Cassian Andor’s exploration of his history and time in the Rebellion deepens the significance of his sacrifice in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Cassian Andor’s (Diego Luna) story in the new Star Wars shows Andor improves on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by providing more context for both his character and the Rebellion as a whole. Andor, which premiered with three episodes, explores Cassian’s life as a young boy as well as his exploits prior to officially joining the Rebellion. As a result, the audience gains a better understanding of how Cassian became the dedicated Rebel operative in Rogue One, deepening the significance of his ultimate sacrifice as well as the narrative themes of Star Wars’ first anthology film.
Cassian (born Kassa) is revealed to be an adopted refugee from the planet Kenari in Andor. Cassian is now on the planet Ferris, looking for his long-lost sister, which leads to a deadly encounter with two corrupt officers, forcing Cassian to flee. Cassian is formally recruited to join the Rebellion by Lutheran Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) as a result of this encounter. Andor’s first three episodes highlight Cassian’s tragic life, emphasizing his determination and loyalty to the Rebellion. Cassian has never truly belonged and has always had to look over his shoulder, a skill that is put to use in the Rebellion, one that eventually leads to a decisive victory over the Empire, as depicted in Rogue One and then A New Hope.
It could be argued that the characters in Rogue One were merely plot devices – after all, how can an audience be expected to care about characters they know nothing about and who died 2 hours later? That is the show’s main strength. Before Rogue One was released, no one knew how much had to happen for the Rebellion to obtain the Death Star plans. Understanding the underlying politics involved in forming the Rebellion, as well as the countless sacrifices and morally grey choices that had to be made, all contribute to Rogue One becoming an even better Star Wars film. Andor has accomplished this in just three episodes, and will undoubtedly expand on these themes as the series progresses.
Andor Will Expand Rogue One Into A Bigger (and Better) Star Wars Story
Though a film about the retrieval of the Death Star plans was not strictly necessary, it does provide context for one of Star Wars’ most pivotal moments. Not only that, but it managed to make a Star Wars film without relying on the central conflict of Jedi vs Sith, opening up a plethora of future Star Wars stories. Solo: A Star Wars Story followed in its footsteps, as have the numerous Disney+ Star Wars shows since, focusing on characters who don’t necessarily have a connection to the Force but who nonetheless expand our understanding of the Star Wars galaxy.
While Andor appears to be a prequel to Rogue One, it is all part of a larger Star Wars story. Rogue One famously leads directly into A New Hope, and as a result, Andor’s story will have direct ties to the overarching story of the original Star Wars trilogy.The formation of the Rebellion serves as the foundation for the first three Star Wars films. Because Andor’s timeline plan is to lead directly into Rogue One (season 1 will take place over one year, 5BBY, and season 2 will take place over the next four years), there’s no way to separate it, or Rogue One, from previous Star Wars stories.
Andor is a prequel that serves an undeniably important purpose. It not only adds context to Rogue One, but it also adds context to Star Wars’ first original stories, the films that spawned an entire franchise.
On Disney+, new episodes of Andor are released every Wednesday.