Let’s Talk About Who Cassian Andor Is and Why He Deserves Everything Good in the World
I could count the number of characters on one hand that have the kind of grip that Cassian Andor has on me. He ranks up there with Sirius Black (a character created out of thin air, it’s really impressive) and Peter Parker, in that, I will excuse any and everything he does because I love him so much. And so, when news broke that we were getting Star Wars: Andor, a series about Diego Luna as Cassian, prior to us meeting him in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I was ecstatic.
But I am also aware that it comes with many questioning why a character like Cassian Andor gets his own series on Disney+. Well, the answer is simple: He deserves it. Truly. When you look at Rogue One, we followed Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones) and learned about her life prior to Scarif. We saw her with her parents, got closure with her father, Galen (Mads Mikkelsen), and she was our connection to Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrara. But while we met Cassian on her journey, we knew very little of what brought him into the fight.
So, let’s talk about who Cassian is, and what we know, prior to the premiere of Star Wars: Andor.
We know from Rogue One that he’s been in this fight since he was six years old. He says it to Jyn Erso and we can see his struggle with the Empire alive in that moment. He’s fought for freedom, he knows the pain the Empire has caused him, and his life struggled because of it. We don’t know much about his upbringing—maybe we’ll get to know more about it in Andor—but we do know that this fight isn’t one that was new to Cassian by the time they were trying to steal the plans to the Death Star.
We’ve followed a fight against the powers of the Empire for most of Star Wars. Whether it was the Empire in the original trilogy, the rising fear of the Dark Side and Palpatine in the prequels, or Kylo Ren and Emperor Snoke in the sequel trilogy, that fear has always been there. And we’ve seen the fight in the Rebels, and then, the Resistance. Somehow though, Rogue One gave us a new look at the Rebellion.
We saw a losing side struggling to get a leg up and the sacrifice that made the eventual win we saw in Return of the Jedi possible. Star Wars: Andor promises more of that grit and struggle that we saw Cassian come into Rogue One with, and I’m excited to see how it all plays into the larger themes that we saw with his character in the film (that eventually led to his death on Scarif).
When we got to Scarif in Rogue One, we watched as the Rebels fought to the bitter end. Many lost their lives in the fight, including Cassian, which is what makes Star Wars: Andor so exciting but also depressing. We know what happens to him. We know that the fight against the Empire claims him, and while it is for the benefit of the Rebels and leads to the eventual end of Darth Vader and the Emperor, it still hurts to know that Cassian is going to go off to his death by the end of the series.
Scarif was one of those moments in Star Wars where the fight became real. It was fun to look at this series as our fantasy space adventure and to take lessons away from it in our own real world, but Scarif, and the lives lost there, really put the themes of Star Wars into an almost black and white perspective when it comes to the Rebels fighting back against the Empire.
Watching as Cassian Andor clung to Jyn Erso in those final moments that the two had together hurts, and it does for so many different reasons. I think that that pain we all felt watching Cassian (and Jyn) sacrifice himself for the Rebellion, is only going to hurt that much more after we see Andor.
Star Wars: Andor starts on Disney+ on September 21st and it’s about time we have more Cassian Andor in our life.
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