Tony Gilroy, the showrunner of Andor, discusses the mysterious construction project undertaken by the Narkina 5 convicts and dispels a particularly dismal fan notion. Andor, starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, debuted on Disney+ on September 21 and chronicled his rise from petty thief to a key figure in the Rebellion. After being convicted of vandalism, Andor spent the last story arc imprisoned for six years on Narkina 5. Every day, he and the other inmates at Narkina 5 spend the same amount of time constructing identical pieces of machinery. What exactly they are constructing on Andor is still a mystery.
As part of an interview with Collider, Gilroy disproves at least one popular theory concerning the unnamed project. Gilroy says that the audience should wait for the answer for Andy Serkis (Kino Loy), who already knows the project. However, he gave one clue to the audience. Read his statement below:
Yeah. Well, maybe we’ll have to just wait and see what Andy says. I heard one theory. Someone said, “My daughter sent me something: they’re building something in the next room, and then they’re taking it apart,” which is not true. It’s totally nihilistic. I go, “We’re not that dark.” I guess we’ll figure it out. Yeah. Yeah. To be seen.
What the prisoners of Narkina 5 are working on is a mystery until it is finished. While Gilroy disproves one notion, many more persist. Since Narkina 5 is a maximum-security Imperial prison, its convicts are almost certainly working on a project that will benefit the Empire. One plausible explanation is that the convicts have begun construction on a Death Star. Since Andor occurred some five years before the Death Star went into action, production of the superweapon was probably well underway at that time.
Overall, the construction of the Death Star lasted for two decades. So, if the Empire is nearing the completion of the superweapon, it makes sense to use prison inmate labor. The massive magnitude of the endeavor, with the Death Star possessing a diameter of at least 140 kilometers, makes the need for additional labor completely clear. Suppose this is what the inmates are working on. In that case, it adds another layer of tragedy to the story of Cassian and Rogue One if their lives are ultimately taken by the weapon they helped construct. Serkis has hinted at the evil project the convicts at Andor’s Narkina 5 are working on, confirming that it serves an Imperial objective. This is more evidence that the inmates are constructing the Death Star.
It took 20 years to complete the Death Star. If the Empire is nearing the completion of the superweapon, it is logical to utilize jail labor. Given the massive magnitude of the project, the need for additional workers is understandable, what with the Death Star possessing a diameter of at least 140 kilometers. Suppose this is what the inmates are working on. In that case, it adds another layer of tragedy to Cassian’s story because he helped create the weapon that ultimately killed him and the rest of Rogue One. As for what the convicts in Andor’s Narkina 5 are working on, Serkis has hinted at and confirmed that it is something very evil and useful to the Empire. This lends credence to the theory that the inmates are building the Death Star.