Why Vel Sartha Turned on Andor


The following contains spoilers for Andor Season 1, Episode 7, “Announcement,” now streaming on Disney+.

As much as Cassian Andor was a hero in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, still cut a sinister figure. He was willing to kill allies to keep rebel secrets and identities safe, something now detailed in Andor. The Disney+ series is about survival of the fittest in a ruthless galaxy where the Empire has no problem eliminating dissidents without evidence and desperate rebels have to act on the fly for the sake of self-preservation.

This shapes Cassian as an anti-hero: someone who isn’t trustworthy but has the resources for a job, once it pays of course. Luthen Rael gambled correctly by hiring him to steal Imperial funds on Aldhani because he would be an asset to Vel Sartha’s team. Unfortunately, although the mission was a success, Cassian’s colleagues turned on him in Season 1, Episode 7, “Announcement” and made it clear that he had to be killed.

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Vel Sartha of Andor has to kill Cassian

In “Announcement”, Vel arrived on Coruscant and met with Luthen’s assistant, Kleya. Vel was told that everyone was impressed with the heist before being assured that the trawler used in the getaway was gone and the funds were safe and sound. Kleya also expressed her regret that the Gorn commander, Karis Nemik, and former Stormtrooper Taramyn were all victims in the heist, but that is an unfortunate part of war.

However, Kleya also insisted that Cassian, or as he was known, Clem, was a loose end that needed to be tied up. “We can’t have him walking around with Luthen on his mind,” she confessed before informing Vel that he needed to kill Cassian as soon as possible. Kleya departed after promising to send data to help find Cassian. However, the scene showed that Vel was internally conflicted with his new orders.

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Why is Vel Sartha able to save Cassian’s life?

Vel knows that without Cassian, his team would not have been able to move the Imperial funds and adapt when the heist started to go wrong. He even piloted the ship through an escape route more dangerous than Kessel Run. Cassian also killed Skeen, who was about to betray the team and keep the money for himself. He is loyal and heroic in his own right because he protected the cause and only took the part from it.

Vel also doesn’t like how Kleya automatically considers people expendable. That suggests that one day, out of desperation, she too might be cleansed. Luthen doesn’t mind innocents dying against an enraged Empire that hates being robbed. There’s a certain irony involved: Vel is agonizing over killing Cassian, but if her roles were reversed, Cassian would have no qualms about finishing her off. The decision she makes will test her moral compass as the Rebellion continues to make morally questionable decisions. The rebels have turned on Cassian because they think she’s a loose end, but they have bigger problems.

Andor streams Wednesdays on Disney+.

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