Warning! SPOILERS for Andor.Rogue One: A Star Wars Story breaks an important role from Andor which makes it so much darker. Released in 2016, the Gareth Edwards-directed film is the first from Lucasfilm’s planned Star Wars anthology movie series, and despite a rather tumultuous production, it is a fan favorite from the space opera’s era under Disney. Six years since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released, its prequel series, Andor, is, directly and indirectly, adding to its narrative.
Diego Luna reprises his role as Cassian Andor in the Disney+ series. Andor’s 12-episode season 1 takes place five years before the events of Rogue One, while its already confirmed sophomore year will directly lead to the Edwards-directed flick. The first three episodes of Andor establish Cassian’s previously-unknown origins including his first interaction with Luthen Rael (Stellan Skarsgård) who taught him the important rule about always making sure to have an escape and exit plan, as they’re being cornered by the Pre-Mor Security.
Unfortunately, Cassian and the rest of his team broke this rule in Rogue One. After learning from the galactic superweapon creator, Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) that the plans for Star Wars’ Death Star were in Scarif, the Freedom Fighter, alongside his rag-tag team of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Jian Wen), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), and K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk), decided to steal it. The problem with this is that they didn’t have any exit plan, just as Luthen taught Cassian half a decade earlier. Somehow, however, this makes Rogue One’s ending so much more tragic. Chances are Cassian knew full well about this important lesson, but because of how desperate they were to secure the plans for the Death Star and how committed they were to the cause, he and his team decided to move forward with their scheme.
Even after glowing reviews for Andor’s first three episodes, there are still arguments that the show is unnecessary. For context, the Lucasfilm Disney+ series is technically a prequel to Rogue One, which is already a prequel to the original Star Wars film. Given this, Cassian is already confirmed to survive the events of his own show since he wouldn’t meet his end until the 2016 Anthology movie. Despite this, however, knowing that Cassian would die in Rogue One somehow makes Andor better. Knowing where he ends up in the Star Wars continuity makes it easier to appreciate his origin story, which is shaping to be very interesting, especially since there’s barely anything known about his backstory before Luna’s Disney+ project.
Even with just three episodes in, it’s clear that Andor is not shying away from political themes. It doesn’t feature any Jedi or Sith. Instead, it focuses on the often overlooked players in the war between the Galactic Empire and Rebellion, which are the grounded characters like Cassian. Once the whole show is done, chances are that there will be a newfound appreciation for what Rogue One: A Star Wars Story contributed to the space opera’s rich storytelling.
Andor airs every Wednesday on Disney+.