Since episode 7 of Andor, we learned that Cassian Andor was incarcerated and forced to work for an Imperial facility that’s located on a secluded moon called Narkina 5. Of course, the Empire was smart enough to utilize criminals and suspected rebels in a hurry without the need for any kind of proper trial, as it does seem like the Empire doesn’t want to waste any time to put them to work. So, what are they building in Andor?
It is possible that Cassian Andor and the other prisoners are building the Death Star in Andor. This was hinted at in episode 9 when it was revealed that the prisoners were never going to be released by the Empire after serving their time. Instead, they were merely recycled and then killed.
The fact that there was a lot of secrecy in the project that the criminals were working on suggests that this was something that the Empire didn’t want anyone to know, especially when it came to the suspected rebels. That’s because whatever they are building could be parts of the Death Star. So, with that said, let’s take a good look at this topic.
What Are Andor And The Other Prisoners Working On?
In Andor, we learned that Cassian was placed in another situation wherein he had no control over what he should do. During the first half of the first season, he was forced to work with rebels in Aldhani because he had to run away from Ferrix and was in need of the money that they were going to steal from the Imperial garrison in Ferrix. And when he finally got to use his money to live a comfortable life, he was mistaken as a rebel criminal and was summarily sentenced.
That was when we saw that Cassian was placed in an Imperial factory over on the moon called Narkina 5, wherein he was placed on a floor together with Kino Loy and a lot of other criminals and suspected rebels. It was clear that they were all working on something important and were forced to do well in their jobs, as those who didn’t do well were punished. And each floor in the factory had workers that were isolated from the workers on the other floors.
Of course, while we do know that the Empire was always in constant need of workers that they could use to build their large Star Destroyers and their different fighters, we know for a fact that they seem to be in a hurry to summarily sentence criminals. We learned in episode 7 that the protocols and the sentences were changed when what was supposedly a six-month sentence for Andor was changed to six years. As such, it is clear that the Empire isn’t only cracking down on criminals and possible rebels but is also looking to find a way to put them to work instead of putting them in prison.
Of course, during the different events of episodes 7 to 9, we saw that Andor and the prisoners were working incredibly efficiently on things that they seemingly didn’t know about, as all that mattered to them was that they were working efficiently. That’s because they didn’t want to be the ones falling behind as they were going to get punished. As such, Andor and the others didn’t even care about asking what they were working on.
In that regard, the standing theory is that Andor and the prisoners were forced to work on parts that would be used to build something. It could be possible that these parts were the ones that were going to be used for the Empire’s war machine or for the Star Destroyers. But it is also possible that they are building parts for something bigger and more dangerous than just the usual Star Destroyers and fighters. And this is where it gets interesting.
Are The Prisoners Building The Death Star?
When we first met Cassian Andor, we saw him in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as the best operative working for the Rebellion. Of course, we know that Rogue One takes place five years after the pilot episode of Andor and that by the time Rogue One began, Cassian was already actively working for the Rebellion and was tasked to find a way to get his hands on the secret plans regarding the Death Star.
The entire storyline of Rogue One revolved around the crew of Rogue One and how Cassian Andor and Jyn Erso were looking to help the Rebellion by finding the weakness of this Death Star. And the very reason why they know that the weakness exists is the fact that Jyn’s father was the brain behind the construction of this massive weapon.
Of course, it would take years to build such a gigantic space station, as it was hinted during the earlier part of Andor that the Empire was seemingly becoming more active in sending different parts from one-star system to another. This implies that the construction of the Death Star was already underway during the events of Andor and that the Empire was looking to speed things up to make sure that any upstart rebel group would be dealt with as soon as possible. And the best way for them to construct such a massive project at a faster pace was to invest in manpower.
As mentioned in Andor, the Empire believed that using people was much more efficient than using droids because they were cheaper and more abundant. In that regard, it is clear that the Empire was in need of more manpower, and that was the reason why they were looking to change things up in the law enforcement section by sending as many suspected criminals and rebels to the different factories all over the galaxy as soon as possible.
Then, in episode 9, it was clear that there was actually something that the Empire didn’t want the inmates of Narkina 5 to know, as this was hinted at when one of the inmates told Cassian and Kino that the inmates were not allowed to go free once their sentences were done. Instead, they were just merely moved from their former floor to another floor, as it was obvious that they had no intention of letting go of their source of manpower for this massive undertaking. In fact, at the end of the episode, Cassian and Kino learned that the inmates of one floor were killed.
This implies that the Empire didn’t want their workers to go home due to the fact that they didn’t want any information about what they were working on to become public knowledge. While it was clear that Andor and the other prisoners didn’t have any clue what they were working on, the Empire wasn’t willing to take any chances of them getting the word out to the general public once they were set free after their sentences were done. And that’s because the Empire, specifically the ISB, didn’t want any rebels to hear about what they were building, as this could compromise the entire project.
Of course, there could be a no bigger secret to keep on the part of the Empire than an entire space station that was designed to wipe an entire planet out in a single attack. As mentioned, it would take years and loads of manpower to construct such as massive project, and it is possible that Andor and the other inmates were forced to work for the different parts that would be used to build the Death Star. And that is probably the reason why the Empire had no plans of allowing them to leave Narkina 5 with their lives, as this would allow them to leak information to any possible rebels out in the galaxy.