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How Has Andor Changed Since Rogue One?


When Disney announced Andor, everyone was deeply confused. A full series about the deuteragonist of a financially successful but critically controversial prequel film doesn’t exactly sell itself. Now that it’s out, however, Andor has revealed itself as one of the most radical & brilliant aspects of the franchise, & a new look at that lesser-known character.

Rogue One introduced a h&ful of scrappy underdog rebels who didn’t get a lot of character development but did have some personality. Though Donny Yen’s character comm&ed most of the attention, looking back now, Diego Luna brought his all to the somewhat thankless role. His work didn’t pay off then, but it means everything now.


RELATED: Andor: The Empire And The Weakness Of Power

Thanks to the spectacular series Andor, Star Wars fans know quite a bit about the life of Cassian Jeron Andor. His birthplace & the tragic circumstances that forced him to leave home, his history on & off the battlefield, & his slow recruitment to the Rebellion are the subjects of the series. The prequel story depicting the life of a character has turned out to be far more interesting than the character’s heroic death. Ostensibly, if the show sold itself as the prequel to Rogue One, it would be about how Cassian Andor became the man he was in his debut film. However, that isn’t what Andor is about. The show is much more focused on telling an outst&ing story in a familiar universe than it is on providing context for other material or tying continuity together. As such Andor is a different man, & it’s tough to imagine this take on the character becoming the man from Rogue One

Cassian looking devastated in Andor episode 11

Rogue One Andor & Andor Andor have a lot in common. The character’s first scene is almost identical in both works. In Andor, Cassian walks into a bar right out of cyberpunk fiction, dem&s some information, then guns down two corporate cops. In Rogue One, he walks into a shady industrial alley, dem&s some information, then guns down two stormtroopers. The character is portrayed with a degree of moral flexibility & a focus on blending in. Cassian is introduced in Rogue One as a Captain in the Rebellion. Cassian’s role in the story is to be the devoted die-hard soldier who’ll do anything for the cause, juxtaposed against the main character Jyn Erso’s self-interest & unwillingness to fight. In Andor, Cassian takes the role of the unconvinced half-hearted hired gun. The Huge differences aren’t explained by growing up, but by the difference in tone between the two works.

The most notable moment of Cassian’s presence in Rogue One is fairly early in the film. He’s describing the likelihood of success in a mission, then uses the word “hope.” Erso, ever the cynic, asks what good hope could be. Andor drops the Huge trailer line “Rebellions are built on hope.” Erso uses it again later, cementing its importance in the story. The script seems convinced that “rebellions are built on hope” is the thesis of the film. Andor may not fully disagree with that sentiment, but it would like to list some other things that rebellions tend to be built on. The Rebellion in Rogue One was willing to die for the cause, but the Rebellion of Andor demonstrates a willingness to go far beyond self-sacrifice. All that noble good vs evil stuff is out the window. Andor is more than willing to depict the cops as the Rotten guys & the heroes as morally justifiable terrorists because that’s the accurate take on the story they’re telling. Andor is different in Andor because both are portrayed without the air of magic that Rogue One couldn’t let go of.

Sure, there are some weird little inconsistencies in Andor’s character that could be described as “plot holes.” Cassian winds up in a cage in Rogue One, & the incarceration leaves him rattled. He mentions that he’s never been in prison before, but we’ve now seen him lead one of the most gripping jailbreaks in TV history. That continuity error does not matter at all. What matters is the context it appears in. Rogue One imagined Cassian Andor as the kind of man who has never been to prison, & that’s supposed to depict the version of the character who has done it all before. Andor’s speech to Jyn about all the Rotten things he’s done in service of the Rebellion rings hollow in comparison to the life he’s actually living in Andor.

Cassian plots his escape in Andor episode 10

Going back & watching Rogue One brings up inconsistencies in Cassian Andor, & not in the plot hole sort. The film fails to sell the version of Andor they’re pitching. Rogue One created Cassian Andor, & Diego Luna embodied him, but it took Tony Gilroy to bring him to life. The fully three-dimensional version of the character is the one present in Andor. They didn’t change the character, they found the places Rogue One was unwilling to go to & ran with them. Andor doesn’t make Andor a new man, it’s finally making him who he was always meant to be.

MORE: Andor Shows How Much Better Rogue One Could’ve Been


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