Andor’s new arc taking place inside the Imperial prison introduced a familiar face for Rogue One fans giving us the first meeting of Cassian Andor and Ruescott Melshi. In case you don’t know or need a refresher course, here’s a quick rundown of who exactly Melshi is and why he’s important in Cassian’s story.
In Rogue One, Melshi was a sergeant for the Rebellion and was considered one of the more veteran soldiers in the cause. He was a good friend of Cassian which is showcased in the opening of the movie when the Rebels spring Jyn Erso out of prison. He’s the one she punches first as she tries to run before being captured by K2-SO.
Cassian entrusted K2 to Melshi to assist him in rescuing Erso. Knowing the relationship between Cassian and K2, he probably wouldn’t give his droid over to just anyone. Also, K2 probably wouldn’t follow some random person’s orders either which adds to Melshi’s importance to his owner.
After bringing Jyn to the Rebellion on Yavin, Melshi later volunteers to join Rogue One to try and steal the Death Star plans. He’s there to witness Cassian’s speech stating they’ve all done horrible things in the name of the Rebellion and are in need of some atonement to make it right.
I think this is an interesting line in the context of Andor. I do wonder as the season finishes and we get into season two if we’ll see some of the horrific things mentioned. I can only assume Cassian and Melshi’s bond grows past the current prison arc even if they are bloodying their hands for the good guys. It feels like a lot of important setup for season two.
As they arrive on Scarif, Cassian puts Melshi in charge to lead the ground forces as he, Jyn, and K2-SO sneak in to get the Death Star plans. With the help of Bodhi Rook, Chirrut Îmwe, and Baze Malbus, Melshi distracts the stormtroopers long enough for Cassian’s side of the mission to succeed. When they learn that they have the Death Star plans and need to transmit them to the Rebel fleet, our heroes find out there is a master switch that needs to be flipped for it to be sent. Melshi leads the last-ditch effort and gets shot as Bodhi and Chirrut succeed before both lose their lives. Melshi dies on the ground, sadly never knowing if they won. But we the audience know that he and Cassian both died as heroes.
I love that Melshi is in Andor. The sad ironic truth is that he and Cassian are probably building parts for the Death Star in prison, the very thing that will kill them in the end. But I do think his presence is going to add so much back into Rogue One. Like Clone Wars to the Prequel Trilogy, changes the fabric of the movie with new context. I know I will never look at Rogue One or Melshi the same after watching Andor.
Stay up to date with all of our Andor coverage here at Dork Side of the Force.