At the start of 'Rogue One', we know Cassian Andor is alive and working with the rebellion. So, when he and his crew infiltrate an imperial base in episode 6 of 'Andor' we know that he's guaranteed to be safe. Wish we could say the same for his team. The job they took on Aldhani was to steal a huge amount of Imperial credits. But how much exactly are 80 million credits in Star Wars worth? There isn't really a way of making the conversion from Imperial credits to dollars. So, what did they really steal in 'Andor' episode 6?
According to the show, stealing all that money is apparently enough to halt the Imperial payroll for a while, meaning no one's making any money or working as hard. It's also a big deal for the fledgling rebellion that doesn't have much revenue or equipment yet. At the end of the day, this much money won't hurt the Empire. But it's a big enough dent for the Empire to take notice, especially when they realize their salaries won't be getting paid for a little while. Luckily, there's a way we can determine the credits' worth.
What did they steal in 'Andor'?
A good place to start is by seeing how 'Star Wars' characters have reacted to credit amounts in previous movies.
For example, in 'A New Hope', Luke gets excited when he hears a valuation of 10,000 credits, exclaiming that he could buy a new ship for that. He eventually sells his own land speeder for 2,000 when they leave Tattooine, the equivalent of an old beat-up used car. So, if a new starship is worth a little less than 10,000 credits, Cassian and crew stole enough money to buy eight thousand new starships.
That's nothing to scoff at, especially when you consider a single Imperial star destroyer costs the Empire 150 million credits to make. That's almost double the amount of what was stolen, but of course, the Empire would be shocked if someone stole half of a star destroyer. That's one less ship they can field at any given time, something the emperor would purely despise for no other reason than someone took what was his. It certainly doesn't help that Palpatine prizes military might over everything.
The Empire is down a ship and they won't be able to make payroll. It's a serious headache for them. Meanwhile, the Rebellion becomes stronger with new ships and weaponry. It's not enough yet, but it's a start. The episode also shines a light on Cassian's motivations. Does he settle into the loveable-rogue Han Solo category? Absolutely. Towards the end of the heist, he's given the opportunity to split the money with another and duck out, taking it for himself instead of giving it to the rebellion. But does he take it?
No. He instead shoots the man who suggested taking it. Honor among thieves, right? Almost all of his teammates died during this mission, and Andor is left with the dying words of Nemik, written in a journal. Nemik's thoughts inspire Cassian. He doesn't outright join the rebellion, yet. But it's the first step on a long road, one that eventually leads to his death and redemption.