One of the most tragic and heartbreaking moments in recent Star Wars memory came toward the end of Andor episode 10, when the prisoners are on the cusp of freedom. Staring out at the open sea in front of them, all they have to do is jump in and swim to safety. But Kino Loy, who had helped to lead the rebellion and lead others to this point, confessed to Cassian Andor that “I can’t swim.”
Cassian is shoved into the water, and we don’t see Kino again. The implication is that he didn’t make it, but we don’t know that for sure. So fans are asking: what happened to Kino Loy? Is he safe? Is he alright?
Those involved with the series aren’t really giving us any solid answers.
Actor Andy Serkis was asked by The Hollywood Reporter if he thought Kino was executed after these events, and Serkis responded with a smile, “That’s an interesting one. Who knows?”
Director Toby Haynes told Entertainment Weekly that he wished he knew Kino’s fate, but he did seem to rule out an execution taking place. “I think it’s open there with what happens to his storyline,” he said. “He certainly wasn’t killed. So we know that much. And then that’s the interesting thing about [Tony Gilroy’s] writing. If you’re not dead, then who knows what’s gonna happen to your character. So [a return] could happen.”
So the real question is what showrunner Tony Gilroy thinks, since it seems he’s the only one who might know… but he’s not telling. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, when asked whether Kino was executed Gilroy responded, “I don’t know. He’s not dead. Is he dead? I don’t see him dying.”
It’s interesting that all three of them – the actor, the director, and the showrunner – are playing pretty coy about a plot event that was heavily implied in the episode yet not seen. And, well, with Star Wars, when a character’s death isn’t actually seen (and even when it is), you can’t assume that they’re actually dead. That’s become a tiresome trope that the franchise needs to be incredibly wary of moving forward, but here we didn’t actually see Kino’s fate. We all just assumed he’d probably die, but maybe not?
The most definitive thing that it seems these men affirmed is that Kino wasn’t executed by the Empire after this, so if he died, it wouldn’t have come that way. But did he die? I actually think there’s a very plausible explanation that would allow him to survive. We have seen in other Star Wars media stations that can function like a city or foundation, yet can also take off and fly (think the Colossus in Resistance, for example). And that’s in addition to the even more obvious reality that a station like this in water could, perhaps, move along the water. We don’t know any of that for sure, obviously, but it’s certainly plausible that there would be a way to move this station, or get off of it, without having to jump off of it and swim. He might not have known that immediately, but it may have come.
Most important is simply that, if they decide to bring him back at some point, that it’s handled well. We don’t really need more Star Wars stories about someone surviving yet without explanation. But Kino Loy is such a great character that I’m hoping he’ll be back, and I trust that these creators would handle it well if he is. Their lack of a concrete answer about his fate suggests to me that it’s certainly a possibility.