Live action Star Wars is back in the form of Andor, a prequel to Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One that follows common criminal-turned-Rebel Alliance hero Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) during the years leading up to the events of the film. We’re here to tackle any questions, debates, and your utmost curiosity about the future soldier for the Rebel Alliance. While Andor is set five years before the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars: A New Hope, there are plenty of easter eggs and little tidbits that help us understand the grizzled Rebellion veteran in Cassian Andor.
Each week, we’ll be answering your questions here. Episode 6 of Andor brings us an almost Game of Thrones' messaging to us – none of your favorite new characters are safe, with the obvious exception of Cassian himself. This is the first episode in a while that pays homage to the classic Star Wars cinematic experiences, as it’s filled with visually stunning cinematography that provides a nice backdrop to the actual horrors of the episode: our early stage Rebels staging a successful robbery, kidnapping the family of an Imperial officer, and then escaping despite heavy losses of their comrades.
This episode does, however, provide a stark reminder of who Cassian really is – a scoundrel who is largely out for himself. It begs the question:
Do the Deaths of his Fellow Rebels Impact Cassian? Does the Death of Idealistic Rebel Nemik (Alex Lawther) Help Push Cassian into Action Against the Empire?
So far, Andor has been stooped in harsh realism more than cheap plot tricks designed to convince the audience why Cassian went from the cutthroat criminal to the “Rebellion hero” we see in Rogue One. Perhaps it’s safe to assume that the death of Nemik is one of many happenings that push Cassian further to the Rebellion cause? But what if it isn’t?
While the savagery around his demise is notable (getting crushed by credits during their escape from Aldhani), Cassian does display relative indifference to his plight. Even when Nemik dies despite the attempted aid of a doctor, Cassian is given Nemik’s “manifesto” about life under the Empire, and we can only assume that this will play some sort of plot device role into Cassian’s eventual joining of the Rebel cause.
Maybe Nemik’s death will prove to the be the ultimate catalyst into Cassian joining the Rebel Alliance, but there’s still a lot to unpack with future episodes and seasons of Andor. In fact, it almost feels too early for this to be the end-all moment that pushes Cassian there.
The Tragic Victory, and the Toll It Takes Seems to Be Outside the “Rebel’s Scripted Plan?”
Despite escaping Aldhani, only four (really three) of our rebels have survived – Cassian, Arvel Skeen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Vel Sartha (Faye Marsay), plus the gravely injured Nemik. Instead of following protocol and going straight to the Rebel base with their captured credits, they make a beeline to a remote world to see if they can save Nemik’s life.
While Vel waits in vain to see if the surgeon can save Nemik (and the audience is largely aware that he’s going to die, because he got crushed by literally millions of credits in coin form), Skeen has a very honest heart-to-heart with Cassian. As it would turn out, Skeen’s entire backstory as to how he became a Rebel is as fabricated as Cassian’s. Skeen’s only in it for the credits (in a moment that feels like Han Solo admitting to Princess Leia he’s not in it for the cause, only the money).
Rather than split the stake with Skeen and go their separate ways (which would’ve fit well with Cassian’s character, truth to be told), Cassian opts to shoot Skeen in the face and relays the news of his death to a shocked Vel, leaving her with the gift from Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgard) to signify that Cassian held up his end of the deal. Cassian takes his cut and departs, leaving Vel as the only surviving Rebel.
So, What Will Cassian Do Now?
He has his credits from his score, and with Cassian abandoning the Rebel cause, the immediate assumption is he’s going to try to get either Bix (Adria Arjona) or his adoptive mother Maarva (Fiona Shaw) from Ferrix and try to leave to start a new, calmer life elsewhere. While it does follow Cassian’s logic, it does feel very idealistic and somewhat naïve of him, given that he’s actively being hunted by the Empire for killing those two Pre-Mor cops at the beginning of the show and will probably be tied to what happened on Aldhani at some point as well.
Hopefully, Episode 7 will clarify some things that have been left unanswered thus far, such as what’s happened to Cassian’s sister, his adoptive father (Maarva’s husband) and what’s been happening at a larger scale with the burgeoning Rebellion(s) across the galaxy.
Maybe we’ll even get appearances from some Rebel fixtures from other Star Wars media like Ahsoka Tano, Saw Guerrera, or Kanan Jarrus? One can hope!
Catch up on all our Andor recaps and questions here . . .