Sabé in the Cassian Andor series: The hint most Star Wars fans missed

Photo: Diego Luna is Cassian Andor in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Diego Luna is Cassian Andor in ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Recent casting rumors have fans speculating Sabé will appear in the Cassian Andor series. But some fans have secretly known the truth all along.

Though we still don’t know much about the scheduled Cassian Andor series coming to Disney+, one thing’s for sure: There are likely plenty of surprises in store for fans of the Star Wars movies, books, and comics.

Deadline recently reported that Adria Arjona had been cast in an untitled role in the series, and Star Wars fans immediately noticed something striking: The actress looks suspiciously similar to both Kiera Knightly and Natalie Portman.

While Portman famously portrayed Padmé Amidala in the prequel trilogy, Kiera Knightley’s role in Star Wars isn’t pointed out nearly as often. The actress appeared in The Phantom Menace as one of Padmé’s decoys (Sabé) — a very minor role and mostly unknown character until fairly recently.

Casting an actress that looks similar to both Padmé and Sabé can only mean one thing: The former handmaiden might be making her way to the small screen.

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And this isn’t as surprising to some Star Wars fans as you might think.

Sabé: From The Phantom Menace to the queen’s avenger

Knightley’s Sabé actually had spoken lines in The Phantom Menace — she acted as Padmé’s decoy during the flight from Naboo to Tatooine, for example. Though she was acting as Padmé during her scenes, her character clearly left a mark on at least one creative mind.

E.K. Johnston has now written two young adult novels featuring the right-hand woman and friend of the former Queen of Naboo — more on that in a minute. Most notably as of late, however, Sabé has taken on the unexpected role of a villain in the current Darth Vader comic run.

“Antagonist” might be a better descriptor here, since Vader, though the main character of the series, is still technically a villain. Though she pretended at first to want to help him, her secret plan was to trap him. For what purpose? To avenge the death of her friend Padmé.

But before Sabé first appeared in Darth Vader (2020), she returned to the universe in the form of a book — a cliffhanger that would seal her fate as a key player in Star Wars moving forward.

Sabé’s meeting with Bail Organa

The biggest hint we have that Sabé is a likely addition to the Cassian Andor series actually appeared way back in 2019, long before the character made her surprise comic debut.

E.K. Johnston’s 2019 young adult novel Queen’s Shadow tells the story of Padmé and her handmaidens as they adjust to life after her reign as the Queen of Naboo. After Sabé retires as a handmaiden when Amidala becomes a senator, the two remain close friends.

In the final pages of the novel, the story flashes forward to the days after Padmé’s funeral. Sabé, devastated by the unexpected loss of her friend and convinced there was foul play involved, unwillingly answers a call from Bail Organa. The senator wants to “meet” with her, we learn just moments before the book ends.

Readers who also picked up Johnston’s first Star Wars novel Ahsoka already know that this title character also had a meeting with Bail Organa in which the Fulcrum network was created. It’s heavily implied, therefore, that Sabé also joined the Rebellion as a Fulcrum agent at some point.

Considering this, it only makes sense that the same character would appear in a series about another important Fulcrum agent.

Sabé in the Cassian Andor series: An ever-expanding universe

Of all the Star Wars characters that have identified as Fulcrum, Sabé is probably the least well-known. Even though she was the first to appear in a feature Star Wars film, only now is she becoming more recognizable to more fans.

Since the untitled Rogue One spinoff series will be a spy thriller of sorts, it only makes sense that it would feature an entire network of rebel spies. Which means we could also see familiar characters like Ahsoka Tano make appearances throughout the show.

Some might argue that crossing characters between shows and bringing book and comic characters onto small and big screens all makes the Star Wars universe feel smaller.

But the human brain loves making connections. And when connections are made for us — like Sabé appearing in a movie AND books AND a comic AND a show — it feels nice. It’s exciting. It’s that “hey I know her from XYZ” feeling you get when you recognize an actress in a movie from one of your favorite shows.

Star Wars is a big universe. But everything connects.

It’s what’s going to hold everything together as the universe continues to expand in the years and decades to come.

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Which characters do you hope will appear in the Cassian Andor series on Disney+?