In episode 6, the heist takes unexpected twists and turns with some casualties. But, we’re treated to a spectacular meteor shower.
The Calm Before the Storm
It’s the day of the heist and Karis Nemik (Alex Lawther) is nervous about how everything is going to unfold. Unable to sleep, he’s working on his manifesto, writing about how mercenaries can play a crucial role in the rebellion. Looks like Cassian/Clem (Diego Luna) — he’s still using the name of his late adoptive father as an alias — has been a source of inspiration. Cassian tells Nemik that he’ll be fine, and he can sleep after the heist is over.
The heist is on the same day the Eye of Aldhani will take place— a gorgeous meteor shower the Dhanis celebrate every three years. Imperial Commandant Jayhold Beehaz (Stanley Townsend) is desperate to get his wife Raboda (Michelle Duncan) and his son Leonart (Alfie Todd) out of Aldhani. His family is hopeful Beehaz will get a promotion that will transfer them to a different planet.
Beehaz refers to the Dhanis as “a simple people” who possess a “sad combination of traits that make them particularly vulnerable to manipulation”. He plans to use this to his advantage by manipulating the Dhanis into sacrificing their beliefs and traditions. The Empire wants to expand into their home world using the land they celebrate on.
The group’s target is the Alkenzi Air Base, located in a dam near the Imperial garrison. Disguised as Imperial soldiers, Cassian, Arvel Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), Taramyn Barcona (Gershwyn Eustache Jr), and Nemik enter the base with clearance from double agent Lieutenant Gorn (Sule Rimi). The team’s leader Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay) and Cinta Kaz (Varada Sethu) travel underwater to infiltrate the base. Vel plants a device that jams the Imperial communication hub, but she’s hesitant to start the mission. This puts the heist at risk, since the rebels need to leave the base during the meteor shower to cover their escape.
The rebels capture Commandant Beehaz, his family, and a visiting engineer. The engineer tries to save Leonart by pointing a blaster to Nemik’s head, only to be gunned down by Cinta. Commandant Beehaz claims he doesn’t have access to the vault, but Vel calls him out for lying. “One path! One choice. We win, or everyone dies,” Vel threatens. Reluctantly, Beehaz pleads with his men to cooperate with the rebels and opens the vault.
One of the radio communication officers is investigating why the signals are jammed when he hears the rebel crew mention the heist over the airwaves. He gets a team together and heads for the vault, while TIE fighters in Alkenzi Air Command prepare to launch a counterattack. Meanwhile, the rebels are rushing to load the payroll pallets onto the freighter before the meteor shower begins.
Once inside the vault, the comms officer demands Lieutenant Gorn tell him what’s going on. The stress of the situation is too much for Commandant Beehaz. Clutching his arm and wincing in pain, he collapses on the floor. A shootout ensues, killing Lieutenant Gorn and Taramyn. Cassian is nearly strangled to death by an Imperial officer as he tries to start the freighter. Nemik intervenes and kills the officer. With that taken care of, Cassian flies the freighter off the base. As the freighter gains altitude, the force of acceleration causes the heavy credit pallets, and everybody on board, to shift positions. Unfortunately, one of the credit pallets smashes into Nemik, pinning him to the back of the vessel. Despite his injuries, Nemik gives Cassian directions on how to evade the meteors. The TIE fighters pursuing the rebels aren’t as lucky, and they’re destroyed in the chase.
Even with all the drama and chaos surrounding the heist, the Dhanis and Imperials are enjoying the beauty of the Eye of Aldhani. Cinta, who stayed behind, heads out to blend in with the Imperials and, hopefully, find her own way to escape.
Cassian, Vel, Skeen, and a badly wounded Nemik escape to Aldhani. Skeen and Cassian decide to take Nemik to a doctor, despite Vel’s protests. As the doctor operates on Nemik, Skeen and Cassian wait outside. Skeen suggests he and Cassian take the credits, split it 50/50, and go their separate ways. It’s why he recommended taking Nemik to a doctor, so he could get his hands on those credits. Turns out, Skeen’s backstory was a lie.
“So, no rebellion for you?” Cassian asks him.
“Oh, I’m a rebel,” Skeen says. “It’s just, uh… me against everybody else.”
This also explains why Skeen was so hostile towards Cassian — he was a loose end, a wrench thrown into his plans. Cassian kills him without hesitation.
Cassian enters the hut where the doctor was working on Nemik, who died on the operating table. Blaster in hand, Cassian tells Vel he wants out. He doesn’t want anything to do with the rebellion now that he’s witnessed corruption. He tells Vel about Skeen, but she doesn’t want to believe he’d betray her. Disgusted, Cassian said he’s taking the amount promised to him. He gives Vel the sky kyber necklace Luthen gave him as collateral. Before he leaves, Vel gives him Nemik’s manifesto. “He insisted,” Vel tells him.
News Travels Fast
On Coruscant, news of the heist spreads throughout the galactic capital. The Imperial Security Bureau are scheduling emergency meetings, where Major Partagaz (Anton Lesser) demands that retaliation plans are ready for presentation before midnight. No one is allowed to leave.
Mon Mothma’s address to an almost empty, disinterested Senate implies the Empire is trying to strip Ghormans of their rights, even though they’re an ally. She has a bill ready to protect the Ghormans, but the few politicians that are present are distracted by news surrounding the heist. Luthen learns about the heist from a customer and goes into the back room to laugh with relief.