Andor’s Tunqstoid Steel and Its Connection to Legends, Explained
Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for Episode 8 of Andor.In the episode “Narkina 5”, Andor shows that the Galactic Empire has no sympathy for its prisoners. It’s one of the most difficult and politically relevant episodes of the series so far, as Cassian (Diego Luna) experiences life in an Imperial prison camp. Although we did get glimpses of prison facilities in some episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Andor explores the dehumanizing tactics the Empire uses to break the morale of its prisoners. Cassian is introduced to prison warden Kino Loy (Andy Serkis), which maintains strict control of the facilities.
Andor is unique within the star wars franchise because of its connection to real-world issues. It’s hard to watch the footage of Narkina 5 and not think about hot topics like police brutality, torture, and mistakes within the justice system. This makes the star wars galaxy feels more fleshed out and gives audiences even more reason to root for the heroes. It sets up what is sure to be an exciting conclusion to the story arc next week, as Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) approached Saw Gerrera (Whitaker Forest) on the staging of a prison robbery.
While Cassian is incarcerated, he is informed by prison guards that the floors are coded with “tunqstoid steel“. The powerful metal allows Imperials to shock their prisoners and appears to be resistant to weapons. While this is the first time the term has appeared in new canon, it comes from one of the most acclaimed storylines in the Legends timeline.
The Narkina 5 facility is primarily constructed of Tunqstoid steel
Narkina 5 Imperial Prison is full of extra security measures and anti-resistance policies. From what we see of Cassian’s work so far, it’s possible that he and the other prisoners will be forced to build some sort of Imperial weaponry. Whatever they build appears to be top secret, as the officers inform them that no escape attempts will be tolerated. They also enjoy torturing prisoners, and Cassian is subjected to physical and mental abuse throughout the episode.
The walls and floors of the Imperial Prison are made of the powerful tunqstoid metal of steel. Tunqstoid is highly conductive, and the Imperial Guards are able to heat it up in order to shock prisoners into submission. The explosion is powerful enough to be fatal. Guards wear coded boots that resist conduction, but barefoot prisoners are tortured and fall to the ground.
While we don’t know what else the tunqstoid is used for, it’s possible it’s something the Empire uses for other forms of submission. Stormtrooper recruits are trained in intense academies and brainwashed, so it’s possible the tunqstoid is being used to encourage assimilation.
Tunqstoid Steel first appears in Legends Canon
Tunqstoid steel first appeared in the 2009 novel Fate of the Jedi: Abyss by Troy Denning. The The Fate of the Jedi new series is set almost 40 years after the end of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. After the reorganization of the New Republic into the Galactic Alliance during the Yuuzhan Vong War in the New Jedi Order series, Jedi Knights are under increased scrutiny. Luke Skywalker and his son, Ben, are forced to leave Coruscant so they can search the galaxy for mysterious relics with the power of the Force. However, the rest of the Jedi Order discovers that there is a plot within the Galactic Alliance to wipe out the Force users.
In Abyss, Han and Leia’s daughter, Jaina Solo, breaks into the Galactic Alliance 81 Security Detention Center to free a group of captive Jedi frozen in carbonite. When she realizes that the walls of the center are made of “tunqstoid”, she decides to find another method of infiltration. The tunqstoid blast doors are so heavy that they have to be lifted by aerotrains. This is somewhat similar to how it is depicted in Andorbecause the lifts run entirely on hydraulic lifts.
Although a majority of star wars content released before Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm is no longer part of canon, some references, plots, and characters have been reintroduced. Tunqstoid is a pretty deep cut that may have surprised some fans, so it’ll be interesting to see what other Easter Eggs Andor has in store through the first season and beyond.
Andor features new episodes every Wednesday on Disney+.