Cassian Andor was a survivor, a spy, and a fighter. Willing to do whatever the Rebel Alliance needed, Cassian often made unthinkable decisions at a moment’s notice. His sacrifice in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made every subsequent victory of the Rebellion possible. But who was Cassian Andor before his path crossed with Jyn Erso?
Behind the Scenes
Cassian Jeron Andor was created for 2016’s Rogue One. He wasn’t a Jedi with Force powers, but an ordinary person who fought for what he thought was right. “[It was] just conviction and honesty and passion,” Diego Luna said of his character Cassian Andor in a Rogue One behind-the-scenes featurette, which can be found in the film’s Extras section on Disney+. “That can drive you really far.”
Producer Allison Shearmur drew a parallel between Andor and Rogue One protagonist Jyn Erso. “These are two people who are defined by their loss and by grief surrounding family,” she said in the same featurette. “You really feel that when you watch Felicity [Jones] and you watch Diego. You watch that relationship, you can tell neither of them has trusted much in their lives.”
Before the Dark Times
According to what little documentation about Cassian’s past that survives, he hails from the Outer Rim planet of Fest. While not much is known about Andor’s youth, it’s obvious it wasn’t a happy childhood; he revealed to Jyn Erso that she wasn’t the only one who lost everything.
Cassian’s Alliance file indicates his father died in a protest against clone troopers, and that Andor joined the fight at a young age before he was recruited into the growing Rebellion.
Cool-headed and pragmatic, Andor worked as an operative in Alliance Intelligence for most of his time in the Rebellion. He was willing to give his life for the sake of any mission: Cassian posed as a government agent on Ord Mantell, a senatorial contact, an assistant to an Imperial Admiral, a recruitment agent in the Albarrio sector, and more.
Unlike most heroes of the Alliance, Andor’s work was done in the shadows and often went unrecognized. Sabotage, reconnaissance, and even assassinations were just a part of his duties.
He maintained a network of informants to keep him apprised of the Empire’s activities and possible opportunities for the Rebellion.
Perhaps his most significant assignment, however, was to retrieve Jyn Erso and investigate the rumors of her father’s involvement with the development of an Imperial superweapon. He followed his intuition to not assassinate her father, Galen, despite his orders; Andor violated command again by following Erso to Scarif, ultimately stealing the Death Star plans on an unsanctioned, but galaxy-changing, suicide mission.
Andor was a vital part of Rogue One, the team who ultimately succeeded in obtaining the Death Star plans from the Imperial facility and uploading them to the Rebel Alliance. He and every member of Rogue One gave their lives to save billions of others.
Where Is Cassian When Andor Begins?
Andor spans the five years of Cassian’s life before the events of Rogue One. While not much is known about his whereabouts or activities at this time, he’s continuing the fight he started when he was a boy.
The future rebel isn’t the same person he’ll be five years later. Who is this Cassian Andor? Find out on September 21 when Andor arrives on Disney+!
Kelly Knox writes features and DIYs for StarWars.com. She’s the author of Be More Obi-Wan and co-author of Star Wars Everyday. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk Star Wars, pop culture, and bad dad jokes.
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