Andor promises to give a complicated look at the Rebel Alliance, showing their not so clean start to the galaxy. And while it will no doubt spend most of its time in the present, Andor’s past, like so many other characters in Star Wars, makes for a worthwhile exploration. It’s crucial to understanding his mental state, and the formation of the Rebellion. This is because, unlike the Rebels that Star Wars often follows, Andor was not part of the Republic during the Clone Wars. He was a Separatist.
Reading Cassian’s entry on Fandom, it says that, Andor joined a Separatist insurrectionist cell at the age of six years old, and learnt to throw rocks at Republic clones and walkers. Throughout the Clone Wars, Andor’s cell would operate in the Outer Rim, fighting the Republic.
This past is of critical importance. Firstly, it provides an opportunity to view the end of the Clone War from the Separatist perspective. Audiences have only seen the war end from the point of view of the Republic, and how Order 66 threw the galaxy into chaos and ended the war for the Jedi. But the Separatists have their own, defining end to the war through the Droid Shutdown Order. The effects of this has yet to be visualized on screen, and it would make for a refreshing change from witnessing Order 66 again. This would make for a powerful opening, similar to Order 66’s portrayal in both Obi Wan Kenobi or The Bad Batch, or a surprising reveal midway through the show, like in The Book Of Boba Fett.
It also makes sense for Andor’s character. In Vanity Fair’s article about televising the Rebellion, it reveals that Andor will start as a self-serving nihilist, and then transition into someone who is willing to sacrifice himself for a greater cause. Exploring Andor’s past is key to understanding his mental state. On the battlefield, if Andor was fighting alongside any droid units, he would be extremely confused as to why they shut down.
The loss of these droid units would mean Andor couldn’t fight back against the clone, and later Imperial occupation. It would likely damage his mental state, as it would be a devastating loss. The Empire treated Separatist worlds harshly under their rule, never forgetting their insurrection. Andor would likely be asking what the point of fighting the Empire is, if they can shut your army down remotely and have such a powerful military, there would be no point in fighting. He would be purposeless, under an Empire that doesn’t care about him.
An exploration into Andor’s past would also serve as an organic cause of conflict between him and Mon Mothma. As she served the Republic during the Clone Wars, and stayed loyal as an Imperial Senator. Andor would likely view her as a collaborator that helped bring the Empire to power, a pawn in their regime. Mothma, for her part, might distrust Andor. His violent tactics both during the Clone Wars and after may disturb her, and prevent them from working together. Throughout the show, the pair would gradually be able to trust each other. Andor would learn that even in the Empire there are those who are standing up against it, and be able to conduct a war in the right. Mon Mothma would be able to learn that open rebellion is the only way to affect change, willing to consider violence.
Exploring Andor’s past would allow the show to visualise how the remnants of the Separatist movement informed the early origins of the Rebel Alliance. Separatist equipment, including warships, often found themselves in Rebel hands, but it’s more than simple equipment. Separatist ideology would have no doubt influenced many to fight against the tyranny of the Empire. Many Separatists would see the Empire as no different to the Republic, perhaps worse, and so many would have kept fighting. Andor is the perfect way to explore this, and further provide shades of grey. This is an aspect of Star Wars that is often overlooked, and Andor provides the perfect chance to shed some light on this.
When the trailer for Andor released, it gave the audience its first indication that it might explore this. In one of the many shots of the trailer, clone troopers are visible, over the shoulder of someone raising a weapon. Andor is set around 14 years after Order 66, long after the Empire phased out clones. This means that a flashback to the Clone Wars is highly likely, as it would remind the audience of Andor’s allegiances before the rise of the Empire. This flashback would be able to serve both Andor’s character and the larger narrative of the show, and answers why clone troopers are in the trailer.
Whether or not this is the case, Andor should remind the audience of his Separatist origins. It would serve Andor’s character, present him with organic conflict with Mon Mothma, and also show the audience how the wider Separatist movement influenced the Rebellion. It is an opportunity to show Separatists after the war, something that is rarely seen in Star Wars. It would give the show the ability to bridge between the prequel era of Star Wars and the original trilogy, and tie itself firmly to the wider Star Wars Canon.
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