his weapons missing. Outside, he finds Arvel Skeen has searched his weapons under orders from Vel Sartha. Skeen surmises that "Clem" fled in a hurry and asks about his arm. Skeen notices a weapon belonging to Luthen Rael but Andor is unwilling to provide his name. Skeen also shows the tattoos on his body including a Krayt Head and a "By the Hand," which Andor recognizes. Skeen uses his tattoos to attempt to build a rapport with "Clem."

"Clem" tells Skeen that he went to a Sipo youth center at the age of 13 years old, where he spent three years. Skeen is skeptical of "Clem"'s background story, stating that "the axe forgets, but the tree remembers." Andor surmises that Skeen joined Sartha's rebel band to seek revenge. Andor says he was sent to help and admits that he is not a team player.

Skeen talks about his fellow team members, describing Karis Nemik as inexperienced but a true believer, and Cinta Kaz as stone cold and fearless. Skeen says Lieutenant Gorn is key to their plan. Andor asks what if the lieutenant is leading them into a trap. Skeen flips the question back at him. Andor says that he is here to win and walk away.

Discord at home[]

At Mon Mothma's residence on Coruscant, Mothma has breakfast with her husband Perrin Fertha and daughter Leida. Mothma had made arrangements for the driver Exmar Kloris to take Leida to her morning class. Leida reveals that her dad will be taking her to school since she doesn't have an early class. Mothma orders Leida to get her coat but her daughter refuses to play her role in her mother's plan. Leida accuses her mother of using her for her own agenda. An upset Mothma walks out on breakfast early.

Training and preparation[]

Back on Aldhani, Karis Nemik serves Andor some dray milk for breakfast, which he describes as an acquired taste. He shows Andor a navigational tool that he has been building. Nemik says that he is trying to lessen their dependence on Imperial technology before talking about freedom. Skeen thinks that Nemik is obsessed with ideas and philosophy. Nemik goes on to talk about the Imperial "thought machine" concealing atrocities. Skeen asks "Clem" for his input but Andor is not in a chatty mood. Nemik goes on to talk about reconciling technology with freedom.

Taramyn Barcona summons "Clem" for a meeting in his hut. When Nemik asks Skeen if he distrusts "Clem," Skeen replies that he doesn't trust him. Sartha and Barcona ask Andor about how much weight their escape ship can carry. Andor realizes that they don't know how to get the payrolls out of the Imperial base. Barcona asks "Clem" how he would input the weight. Using his knowledge of machinery, Andor explains that there is a load clutch which has information on the weight. Andor insists on flying the starship carrying the stolen payrolls. Outside, Taramyn uses the hill and surrounding forest to describe the layout of the Imperial base.

At the Aldhani Garrison's base, Lieutenant Gorn chastises two other Imperial officers for not ordering their men to clear a nearby three fingered structure that has been used for target practice. Barcona tells "Clem" that his cover story is that he is an Imperial Private and sentry who has been transferred from the Alkenzi Air Base for special duty. Barcona asks "Clem" if he knows how to walk like an Imperial soldier.

Occupying Ferrix[]

Meanwhile on Ferrix, Imperial Security Bureau Lieutenant Supervisor Blevin watches as workers clear damage caused by the fighting during the Ferrix incident. Captain Vanis Tigo is clearing out guests and furniture from a hotel, which the ISB has requisitioned as their new headquarters. Tigo asks if he could be made a Prefect. Blevin quips that he could wear a ball gown if he wanted and tells Tigo to get his headquarters up and running by tomorrow.

TIE patrol[]

Taramyn drills "Clem" and the three other male rebels about marching and holding blasters as Imperial soldiers. Their plan is for Lieutenant Gorn to give them entry into the base. Andor observes that Skeen is left-handed and suggests changing the position of his blaster. The rest of the team are right-handed. Tamaryn reluctantly agrees to switch.

Kaz sights an approaching TIE fighter, which circles a nearby forest before swooping down and passing their camp. Nemik reassures "Clem" that they will soon see that "surprise from above is not as shocking as surprise from below." The TIE fighter returns to the local Imperial garrison, which incudes a dam wall as part of its fortifications.

Lieutenant Gorn speaks with Corporal Kimzi. Kimzi asks if it is true that they are planning to tear down the panoramic landscape to make way for the expanded Imperial airbase. Gorn confirms this is the case. Kimzi asks about the local Dhanis. Gorn instructs the Corporal to get back to business and warns him that he will be making rounds the following day. Kaz tends to Andor's arm. Andor takes offense at Skeen for checking his pouch. Andor dresses in an Imperial Army uniform with Taramyn watching.

Detective work[]

Elsewhere, ISB Supervisor Dedra Meero walks past Blevin and several aides discussing plans for an upcoming conference. Later, Meero gets ISB Attendant Heert to search the Imperial ledgers for the missing objects. Heert checks the Hosnian register but it doesn't report any missing objects. Heert says that the Imperial Navy ledgers are the only thing left to consult but that they never admit any mistakes. Meero allows Heert to leave but he insists on staying with his superior officer. Meero admits that she does not know what she is doing.

However, Heert reassures her that they are onto something. He notices a pattern of stolen items from Kessel, Fondor, targeting consoles from Jakku, proton warheads from Base Cay, and the Starpath Unit from the Steergard Naval Yard. Meero and Heert deduce that the rebels are spreading out their thefts in an attempt to make their attacks appear to be random. Meero proposes that they search two more files each.

Parallel journeys[]

On Aldhani, "Clem" and his rebel allies gather at a fire consisting of their model of the Imperial base prior to their planned heist. Sartha and her comrades give a toast for the Rebellion. The following day, they travel towards the base. During their travels, Sartha gets "Clem" to repeat the various stages and signals associated with their planned heist. Andor asks why they are relying on an Imperial lieutenant. Sartha explains that Gorn fell in love with a local Dhani woman and lost his promotion. He also lost the woman, which caused him to lose his taste for the Empire. She adds that everyone has their own personal rebellion.

Back on Coruscant, Eedy tells her son Syril that Uncle Harlo thought that police work did not fit her son. Syril asks what field Harlo thinks that he should pursue. Eedy tells Syril that she related his experiences on Ferrix as best as she could. She adds that they are counting on Harlo's judgement for Syril's career plans.

At the Aldhani Garrison base, Lieutenant Gorn confronts two of his subordinates about an unpainted wall, stressing that they are expecting a visit by a Coruscant engineer today. When the two corporals tell him that many of the soldiers assigned to Aldhani do not want to be there and are demoralized, he relents and tells them to get the wall painted by the following afternoon.

Moments of truth[]

While the rebel band is resting, Skeen ambushes "Clem" and cuts off his Kuati Signet, which he observes is made from sky kyber. Skeen accuses "Clem" of hiding his past. Sartha tries to reassert control but Skeen insists on knowing who Andor actually is. Andor replies that Skeen knows who exactly he is and reaches for his blaster. Barcona and Sartha try to calm things down. Nemik spots a ship approaching from the valley. Vel orders them to pack up and tells Skeen to return the stone. Skeen reluctantly complies. Nemik reports that the ship is approaching the garrison, which helps calm the situation.

Andor admits that he is a mercenary. When Barcona questions Sartha, she tells him that Rael insisted that she include "Clem" or he would call off the mission. Skeen thinks that they should have called off the mission earlier. Andor says that he is only willing to take the risk with the mission because of the money. When he suggests that they are afraid, Skeen counters that maybe "Clem" is afraid. Andor replies that there is a difference between being afraid and losing one's nerve. If they bail out, he tells them not to use him as an excuse. After Kaz confirms that she is unaware, Sartha decides to hold off on discussing "Clem"'s past until after their mission.

On Coruscant, Senator Mothma and Fertha travel on an airspeeder following their meeting with Gar Tafeed. Fertha says that Tafeed knows more about what Mothma is up to than him. Fertha asks Mothma when she was planning to tell him about her new charitable foundation. Fertha asks the driver Kloris to take the expressway. Meanwhile, Karn studies a hologram of Andor.

Launching the operation[]

Approaching the Aldhani Imperial base, Skeen observes that the Imperial base resembles Nemik's model. Nemik says that he has had plenty of time to study the site. Sartha tells them that they need to get a fire up. At the base, Lieutenant Gorn spots the rebels' fire. Skeen tells "Clem" that the Empire killed his brother. He explains that an Imperial Prefect flooded his brother's land. In despair, his brother committed suicide by filling his pockets with stone and jumping into a river. Skeen says this is what motivated his hatred of the Empire. When Andor asks what his brother was growing, Skeen explains that his brother had been growing pepper trees, which had lived for centuries. Skeen says this is as close to apology he will be getting, which Andor accepts.

Sartha tells Andor that Barcona will now be in charge of the mission. Sartha says that she will reunite with them the following night if the mission succeeds. Barcona asks Andor if he can accept his leadership, which Andor accepts. The rebels get to work.

At Galactic Antiquities and Objects of Interest, Luthen Rael waits to hear for a transmission on a transmitter. His assistant Kleya Marki tells him that he has been waiting for over an hour and tells him to switch it off. Rael confides that he is worried about the mission and recruiting Andor. Rael thinks that he took a risk in including Andor for the Aldhani mission. Since they have clients tomorrow, they decide to close shop for the night.


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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Disney Andor Media Kit on Disney.com (backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 TwitterLogo Star Wars (@starwars) on Twitter (August 10, 2022): "This is what revolution looks like. Watch #Andor, a Star Wars Original Series, streaming only on @DisneyPlus September 21." (backup link)
  3. "The Axe Forgets" takes place in between "Kassa," which dates itself to 5 BBY, and "Narkina 5," which StarWars Andor | Season 1, Episode 8 - Trivia Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 6) dates to 5 BBY.
  4. Andor logo new Andor — "The Axe Forgets"

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